Why is it great? Even without context, this line is tremendous. Playfully riffing off Chekhov’s rule that if you introduce a gun in the first act, it absolutely must go off by the third, Solomon transforms a prosaic garden implement into something ominous, sinister. But with context, watch out: The sentence comes deep in Solomon’s piece on a veterinary pathologist in Alaska who spends her days hacking up the bodies of diseased wild animals. We’ve already witnessed autopsies of the cuddly-meets-macabre variety, and this line catapults us into Coen-Brothers-circa-“Fargo” territory: funny and queasy-making at the same time.

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