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Street Musician Vs. Firewood: Busker Learns  A  New Chop

October 15, 2013

Yes, it’s fall in New England, and the hills are alive with the sound of… chopping.

Even street musicians need firewood, and sometimes they need a helping hand– literally.

comic strip panel #1, street musician Busker swinging chopping maul, wants to chop block of wood

comic strip panel #2, street musician Busker swings chopping maul with great force that lifts him into the air, maul strikes block of wood

comic strip panel #3, street musician Busker looking at wood, he has failed to dent wood with chopping maul

comic strip panel #4, street musician Busker asking for help at Mr. Miyagi's Karate Academy

comic strip panel #5, karate expert Mr. Miyagi helps street musician Busker by chopping block of firewood in two with karate chop

In case you’re wondering, Mr. Me-Uggy was inspired by Pat Morita’s character in The Karate Kid.

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I’ve chopped a lot of firewood in my time– how about you?

Have you ever taken karate lessons? (I have a black belt, but it’s only to hold my pants up.)BlankVertSpace.8pixels

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2013 1:40 PM

    “Mr. Me-Uggy”!!!! 😆 Does he take female students too? I’m interested!
    It’s a pleasure watching him chop though, so maybe I’ll just ask him to help me too!
    Love it, Mark!
    Have a wonderful Tuesday, my friend! 🙂


    • October 16, 2013 9:09 AM

      Me-Uggy! I sometimes say that when I look in the mirror first thing in the morning. But I’ve combed my hair, so I’m OK now… : P

      My dear Marina! I just spoke with Mr. Me-Uggy. He’s a big fan of yours. He has many of your prints, which shows he’s a man of great good taste. He says that as a painter, you’ve got “the chops.” In short, he considers you a fellow master… : )

      Thanks for your support, Honorable Painter!! : )


  2. October 15, 2013 2:49 PM

    Hi Mark! I missed you while I was on hiatus. Love coming back here to a Busker cartoon! I caught the Mr. Me-Uggy reference right away. Very cute. 🙂 I’ve never chopped wood. I’ve never taken karate. And I’ve never chopped anyone in the chops (not that I haven’t wanted to).


    • October 16, 2013 9:28 AM

      Maddie!! How wonderful to see you! Your dramatic reappearance hit me like a karate chop!! I mean, the good kind… : )

      Mighty glad to hear you’re back in the blogosphere, I was sure I felt a beneficial disturbance in The Force. I know you’re a Busker fan, and he appreciates your support. You’ve got serious “writing chops,” and I bet you’ve chopped onions, too. Your “chop talk” made me laugh– thanks so much for chopping by! : )


  3. October 15, 2013 3:18 PM

    I too have chopped a lot of wood and I also took Karate for many years. However, I prefer a log splitter. Ah yes, it is the wisdom that comes with age Grasshopper.


    • October 16, 2013 9:34 AM

      I figured you for a woodchopper of long standing, Tim, and it makes sense that you’d know karate, in case you meet a black bear in the woods and he tries to steal your hat… : )

      A log splitter, eh? Good to know there are alternatives to the Me-Uggy Maneuver. Always good to see you, thanks for sharing your wisdom!


  4. October 15, 2013 6:18 PM

    LOL! Hopefully after reading this post, the hills will be alive with the sound of Karate chopping! Hiyah!!

    And I have never chopped wood in my life. And I never will now. If the need ever arises, I’m off to Mr. Me Uggy’s!


    • October 23, 2013 1:26 PM

      Yes, the hills are alive with the sound of karate chopping– that’s why all the Von Trapp children are sprawled unconscious on the ground. Maria was sick and tired of finding spiders and snakes in her bed, so she decided to see Mr. Me-Uggy for a few lessons. The children are much better behaved now… : P

      You’ve never chopped wood? What about that time you parted 37’s hair with a meat cleaver? That left a few wood chips on the floor, yes indeedy! : )

      Thanks for your visit, my dear Linda– it caused the usual sensation!!


  5. October 15, 2013 9:51 PM

    Mark, I love your inspiration for the karate illustration. Pat Morita is one of my favorites. My Dad used to chop a lot of wood for our fireplace in the country in Oswego County. There … you needed a lot of firewood. 🙂

    I once took karate lessons, but I gave them up in self-defense. I was dating the instructor. (Actually, he was a tad possessive and didn’t want me working out with any one. We gave each other the old heave-ho.)


    • October 23, 2013 1:39 PM

      My dear Judy–! As you know, I’m an old upstate New York boy myself, so I know about those winters. We didn’t heat with wood when I was a lad, so I had to camp out by the hot air vent in the living room. I musta learned something, because blowin’ hot air became a specialty of mine… : P

      You took karate lessons?? I’m impressed! Of course, you probably needed ’em back in your reporter days, since you were always hanging out in bad neighborhoods. Sounds like they also came in handy when it was time to give the instructor the brush! : )

      Thanks for that jolly comment, and for all your wonderful support!


  6. October 16, 2013 10:25 PM

    After many years of a wood stove, we’ve switched to propane. Split lot’s of kindling over the years with a good old fashioned ax but always a bit nervous for my toes!


