Dec 03 2008

Spinster aunt has red wheelbarrow


I know you ladies can’t get enough of these photos of garden tools with deer cavorting in the background.


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  1. atheistwoman

    so much depends

    a red wheel

    glazed with sun

    beside the beige

    Sanctimoniously ripped off from William Carlos Williams

  2. yankeetransferred

    And-that is some major league white tailed cavorting.

  3. Pinko Punko

    aw reveals that I have nothing useful to comment after she has beaten me to the William Carlos Williams gambit. Touchê, aw!

  4. K

    And is that LBJ in the very middle, between the trees?

  5. thebewilderness

    It is, it is an effigy of him taking a nap under the trees.

  6. tinfoile hattie

    Beautiful photo.

  7. sandi

    tools and deer are two of my favorite things as well…why, once I was even castigated by a customer (male) for waxing rhapsodical about by brand new Roto-tiller (!!) to a co-worker…aforementioned customer sneered and said, “Only a woman from Virginia would be excited about a roto-tiller.” As you might imagine, my nostrils flared and, with adrenaline flowing, I replied, “Yes, and I grow food to feed my family with that roto-tiller, so i AM proud.” and I do indeed have photos of that very tiller, but alas, they are without accompanying deer…so, thanks, Twisty…

  8. TA

    Last year we lived on a big piece of property in a Michigan subdivision, and we frequently fed the deer so we could watch them. Apples, and then when we noticed them bumping the birdfeeder, birdseed. The neighbors probably would have hated us if they’d known. But you know what? It’s Michigan. The deer were going to show up anyway.

    So the deer frequently showed up in groups (though we only saw a male twice). I have a picture of 5 deer in the snow! My husband claims he saw 12 at once in the backyard.


    If that’s an effigy of LBJ, then it is an effigy of LBJ that is trussed up, with a sack over his head, ready for…what ARE you doing to LBJ, Twisty?

  10. blondie

    The next time someone offers to fix your little red wagon, you can reply, “Why, thank you.”

  11. Ghost of a Dead Nazarene on a Stick


    Atheistwoman took it from me! No fair.

    The Red Wheelbarrow

    so much depends

    a red wheel

    glazed with rain

    beside the white

    — William Carlos Williams

  12. B. Dagger Lee

    sandi, I’m curious about your rototiller. Several years ago, when I was questioning the dudes at a tool-rental place about renting a rototiller, they endeavored to impress upon me the likelihood that should I rent one, I would undoubtedly manage to cut my own head off with the device, or that stones would shoot out and brain me. Being naturally suspicious about pretty much every word out of every mouth, I didn’t fall for it, but my girlfriend Miss Patsy has a bug up her ass about unsupervised power tool usage, and unfortunately she was present during the conversation.

    What kind of rototiller do you have, and how easy is it for you to handle? Say you wanted to dig a shallow grave for a lazy-ass hardware store worker, and your lazy ass wanted to use a rototiller to break up the 3 x 8 plot?

  13. Vibrating Liz

    Sometimes I shudder to think what would become of us all if it wasn’t for Miss Patsy and her heroic ass bugs.

  14. Bird

    I have no advice on types of rototillers, but I can say that a dear woman friend of mine has successfully operated a rototiller, a lawn tractor (mowing in summer, plowing snow in winter) and a chainsaw without manly assistance on her acreage for several years now.

  15. Antoinette Niebieszczanski


    “Miss Patsy and her heroic ass bugs”

    Band name?

  16. yttik

    Ahh, tools. There is definitely a patriarchal conspiracy to keep tools out of the hands of women. I’m am amazed by how many times I am left using a butter knife as a screwdriver, a rock as a hammer, a stick to dig with. And it is remarkable how much more efficient you can be if you only have access to the proper tool!

    At this moment, I know of someone dear who has six ice scrappers on the floor of his truck, including my pink one. I am left with a library card and whatever hot air I can exhale onto the windshield.

