to Buy a New Lawnmower
I was a boy my father
to earn some extra cash
had a little
lawnmower repair shop out back in the garage. So I know a bit about
and thought he did too. Actually he did. But after
I gave up on the push mower
the purist's type with no engine at
he gave me his. My wife and I had just purchased our house
and since the yard was far from flat, pushing a 49 year old reel mower
got to be quite a chore. Now I had my very first rotary mower. And although
it seems dumb to me now
I was pretty excited.
It was some generic brand from someplace like the Andersons
mower from a generic store. I didn't care. It was fire engine red with
a 2.5 horsepower Briggs and Stratton and a bag on the back. A shiny
rear baggin' lawnmower. This kind of stuff can get a guy going
least when it's your first. Sure it was a cheap $99 store brand
it was Homeowner Rick's first foray into power tools. BRRUMM!!
The first summer or two it was fine
the novelty DID wear off when I realized it weighed like
tons. This was way back in the days before safety features that shut
off the motor when you're not mowing or stopped the blade if you weren't
pushing it. In other words
like older lawnmowers before it
was DANGEROUS! By the third summer the red paint wasn't so shiny. It
didn't run so well. I probably didn't take as good care with it as I
should. I may (or may not) have hit it with the car in the garage. Depends
who you ask. But I figure if a man can't abuse his lawnmower what CAN
he abuse? Possibly his weed whacker
but that's another story altogether.
The real big problem started when the lever that
held the bag on the back started failing. Lawnmowers vibrate a lot and
sometimes by the end of the chore the clasp would have loosened up considerably.
Eventually that very latch holding the rear bag all the grass clippings
were jettisoned into got real
sloppy. I had to keep
an eye on it and tighten the damned thing up every 10 minutes or so.
Otherwise I assumed
all hell would break loose. Little did I know
how prophetic my concern was.
One excruciatingly hot
only people living in the Midwest
or directly on the Equator
I decided I better get off my duff and mow the friggin'
grass. The charm of cutting the grass had long since turned to dreaded
even under the coolest conditions. And I had already waited
too long. In August
if you have a lawn like mine
when it hasn't
rained for a while
the weeds in the lawn get to be say
inches tall. So even though your grass
or however much there is
is turning brown and dormant
you're not so much "mowing
the grass" as "evening up the weeds". So I needed to
make the 4 inch high grass and the 18 inch weeds even with each other
at about 2 ½ inches. The lawn hadn't turned brown yet. It was
right at the cusp of dormancy
still green and in need of mowing.
I knew if the job didn't get done this day soon my yard would look like
the set of "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" complete with tumblin'
Because it was at least 900 degrees with 300% humidity I shunned modesty
on a pair of shorts, shoes and a headband. I figured at least this way
my misery might lead to a little suntan. I started the mower
took 37 yanks on the cord. Already I was sweating profusely. I mowed
behind the garage. Sweat poured off me like waterfall. I mowed the side
and front yards. I felt my shoes getting soaked with sweat. Now all
I needed to do was the dreaded backyard with it's picnic table moving
doo doo dodging
don't accidentally hit the flowers
My pulse quicken at the thought that in 20 minutes I could be home free.
But the totality of the brutally hot afternoon's karma was teetering
on disaster. I had
in my haste
disregarded the lever holding
the bag on the back of the mower.
What happened next was like a backyard simulation of the Big Bang Theory.
As soon as the bag was almost completely full of grass, dust, and weeds
faulty little lever holding the bat to the back of the rear baggin'
gave up the ghost. Immediately the bag BLEW off the
back and in one giant FFFFWWWOOOOPPP! What seemed like a BAIL OF HAY
smashed into my sweat ridden body and face. I was literally covered
head to toe in grass clippings, weeds, dust, and quite possibly doggie
doo doo. To say I was outraged is understatement X 1000. I began to
swear in languages I didn't know how to speak. "You mutha fukkin
goddamned son of a fukkin' lousy cheap ass". I was alternating
kicking and spitting on the still running
still belching debris
lawnmower from hell. I was possessed with anger and like a GIANT GODZILLA
CHIA PET I stomped and kicked and swore and spit and kicked and stomped
and swore and spit
in an effort to destroy Tokyo
mean my mower.
after it dawned on me that I could hurt myself
turned the damned thing off. Still sweating and covered with half my
backyard I heard some mumbling in the new silence of the aftermath.
I turned to my right and
in the street that runs alongside the
I saw 6 or 7 little children
none of whom could have
been over the age of eight. They all had a look of terrified wonder
on their cherubic faces. It was as if they had just witnessed something
awesomely surreal. It was a look like "We should tell mom and dad
they won't believe a six foot Godzilla Chia Pet assaulted a lawn mower."
I do believe the event forever changed the way they looked at life...perhaps
not in a good way. It was then I realized
people were trying to
raise children in this neighborhood. And they didn't deserve to see
something like this on a hot summer day in their carefree youth. I decided
then and there
YUP! It's time to go out and buy that brand new
lawnmower I'd been thinking about since April. You see
I HAD to
.for the sake of the little children.