(from a former life in Maryland)
Last week I decided to mow my lawn for the first time this year. Normally, this takes about ten minutes.
Let me digress.
Since I mowed hundreds and hundreds of lawns as a teenager, I now hate mowing lawns, especially my own. It’s that simple. So a couple of years ago I bought a very large, over-powered riding lawn tractor even though I have an incredibly small yard. Tim the Tool Man has nothing on me.
RARrfff! RARrfff! RARrfff!
It was with this 52-inch-wide cut lawn tractor in mind that I landscaped my lawn with gentle contours and vast areas of mulch suitable for a one shot (ten minute) lawn mowing operation. I installed a gimbal-mounted sailboat cup holder on the dashboard of the mower which allows me to sip a favorite brew while skimming very quickly across the terrified blades of grass. There’s only time to drink ONE of them. If you hurry.
The lawn tractor’s battery was dead, however. To be expected. I hooked up a charger and pulled a few weeds. Three hours later the mower cranked up smoothly. Then — ran out of gas.
The gas can was empty. When I returned from the gas station and filled the tank, I noticed the flat tire. I jacked up the mower and removed the flat tire, again visiting the same gas station, where I filled the tire to the optimal pressure…
At long last the lawn tractor was ready to tackle my yard. Thoughtfully, I decided to check the oil level, which was low. Very low. Like, as in empty, because I had drained the oil at the onset of winter. I remembered doing that. A third trip to the gas station to buy a couple quarts of oil. Finally — with a cold beer nestled in the sailboat cup holder — I plopped down in the captain-chair seat, adjusted my amber ski glasses just so, and attempted to start the engine.
The battery was dead all over again. The charger hadn’t helped. Screw that. This time, a trip to Sears, where I bought a new one.
It was almost dark when I finished mowing my ten minute lawn. But that’s okay. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have noticed the burned-out headlight. But that could wait until next week.