    I don’t always notice the sexism immediately. But I went to the hardware store to buy a screwdriver because some idiot thought we should have all different kinds of screws, each requiring a different type of screwdriver. So I politely ask for a screwdriver and the salesmoron looks at me and asks “what do you need it for?” I’ve been properly conditioned to behave in a civilized manner so I politely rellied, “I’d like to tighten and loosen screws”. He looked at me suspiciously and then reluctantly pointed me in the right direction.

    After I got back in the car, I realized that it’s doubtful anyone would ever ask a man what he needed a screwdriver for. I mean, isn’t it obvious? Ah, but being female I’ve lost track of all the times I’ve had to justify the need for a tool. I don’t even think about it anymore.

    Now please sir, may I have an ice scrapper of my very own? I need it to remove ice from my car, because I will die of hypothermia out there waiting for prince charming to arrive and do it for me.

  17. Orange

    yttik, you gotta get yourself a telescoping ice scraper/snow brush. Scraper on one end, brush on the other, telescoping handle in the middle so you can reach to get the snow off the roof of the car.

  18. Spiders

    @yttk, he probably thought you were planning on mixing a cake with it or pushing back cuticles.

    Growing up, my brother was given full access to our father’s shed while for me, the older and as it turned out smarter one, it was considered far too dangerous a place. Despite that, I’m pretty handy with tools now, even the powered ones.

    The dudes try to prevent us learning how to handle tools so they can shame and ridicule us later on when we don’t know how to use them.

  19. roesmoker

    My father hunts (not deer, thank whoever, but quail and duck) and I’ve been fighting with him about it my whole life. He took my brother on his first hunt when my brother was 6, and my sister 4. He made my brother a LIFETIME member of the NRA at like 9.

    Sadly not deer-related, but two websites that made me ill with their blatant misogyny:



  20. madeleine

    Bless my parents for teaching me all the basic skills, from darning socks to using a hand saw. It all lay dormant while I made my way in the world, developing a mostly feminine (self)image. Then one day I found myself in Moscow as an interpreter for a couple of lesbian filmmakers, feeling totally inadequate between the enormous grim city, where nothing worked as expected, and their outspoken, often judgmental feminism. Until the day we were late for an appointment, one of them unexpectedly got het period, the lock was broken so we couldn’t get out and the telephone stopped working. And I, with my long nails and makeup, unscrewed and repaired the lock, took apart the telephone, after one look at its unscrutable innards put it together again – and the dumb thing, which had just needed attention I guess, allowed me to make the call that we would be a little later. Then I manufacured some pads from cotton wool and gauze.
    I don’t have a point here. We were all very well-meaning and doing our utmost. It’s just such a sweet, sweet memory.

  21. jael

    VBL: you took the words right out of my mouth.

  22. Tracey


    You’re on Huffington Post today Twisty.

  23. Bird

    I must say that thanks to my dad I am the only one of my siblings that can tie a necktie and change the oil in a car, among other useful skills such as how to put up drywall and how to clean a motorcycle chain. When he realized that neither of his sons was interested in such things, he gave up and taught the skills to me. I only wish it hadn’t taken my brothers giving up on that stuff for him to realize that he had a daughter who really wanted to hang out in the garage.

    I hate it that men seem to only want to pass these skills on to girls and women when there are no boys around to share them with.

  24. MadamaAmbi

    Twisty! We speak with different accents but you are my soul sistah extroadinaire! How marvelous you are in all of your earthy, pissed-off, patriarchally disordered splendor. How unrepentant you are for your blaming and your righteousness…well, actually, I did find a few apologies for rambling (oh, excuse my …! I love them and I can go toe-to-toe with anyone on punctuation, so there!).

    I don’t need no lessons (wrong usage on purpose) on advanced feminism, but I’m speaking out online in various media such as blogs, podcasts, videos, organizing, etc., in order to make patriarchy visible to those who don’t see it. I have a background in mental health, education and the arts, and I want to educate, heal, repair, AND re-vision.

