"An Axe for Beardo". That is the title of today's tale. I met Beardo one day whilst visiting a shop owned by my sister, he let us know he was looking for an axe, he said he "wanted one for camping". He was a young man, also big and tall, also bald and with a beard/mustache like Bluto in the Popeye comics strip of yesteryear. I, blinded by my love and enthusiasm for tools became instantly eager to help this poor axe-less soul which fate had dropped in my lap. I told him I had piles of axes and axe-heads etc. laying around at my home and he was welcome to come over and pick one out. I got his phone number and called him a day or so later and he was to come over in about three hours. With three hours to kill I figured I, with my supreme knowledge of tools and axes etc. could find just the thing this young man needed, and after a fashion I did. I figured for camping something between a full-sized axe and a hatchet is what was needed, and I happen to have a smaller size axe-head laying on the floor close to the entrance of my garage. I had to work to get the remains of it's old broken-off handle out of it. Once that was done I dumped a box of old-stock axe handles onto the floor and sorted through them to find one that was a good fit in the eye of this axe head, a nice straight handle that had been waiting it's day for a half-century. I split a piece of wood out of part of another old broken handle to make a wedge out of, and split it to the right dimensions, then put it on a belt-sander to taper it into the right shape. The head went on the handle, the wedge went in and I sawed the excess off the top and filed it a bit to make it look pretty. Next I took a nice file and put a new edge on the axe. I walked back to a tree behind the house which will eventually come down and tested out my handiwork, chopping into the tree quite a bit, the head stayed tight and the axe worked and felt great in use. Now all I had to do was wait for Beardo to show up and fall in love. He did pull up in due time and the axe was leaning against the garage waiting for him. He gave it a quick look over but was much more eager to see what other axe heads and axes and handles etc. I had layng around. So began the process of dragging out everything I had in the garage stuck in this corner and that for him to peruse. He decided he needed one each of a hatchet, and also full-size single and double-bit axes, and he picked out some nice examples of each. Great, now it was time to talk money. I thought $45 was more than fair for three vintage, quality edged tools, but he was not happy with that, maybe he had spent all his money on the brand-new, full-size Toyota SUV and it's custom paint and wheels which he had driven to my house. He low-balled me on the price and I haggled and agreed to $35, a gift to a stranger, as had been my labor that morning putting the axe together he wanted nothing to do with. He then informed me that he had but $7 cash in his wallet !?! He wanted the hatchet for that, and said he would stop back in a day or so with the rest of the money for the two axes. "Sure", I said numbly, now just curious at how much more ridiculous things could get. At that he skipped back to his blacked-out SUV and rumbled away. Never heard from him again.