Lawnmower blues

Weather-wise, yesterday was a perfect day if you enjoyed being ridiculously hot and sweaty. It was even more perfect for folks like that who liked to feel that way while doing yard work.

I am not one of those people, but that’s what I was doing anyway. I dragged the mower out of the garage, admittedly a couple weeks after when I really should have to begin with. I checked the oil, seemed fine. I filled the gas tank, and fired her up. She started on the third pull, which is about par for the course (my lawn mower is apparently a par 3).

Around the edges of my yard is a bunch of brush and poison Ivy and I’ve had just about enough of that. (I just finished a 6 day prednisone routine to get rid of the poison ivy that’d attacked me already this year!). So, I took the mower once or twice around the little semi-circle driveway, and then plowed straight into the brush. It tore through that crap with eager reckless abandon. The path is nice a trim now.

Mo (my lawn mowers new nickname for the sake of convenience) and I buzzed around the yard a bit, and I noticed the brush and brambles along the edge of the lake growing in closer to my kid’s play structures. The structure in question is a big plastic castle with a little slide, and realistically, I could have just muscled it out of the way, but that’s my yard, and by god, I’m taking it back. I gave Mo a little lift, and dropped her down in the brambles and god knows what else. She gave it hell. I successfully mowed things up to just shy of two inches thick, a couple wiffleballs and a Frisbee.

Suddenly, about halfway through the endeavor, Mo called it quits. I promptly jumped to the worst possible conclusion: I’d killed her. This is what happened to a mower of mine two years prior. Just quit! We had a mechanic friend who used to repair them take a look, but still no good. I’d purchased a replacement, and had it for a year, until I hit something unyielding and bent the shaft last year. Mo was a replacement for that one.

I checked the oil again, made sure we had gas, and decided I’d pushed her too hard, and she overheated. I was frustrated that my lawn had a three foot stripe down the middle of it, and there were still brambles around my little princess’s castle, but I couldn’t deny that I was hot and could use a cool down myself.

I returned a couple hours later, thinking ‘Ol Mo would just crank up. No such luck. Fearing the worst, I called the 800 number on the sticker. The thing was less than a year, so I knew there was some kind of warranty. We stepped through a couple of troubleshooting ideas, checked the gas? Yes… Checked the Oil? Yes… Checked the spark plug? Why would there be a problem with the spark plug, it ran find for almost an hour? The tech agreed… Long story a little shorter: I got it registered, was allowed to estimate a purchase date of August 15th last year, and got the number and address of a local repair shop. With one last disguised glance at my lawn and its lopsided mohawk, I retired to the house for a beverage.

A short time later, a friend of mine came by, and I recounted my misfortune to him. He’s mechanically inclined, and has a bit more skill than I, so he asked to go take a look. I said sure, I’ll meet you out there in a sec.

I got out there just in time to see him yank the cord, and Mo fired up, first try! (What’s that, an Eagle? Not the most avid golfer here… in fact, I’ve never gone at all).

Dumbfounded, I questioned what the crap he’d done… He mentioned, while trying not to laugh too much, that on his short walk over, he’d noticed that the silly spark plug wire had fallen off the end of the plug.

This was me:

Naturally, today it rained, and tomorrow it’s supposed to rain again. At this rate, the lawn will be five feet tall, and the brambles will be carnivorous by the time I get to mow again.

And now I’m out of beer too.

I can’t wait for winter.


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