    Re-vision! Exactly! We must, because obviously (well, obviously to the likes of you and me), what we’re doing AIN’T working! Nuh-uh. But I’m a bridge-builder, a cross-pollinator, a translator; I think I can make my diagnosis (DX: patriarchal disorder) plain as the turquoise hat on your head…or as tsunami-ish as a trip to Ikea…(see, I told you! I love ye olde ellipsis)…

    Would you mosey on over to my neck of the patriarchy one of these days, take a look around, and consider kicking up some feminist dust with me and Feminist Advisory Board for Obama? I’m a deer watcher, too, and have had some amazing encounters, and pictures of deer lounging in my yard. That was sheer aliveness.

  25. CassieC

    I just went Xmas shopping (boooooo howled the crowds) and got my best friend’s baby daughter a lovely wooden toy truck with a wooden screwdriver, hammer and wrench. You see, the truck has wooden blocks you hammer, screw or wrench on and off. Everyone else gives her pink crap, so yes, I purposely try to compensate. Yay tools!

  26. thebewilderness

    These women wanted to be engineers:

    Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student.
    Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
    Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
    Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student.
    Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student.
    Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student.
    Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department.
    Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student.
    Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student.
    Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student.
    Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student.
    Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
    Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student.
    Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student.

    December 6, 1989

  27. slythwolf

    Just who are you callin’ a lady?

  28. roesmoker

    Cassie – where’d you get that toy? Sounds perfect for my niece.

  29. larkspur

    madeleine, I loved that story. You opened a tiny window in the telling of it, and I want to know more, but what you’ve already said is wonderful.

  30. SoJo

    How are men so unaware that they are so alike? That they’re all patronizing (like in Yttik’s example). You just KNOW when you ask a guy a question he’s going to give you an answer appropriate for something with IQ equivalent to a tree-stump.
    How can they not notice that they all say the exact same condescending shit ALL THE TIME???

  31. madeleine

    Larkspur: thanks! I’ve been lurking here for some months, and it’s really scary to contribute, as I’ve been kicked out of groups of women for being too dominant (in their view) or showing my strength (mine). I do tend to run off at the mouth.
    For anybody needing role models of women as tool-using creatures, I strongly recommend the book “Mothers and daughters of invention: notes for a revised history of technology.”
    Hammer and screw the patriarchy!

  32. Hattie

    Why can’t I make photos like that. Perfect composition.

  33. Frannyvida

    Thanks to HuffPost article by Stephen C. Rose was introduced to Twisty. Hungry for more and now in my favorites. Thanks Twisty.

  34. sonia


    because men are evil alien pod torture devices with html condescension scripts running in their robotic android “brains.”

    the takeover is almost complete.

  35. CassieC


    I’ll get the name of the toy for you tomorrow, on this thread. It’s at home and I’m at work now.

  36. speedbudget

    I think the reason they don’t like us touching their tools is an irrational, prehistoric fear they carry that our lady germs will render their tools useless.

  37. K

    How come I never get good stories like these? Just yesterday I was in Best Buy choosing a blender for my parents for Christmas, and I asked the burly sales guy how many cups were in a liter, because one blender gave the pitcher size in liters and the other gave it in cups. He said, “Hmm, that’s a tough one; I don’t really know,” and bustled around until he found out that there are 4.2 cups in a liter. Helpful and non-patronizing. Or was it just because I was asking about a girly kitchen appliance?

  38. CassieC


    The truck is a detoa tool truck

  39. Hattie

    I read somewhere and am too lazy to find the link that women’s hands are dirtier than men’s. What conclusions one can draw from this information I do not know. But this certainly shows that we should keep our hands off men’s tools.

  40. Cathy

    I rarely buy tools, but have been similarly patronized while shopping for electronics and stereo equipment. Girlz can’t possibly know the diff between analog and digital receivers! I’ll never set foot in a Radio Shack again.

    Even when shopping at a kitchen appliance place, when I asked for the metal pans to catch the drips from electric burners, the snotty salesmen told me to clean the ones I had.

    Pretty soon, I’ll have boycotted nearly every place in town and will never buy anything new. I’m so sick of the condescension.

  41. Ron Sullivan

    Ah, power tools. I’ve generally got one foot edging the border of snobbery about power vs. hand tools because I did all my tree work, serious limbing included, with hand tools. My tree teacher could take a six-inch-diameter branch off a hardwood tree in under a minute with yer basic Silky(tm) pruning saw, and he showed all his students how.

