Bark vs. Bite


Can’t say I didn’t warn ya.

See the tree
See the tree fall
See the tree fall on Good2begone’s head.

In AA, we are taught to pray for others. Think of others before thinking of yourself. A lifetime of selfishness can be chipped away with this simple tool.

But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

The picture above is the tree that almost killed me…..I know….I know sounds dramatic, but truth is stranger than fiction.

Halloween 2010.

It was a sunny Saturday. My wife and kids went out of town for the day. I opted to work. Extra money always helps out and my boss had a tree job we had to do.

I was about 2 years into sobriety. I had worked the steps to the best (half measured) of my ability.

Today I chose to put the power of prayer to its test.

Before taking this picture I said a short prayer.

“God…please keep my boss safe during this monster of a tree job. Thanks….oh yeah and I guess, amen”

Then I climbed the ladder and asked what he needed me to do.

To my utter shock and surprise he said,

“This ones yours champ.” And he hands me the chainsaw.

“Dude…are you high?” I said knowing he had been sober 4 years longer than I. “This tree is huge. I’m not ready for this.”

He replied, “Nonsense. We have it roped off and chained to my truck in the alley. When it starts to go I will gun the truck and pull it away from the house. Piece of cake….dude.” And he slaps me on the back and gets off the roof.

“Well hell, if he says Im ready then I must be.”

And I pull the cord on the saw bringing it to life.

I couldn’t get the full tree in the camera shot. It extended another 25 feet above.

I put chain to bark and started ripping through the tree. A little more than halfway through I heard a snap.

And then the gun of an engine.

The chainsaw got stuck in the tree.

I let go.

Then realized I was stuck in a valley of the roof covered in sawdust. Anywhere I went, I knew I would slip. So I stepped back. Then heard the sound of a bomb going off.


It wasn’t a bomb. It was the tree. It was so top heavy that it split again when he pulled the truck forward. It had nowhere to go but down.

Where I was.

It smashed into my head and into the roof.

Creating a large crater and busting 2 ceiling rafters.

And split my cranium open.

Neighbors from a block away heard the crash and rushed over. My boss was yelling.


Without missing a beat I reply,

“Yeah, I’m fine except for this gash in my head that’s spewing blood.”

I get off the roof and rush to the hospital.

28 staples later I was allowed to leave. Much to my surprise I wasn’t able to go to work for a while.

Don’t I look sweet?


I call my sponsor and tell him the story. I said,

“Look, I don’t think I like this praying for others deal. I mean…..ok so I got my prayer answered but….LOOK AT MY HEAD.”

He thought for a minute and replied,

“Maybe, god wants you to get another job….”

I answered.

“You’re telling me he was out of burning bushes so he decided to slap me with a tree to get his point across. Whatever.”

I called someone else I knew in sobriety and told him the story. He replied,

“Bad things happen all the time. God is not out to get you. You got hurt. Maybe the reason you didn’t die from that tree is because God WAS watching over you.”


Bottom line-

My belief in a higher power was not shaken….it was strengthened.

I keep praying for others.

The other man I called became my new sponsor, and took me through the steps completely and honestly.

Sobriety and spirituality continues.

Oh yeah,

6 months later I blacked out from on top of a 12 foot ladder with a running pole saw in my hands.

Unconscious for over 20 minutes.

Another head injury and hospital trip.

Shortly after I did get another job.

Not a suggestion from God or my sponsor.

A pleading demand from my wife.

Her bark is much worse than the trees bite.


6 thoughts on “Bark vs. Bite

  1. What a fantastic post. Great story telling, as per usual, and a great message underneath it. And even better because i’m heavy duty into sponsor recognition of late and just posted a post about this today myself. Thanks!

  2. OUCH. Nice pic…nasty damage. But I do love what your new sponsor said about God watching out for you. We pray, and see it from a different light than what is actually going on. I am guilty of that all the time…disease of perception. Like Al said, the story telling is awesome as usual – loved this and where you took it. Funny and poignant.

    I haven’t seen my sponsor in a week – time to fit a meeting in with him!

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