Eight Ways to Sell a Chainsaw

Berlin to Saint Petersburg: Poland stands in the way.

We gas the tank west of Poznan. As I walk towards the edge of the pavement for a smoke, an old Ford cuts me off. The driver gets out, smiles, pops the trunk, and produces a chainsaw. He removes the blade cover with a flourish, revealing the word STIHL. Dropping into a muscular stance, he cuts down a phantom tree and winks.

“Polski?”

“No.”

“German?”

“Sure.”

“American?”

“Yeah.”

 

UTILITARIAN

“Trees good for many things, yes? Fire, table, house…”

“Sorry, I don’t need it.”

“You not need wood? You not human.”

“I don’t need a chainsaw.”

“Everybody need.”

“I buy my wood.”

“You buy? Very nice. I make you good price.”

“I buy wood. Not the chainsaw.”

“You buy wood? No. Why you do that. Wood cost nothing. Only chainsaw cost. You like wood?”

“Yes, but not now.”

“Don’t be idiot. You take wood money, buy this. You not pay more.”

 

MORAL

“Very good machine. Very good.”

“Not for me, thanks.”

“You think it stolen?”

“No.”

“I tell you, it not stolen.”

 

SURVIVALIST

“Machine work perfect.”

“I can’t use it.”

“You think problem? No problem. I show.”

“No, please. I’m sure it works fine. I just don’t need it”

“Yes. You not need right now. Maybe you need tomorrow.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I agree. You think everything good. But you don’t know always. Maybe car broken. You can use this.”

 

COMPARATIVE

“Perfect machine. Good for everything.”

“Sorry, I just can’t use it.”

“This best brand. Stihl. Everybody see you professional.”

“I don’t have any money.”

“You think you find chainsaw cheaper?”

“No.”

“Yes. No. It is impossible.”

 

PHILOSOPHICAL/SCAM

“Machine look good, yeah?”

“It looks fine. But it’s not for me.”

“Yes. But machine much better than it look.”

“It looks good, really. I just can’t buy it.”

“Gold exist in electronics. Big money. I show you inside. Machine good, but parts better. Parts more than machine.”

 

LOGISTICAL/HUMANITARIAN

“You need chainsaw. I need gas.”

“I don’t need a chainsaw.”

“My daughter, she young. She want the food, you see?”

 

HOMICIDAL

“You buy.”

“I don’t need it. Really.”

“Better buy than lose money. You have money?”

“No.”

“Yes, but you lose it.”

“I don’t understand.”

He starts the machine. “See? Works good. You see?”

“Please … Don’t … AAAAAAHHHHHHHH.”

My right hand hangs from my forearm by a patch of skin. I turn to run. He anticipates the move and swings wildly, mutilating my chest. I fall to the ground. He slashes my spine in half, cuts off my legs, and splits my skull. Hair and chunks of bone clog the blades. The motor stalls. I lose consciousness.

 

SPECIAL EFFECTS

“You from Hollywood?”

“No.”

“VROOM-VROOOOOM. You see?”

“. . .”

“Like that face I make. Zombie, vampire, everybody love that. You get camera, you get chainsaw. Big hit.”

“Don’t you need a fake chainsaw for that?”

“Okay. You not Hollywood. Why not become now? Make it cut, the people screaming, and the blood go crazy.”

Front page image by kimmo tirkkonen.

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Eric Bryant

About the Author

Eric Bryant is a self-actualized novelist who should concentrate more on obtaining food, shelter, and human affection. His white whale is a satirical genre-bender called Tin Pan Paradise, though the next thing you're likely to see from him is a whodunit featuring the Loch Ness Monster. His website at tinpanparadise.com is under permanent construction, or if you want to follow someone who for psychiatric and stylistic reasons has trouble fitting anything besides strings of obscenities into a 140-character tweet, check him out @TinPanParadise.
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