It’s a Necessarily Horrible Early-19th C. Hand-Cranked Skull Saw!

It’s a Necessarily Horrible Early-19th C. Hand-Cranked Skull Saw! September 11, 2009


In the astonishingly competitive contest that yesterday raged across the internet as thousands hundreds tens of readers furiously vying for a free autographed copy of my book I’m OK–You’re Not hurt their heads trying to guess what this thing is even though after a while I could see nobody was ever going to get it so finally I had to post as a clue this thing which amazingly enough didn’t seem to help anyone at all until I finally just came out and told everyone to do a Google image search for “medical bellows,” we have a tie!

Now, technically we actually don’t have a tie. At 3:46 p.m. yesterday “Julia” sent in but two words: “skull saw.” A seriously lagging eight minutes later Mark Lattimore submitted the guess “hand cranked skull saw.” To his guess Mr. Lattimore added, “C’mon the skull is made up of bone and I guessed bone saw yesterday.”

For reasons I delineated to one Mr. Snarky Pants in the (as of right now) final comment section of Guess What This Thing Is and Win an Inscribed, Autographed Book!, I did not think that Mr. Lattimore’s first guess qualified as a winner. Still, I like Mr. Lattimore; in the past he has left many an excellent comment on my blog. And I understand the case for equating “bone” with “skull.” I am sure that encouraging me to make that connection is why so often in my life someone or other is moved to call me “bonehead.”

I have decided to award both Julia and Mr. Lattimore a copy of my book. Congratulations to you both! Please email me (at johnshore [@] as to where you’d like your book sent and how you’d like it inscribed, and I’ll get it out to you just as soon as I venture out to the local post office, which means I’ll have to groom or at least get dressed so if I were you I wouldn’t exactly set up camp near your mailbox. Next week, though.

Any other of you losers kind readers who would also like an autographed and inscribed copy of I’m OK have but to send me $11.99, which you can either mail me or zip into my PayPal account (the button to which you can find beneath the “Help Me Not Have To Get a Real Job” tile on in the column to the right). For a paltry $3.99 you can download the e-book.

And now, hand in hand, let us stroll down Deranged Memory Lane, and see what yesterday some of my readers offered as guesses for what the Oldy Tyme skull saw is:

paint mixer

film rolling thingy

bicycle chain holder

date stamp

labeling machine

tooth remover


cane juicer

can opener.


apple peeler


car jack


land shark

low-carbon emitting chain saw

pipe cutter

ancient musical instrument

exercise device

antique kitchen tool

walnut cracker [so close!]

car steering system

car transmission

yarn or string winder

something you could kill someone with

fire starter

wine bottle opener

lawn chair

activation switch for the Omega 13

hand-mixer /egg-beater

blade sharpener


pie crust maker

coffee bean grinder

manual chainsaw

portable knife or sword sharpener

box opener

rock carving device

ancient torture mechanism

rudimentary lathe

leprechaun dancing aide

calibrated frantibulator


meat grinder

antique garden tool

prospector agitator

wood router


skin tag remover [ew]

street line painter

unicycle prototype

mini butter churner

paper cutter

book binder

nosehair trimmer

green bean julianner

an old-fashioned way to tone up your stomach

thooth gwinder

thooth gwinder for horses

beak trimmer for chickens

toe nail trimmer for dogs

spool threader

dead body dismantler

first generation pizza slicer

conversation starter

poison ivy scratcher

reason to never read this blog again

prayer and meditation device

Brazilian night head gear

Leather Face’s lipstick

lamp that’s not plugged in

intro to algebra text book

olive pitter

jar opener

leather cutter

denture maker

abstract art

bicycle chain replacer

grass cutter


window screen fixeice cutter

flint sparker

hair trimmer

nail file

time waster

Thanks to all who guessed. And thank you, especially, for bringing me so much humor on this day, of all days. Much love.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Matthew: BUMMER FOR YOU! But, as you graciously say, great for me, since it means I got to see all these awesome if often disturbing responses.

    Wickle: Yeah, not so much. (But "agitator"! The best.)

  • Latoya

    John, thank you for this recap…it had me laughing from start to finish! When you compare each guess with the actual answer, its just crazy funny!

  • I saw that webpage a month or so ago with all the odd and disturbing medical equipment. I knew exactly what that thing was. Bummer I didn’t follow your feed yesterday.

    Or perhaps good, because an early answer wouldn’t have been half so much fun.

  • You know, I actually thought that I’d made a serious guess in there … looking at the list, maybe not so much.

    (Oh! There it is! The agitator!)

    Yes, Matthew, thanks for not spoiling it for us losers.

  • Latoya: Yeah, collecting them all like that was a fair amount of work, but I knew once I did the results would be fantastic. And they really are. Thanks for noticing.

  • John,

    I knew it is something that oe can never use to shave beards and I do agree with Latoya the recap is totally hilarious. I couldn't help laughing and was in a cybercafe full of people. All the losers like me have really made my evening.These ones had me totally cracked up…

    – something you could kill someone with

    – reason to never read this blog again

    – prayer and meditation device

    – Brazilian night head gear

    – intro to algebra text book

    – time waster

    – conversation starter