Toward the end of last year I decided it would be nice to kick off 2017 with a brand new hobby. The difficulty of this task was to find a hobby I hadn’t explored yet. I have so many. Board games, record collection, recreational arc welding. What was there left to hobby? One night, while I was cleaning my oven with a noxious fume cleaner, I had a vision.
My grandpappy was a whittlin’ man. I have fond memories of him sitting on his porch in the summer months, pitcher of lemonade at the ready, scraping away at stick after stick after stick.
Furthermore, Pappy left me his whittlin’ knife when he passed. Since I knew where the knife was, kept in a special drawer of mementos in my bedroom, and since I keep a small box of spare lumber in my basement, there was no time like the present to get started. With a good plank ‘o wood I went out to my porch, even though it was dark, flipped open Pappy’s knife and began to whittle.
I was surprised by a few things. First off, I didn’t realize how painful whittlin’ was. Secondly, I was shocked to find the wood I was carving away at had a bone white center. This is when the noxious fumes wore off and I realized I had been whittling into my own arm. Three surgeries and a transfusion later, I was good to go and ready to try again. On my second stab at whittlin’ I found it was a strangely hypnotic and soothing experience.
I did the rookie standard of making a pointy stick. I soon realized a nice side job would be selling these. I set up an Etsy shop and began offering “Artisanal Dead Body Poking Sticks.” I promoted my sticks as sourced from local, sustainable forests outside of Asheville, and I was shocked to see at how many people were interested in handcrafted poking sticks for wayward cadavers. With the money generated from my stick empire, I soon began exploring other options for my whittlin’ ways.
Friends started leaving large amounts of spare wood on my porch, my mind went wild. I began to whittle bathtubs, bassinets, bonnets, beehives, and even Barry White statues. Now not everything I’ve made has been a bestseller–those sticks are my bread and butter–but you’d be surprised how a hand whittled bathtub can impress a loved one–and sometimes get you a commission! I even got a tweet liked by that demigod of woodworking, Nick Offerman. 2017 is going to bring much joy to one and all–and bags full of sawdust for my trash collectors. See you next week.