Rather than make the trip into town and workout at the Y, I decided to grab the push mower and do the whole yard in one afternoon, starting in the heat of the day. Now there’s a good total body workout if I ever saw one! Ungodly heat, a push mower, and a yard that is inhabited by three hole digging, limb toting, poop dropping dogs. On top of this were the remnants of the dead tree, and all its assorted smaller pieces, suitable for projectiles. Two weeks worth of slacking off and daily rain made parts of it look like Lindsey Lohan’s hair after a hard night. I was sober, yes, why do you ask?
The push mower in an ancient device that I bought for a hundred bucks about seven years ago and it shows its age, too. The carburetor is controlled by a piece of bailing wire that I twist to the right when I want the engine to rev up. The flap on the back is missing, so I have to wear safety glasses when I mow. The last time I didn’t I got pegged in the eye by a stick and was blind in my right eye for two days. I got to wear a patch and say, ARRRRR! But that didn’t really make up for the pain. One thing about push mowers is you cannot kill them, even if they can kill you.
The mower cranked on the first pull and it looked like an easy day. Well, if you count pushing a mower around in the heat for up to three hours easy, but the workout had begun! Bert has always had a fascination with the mower, but this time, for reasons I cannot explain, he began to follow me around. Lucas, who thought a new game had been devised, began attacking Bert. Bert, knowing I would not let Lucas pester him, began to get closer to me, and at one point they collided with me, knocking me down. So now I’m pushing a mower, and kicking at dogs, who think the kicking is a game too. Lucas grabs a shoe, with my foot in it, and knocks me down. So, I get a stick, and no, I would not hit the dogs with a stick, but they don’t know that. Yes, I could have put them all inside, but Bert rolled around in the pond as all this got started. I swear he looks like a green otter when he’s covered with mud and pond plants.
As I got the dogs settled into not helping me mow, now I’m pushing a mower and carrying a stick, and no, I would not hit the dogs with a stick, but they don’t know that, and suddenly the heavens open up and it begins to rain. Not a simple shower, this is a Gulf Gusher type leak and before I can think about what to do next, the mower dies on me anyway. It’s the bailing wire, and it’s bailed on me, so now I have to rewire the thing. I clean the air filer while I’m at it and the rain stop as I pull the rope again. The sun comes out, and now the temperature is back to the mid nineties, and the humidity is so bad my safety glasses fog up. Good thing I have a stick because I am almost blind. The foggy glasses makes it seems like I’m some sort of exotic bird. I have to cran my neck up to see under the glasses and then down again to mow. Since I can’t see much I ram the stick into a tree and because I have it situated over the handle of the mower, it twists out of my hands, causing me to let go of the handle which shuts the mower off. I put the stick down and Lucas, who must have seen this coming, streaks in and steals the stick, and runs for the woods.
I get the stick back, get the mower running again, done the Stevie Wonder safety glasses, and all hell breaks loose. It’s got to be something weird because even Bert is losing his mind. I shut down the mower to discover Lucas nose to nose with a snapping turtle the size of a small mountain. How did this thing get into the yard? I have to shoo the dogs away from it, and put the stick down to pick it up, and of all people, Sam rushes in and grabs it. Sam is afraid it will attack me, and to him, it’s just an armadillo with short legs. But the act of grabbing causes me to drop it and suddenly the entire pack wants in on it. Remember the part about me not hitting them with the stick? That’s gone now.
I ease the turtle over the fence near the pond, and he hits the one limb in the area code, flips over, and lands head first in a stump hole. Damn, now I have to go save him, and in the meantime, the mutts are going crazy barking at the poor critter. Turtle saved, put into the pond, and the lawn has grown another inch since I started.
Now I’m mowing again, the grass is very wet, and sticky, and the mower doesn’t like it at all, but I want to do things tomorrow so I have to cut today. Bert is stalking me, Lucas is stalking him, and they’re barking at one another right behind me, but out of stick range. Remember the Wasp Wars, where victoriously, I chased the wasps away from the porch? They all relocated to some sort of refugee camp under the eaves of the house, and they see the mower as some sort of genocidal attack on their species. I ran from the point of attack, waving the stick in the air, and run headlong into Bert, and suddenly I’m face down in the grass. Lucas thinks this is fun and ambushes me.
I started mowing at four in the afternoon. I finished right at dark, four hours later. I busted my lip on the stick when Bert tripped me, I have four wasp stings, and my right wrist is sore from the fall. I was looking for a full body workout, and I sure as hell got it.