The Definitive Guide to the Axe Handle Measurements

To the members of the Stationary Engine List, the term FATG has long been used for tractor owners. Fat Assed Tractor Guys is the correct term, because it is well known that tractor owners, possibly due to the fact that they spend much time with their posterior resting in the seat of the aforementioned vehicle, are more likely to have wider rear proportions than those of Engine Guys. The correct unit of measurement for this part of the human body is the axe handle, the reasons for which are full explained here by Ron Carroll, alias Maytag Twin:

"I am a little taken back that you don't already have the basic unit of
measurement for backsides firmly in mind. In outhouse building, it was
always important to design an outhouse that would comfortably seat any member
of the family. Rather than embarrass members who had ponderously large
backsides by referencing them as three feet wide, or four feet wide, the
linear dimensions were translated into units known as "axehandles." One
builder might then say to another, down in the tavern, "You wouldn't believe
it, I had a huge one today." And, then would go on to say it was two
axehandles wide. This professional use of the term served to disguise both
the actual size and exactly what was being measured, discussed, etc.

I fear the term has become archaic, and understood by few. Once, in the 60's
I had occasion to design and build some outhouses at a University of Michigan
summer camp. In an attempt to be historically correct, and have a little
fun, I set my crew out to take measurements and record them in axehandle
units. Good thing today's politically correct speech hadn't kicked in, or I
would have been looking for other work. As it was, most being measured were
amused, and only a few expressed indignation."

So what happens when an Engine Man goes over to the Dark Side?

Sadly, all can be revealed with these short movie clips.


Expansion 1 (133KB .avi file)
Expansion 2 (127KB .avi file)
Expansion 1 (204KB .mpg file)
Expansion 2 (666KB .mpg file)*
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* Do YOU believe in coincidence? Just look at the size of that file!



© Dolly French 2003