    Gotta hand it to him: He has had* a very high proportion of women students. (*Present tense, really. He retires about every five years but somehow never manages to stay retired.) Teaches us right, too, none of that condescending lady-stuff.



    The day I got a Sawzall in my hands, I knew I could ROOOLLLL de VOOORRRLDT!

  42. thebewilderness

    I adorable teh reciprocating saw, because they reciprocate.

  43. Spiders

    “You just KNOW when you ask a guy a question he’s going to give you an answer appropriate for something with IQ equivalent to a tree-stump.”

    A car dealership sent me a little ladies questionaire a while back (pink of course) because they want to know what women want from a car dealership (other than the obvious thing, a car) and they want to improve their services for ladeez.
    One of the options you could tick, that you would like to see implemented, was:

    “Service reports in clear and easily-understandable language.”

    Because presumably our stupid lady brains need easier words for “brakes” and “oil”.

  44. Angiportus

    Those metal dish thingies under the burners? Line them with foil [taking care not to have it touch the coil], replace foil as needed. You’ll never have to clean (or replace) those things again. Me, I’d rather clean and re-use a lot of things than replace them, but some things just don’t clean that well. That’s what foil is for.
    I BLAM! the patriarchy.

  45. tinfoile hattie

    The only thing I INSIST on having in my care is empowerful pink cupholders. And a lipstick mirror. That’s what’s important to me. I don’t need to know anything about that ooky mechanical stuff (bats eyes).

  46. Annie Oakley

    Hm. I not only used a chain saw (well, a small electric) to clear a driveway so the men could get in, but powered it from a battery bank that lived in the back of my pickup truck. Which everyone said was impossible or dangerous or both.

    Sorry about the sentence fragment, but.

  47. atheist woman

    Perhaps some repair tools if your high heel breaks off? No, a true lady would wait for her prince to rescue her.

    Don’t blame me, blame Hollywood.

  48. thebewilderness

    If high heels came with a tool kit in the heel I might reconsider wearing them.

  49. TwissB

    Twisty Faster: rusticating – or just rusting? Can this Hill Country wonderfulness be suppressing your obstreperal lobe?

  50. noshoes

    No new Twisty post? Damn. Let me tell y’all a story about something that horrified me today: It was a rainy day here on the West Coast. I went for a wet walk on the beach and as I was returning to my vehicle, I noticed a group of seagulls raiding a trash can. These big, gorgeous birds had dragged some of the garbage into the street and were picking at the wrappers in the center of a four-way stop intersection steps away from where I was parked. Suddenly two young male idiots in a purple Scion appeared and actually accelerated through their stop sign in an attempt to run over the seagulls. Happily the seagulls flew away in the proverbial nick of time. I was agape, speechless, agog; pick an adjective. Do only male humans think it “fun” to murder animals for “sport?” These birds were doing nothing but minding their own damn business. The trolls in the Scion certainly weren’t going to eat a seagull they’d just killed, had the seagulls been less lucky. This incident occupied my thoughts all day. If the trolls had killed a seagull (or two) and stopped to inspect their handiwork, how could I have possibly restrained myself from pulling a troll (or two) out of said Scion and kicking troll-ass? Would I go to jail? Would they? All of your thoughts, please.

  51. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Noshoes, I’d pin a medal of honor on you, and name a feast day after you. As for the trolls, I’d sentence them to many, many hours of community service cleaning poop at the dog park. Bare-handed, sans tools. Then I’d march ’em up & down yonder intersection wearing sandwich boards proclaiming “I AM A WORTHLESS WUSS WHO HURTS HARMLESS CREATURES”.

  52. sonia

    I’ve opened my mouth about stuff like that all too often. then you just become part of the fun- fighting or ridiculing “stupid bitch” for the supreme right to torture and wreak havoc. seriously, it adds to their good time.

    hm. it would be so unfortunate if they busted a flat trying to get out of that parking lot.

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