    • October 23, 2013 12:49 PM

      Propane, eh? I suspect you’re seeing a lot fewer wood chips, twigs, and leaves on your rug… : )

      I used an ax for many years, but a maul seems to have more muscle– which poses an even greater threat to one’s toes, of course. Ah, well. It’s always something, as Paul Bunyan used to say to his psychiatrist… : )

      Many thanks for chopping– er, I mean, stopping by!


  7. October 18, 2013 2:37 AM

    Reblogged this on aldorhamadhan.


  8. October 18, 2013 8:29 PM

    Well, I have tried to chop wood but have very weedy arms so I think I might have to hire Mr Me-Uggy!


    • October 23, 2013 12:38 PM

      I spoke to Mr. Me-Uggy about this. He said his training program is just what you need. In two short weeks, he’ll change those weedy arms into lush grassy arms that will be the envy of all your neighbors!! Now there’s something to look forward to… : P

      Always a pleasure to see you here in the woodlot, Jen!! : )


  9. October 19, 2013 5:36 PM

    Love your illustarations and your sense of humour. We have chopped wood but Karate? No, we do enough damage chopping wood.


    • October 23, 2013 12:42 PM

      Ha! Your excellent comment made me laugh, Maria. Yes, forget the karate, wood chopping is dangerous enough– and I speak from experience. I don’t mind so much when it’s only the chopping maul or the wheelbarrow that gets dinged– however, I hate to be the victim myself… : (

      Thanks for your kind words, Maria, and I sincerely appreciate your stopping by! : )


  10. October 23, 2013 9:24 PM

    Yes, I did remember the movie Karate Kid and enjoyed it. 🙂


    • October 24, 2013 10:50 AM

      Yes, a good movie, even if it didn’t have any bike riding scenes… : )

      I see it as a metaphor for blogging: you’ve gotta be dedicated, work hard, and be able to take an occasional kick in the pants!

      Always a pleasure, Jean– thanks! : )


  11. October 25, 2013 6:49 PM

    Hi there,
    Here’s an entry for the TMI (wood chopping) category

    I think you already know that I chop firewood and kindling all year round to use all wet long winter. One does not swing an axe with the kind of force that would injure their rotator cuff in their shoulder to split rounds, unless one is a teen and that doesn’t last long as it leads to pain and suffering.

    Most of us don’t use an axe for splitting rounds. We use an adze (adse) an ancient cutting tool that has a thin curved blade and that is usually used for shaping wood. The old ones are the best. They are are hard to come by and we cruise garage sales held by old folks so we can find them. They sharpen well and we have several tucked away in the toolshed for future use.

    Despite the fact I have a kickboxing background- you didn’t know that, did you? I got kicked out of the club for being too aggressive and hurting all the Big Mammas who were as slow as oxen and almost as dull of wit, but I digress. I am small and I use a heavy maul. I just lift it and drop it and the weight does the trick every time. For really gnarly hardwoods I use wedges and a sledge hammer to split rounds. For kindling I use a hatchet or a machete.

    P.S. I may be taciturn by nature but if one clicks the right subject button then I may go on and on. 😉


    • October 31, 2013 2:21 PM

      My. Dear. TT… I would have to write almost as much as you did to tell you how much I enjoyed your wonderful comment!!

      Taciturn? Tish-tosh! (forgive my lapsing into very strong language) You have a certain, not unattractive natural reserve, perhaps, but taciturn? Nay, nay, say I!!

      However… it’s clear that wood chopping is a subject near and (somewhat?) dear to your heart– an enthusiasm we share, I might add. I had never heard of an adze, and was most intrigued. I shall have to see if I can scare one up here in New Hampshire– I definitely want to try one! I’m also impressed with your laying in a supply for future use. One hates to see “just right” items becoming obsolete, and one must take suitable precautions…

      You’re a former kickboxer?? Remind me never to steal your content. Careful– I meant a verbal reminder… : )

      Your Fascinating Person Quotient just went up– again. I have a big smile on my face– it’s a pleasure to know you!! : )


  12. SingingTuna permalink
    October 29, 2013 9:42 AM

    LOL!!! Hooray for belts!
    This is super.
    You’ve chopped wood? While you’re awake? VERY impressive.
    No black belts or wood choppers here, though.

    “I see it as a metaphor for blogging: you’ve gotta be dedicated, work hard, and be able to take an occasional kick in the pants!”
    Ha! Excellent advice. 🙂

    LOVE the illustration!!


    • November 1, 2013 1:22 PM

      Thanks, Robin! Yes, it’s very important to wear a belt when chopping wood. Also suspenders. Always embarrassing to lose one’s pants when delivering a mighty chop!! (even if one’s audience is only a chipmunk and his brother-in-law)

      Yeah, I do a lotta wood chopping. I have the serious, get-you-thru-the-winter wood “cut, split, and delivered,” but firewood dealers use hydraulic wood splitters that produce mighty big “pieces”– more like chunks! So I wind up chopping some pieces two or three times or more. Good thing I’m a tower of strength, as I was recently telling fellow members of the Bowl Of Jello Club… : P

      Thanks for a great comment, O Lumberjack Of The Sea!! : )


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