Tuesday, July 21, 2009


......Another newspaper column from "The Mayor" of Pittsview. ENJOY!
Modern-Day ‘Yard Mules' Make Nice Guys Maniacs

Lawnmowers can make grown men completely lose their cool. Big-hearted, gentle, easy-going men have been reduced to red-faced, cussing maniacs on Saturday mornings all over this country.
Lawnmowers have brought wives scurrying outside to remove children from the presence of their father.
One little boy who was allowed to hang around too long burned his grandmother’s ears one day. “When I get big enough to cut the grass,” he chirped, “I can use words like @#%$ and &*^! …That’s what my daddy says when he is trying to start the lawnmower.”
And remember the news story about the man who shot his lawnmower? The police called to investigate gunshots in a residential neighborhood, found nobody around at the address given. But in the middle of the driveway was a dead lawnmower, shot full of holes, oozing a puddle of oil onto the pavement.
In the house was a big, husky fellow all scrunched down in his chair. His eyes were glazed, but he was smiling. On the table was an empty pistol…a wisp of blue smoke rising from the barrel.
Like most Saturday morning grass cutters, he was a nice, normal, everyday guy. He had never been in trouble with the police and hardly ever raised his voice.
Lawnmowers are our modern-day mules. Many of us never plowed a mule, but we have heard about how stubborn, cranky, and unpredictable they are, just like some lawnmowers I have known – stubborn, cranky, and unpredictable.
Proprietors of lawnmower repair shops all seem to be happy-go-lucky, easy-going types. They must all be rich. Their shops are always jammed with broken-down lawnmowers.
You walk in and find the proprietor at a greasy desk, drinking a cold drink, talking to friends. The only person in the shop is a teen-aged boy with his hat on backwards. He is sitting on an overturned five-gallon can staring at a lawnmower. The radio is on, loud.
You walk back and untie the string holding your trunk lid down. You bruise your leg and get grass stains and grease all over your britches, not to mention a hernia, while getting the mower out of the trunk. THEN the proprietor comes out to wait on you.
“What seems to be the trouble?” he asks pleasantly. Then he reaches down and pulls ever so lightly on the starter cord.
In the last few days you have yanked the cord at least 397 times, and that sulking monster never even pooped. Now it not only starts with one pull; it purrs like a kitten. “Well, what’s wrong with it?” asks the mechanic.
The proprietor finally consents to “take a look at it”.
“Check back with us in two weeks,” he tells you.
TWO WEEKS! Your grass is too high to cut now! In two weeks Tarzan and the apes will have moved into your yard.

One fellow with an old riding lawnmower had no trouble starting it, but it would only run wide open. He found where a part was broken on the carburetor that made it either cut off completely or wind up to full throttle.
He fiddled with it for a while, but it revved up so fast the whole machine vibrated all over. By next Saturday, the grass would be impossible. He decided to give it a try, jumped on, and slammed it in forward gear. The front wheels came off the ground, the back wheels slung dirt and grass out the back, and man and mower took off with a roar.
His hat flew off as he came into the first turn, but he had no time to worry about that. He barely made the turn on two wheels and roared down the straightaway on the back side of his lawn. With a half smile on his face, he was zooming along in good shape now.
Up ahead was the morning newspaper. He was on it and over it quickly leaving a thousand bits of paper in his path.
Leaning into the next turn like a professional race car driver, he saw the rake ahead, half-hidden in the tall grass.
To late – BLAM, WHAM! The handle was in splinters. His wife’s new rosebush was mulched quickly and silently as he careened around another turn and into the straightaway again.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw his wife standing on the porch, eyes agog, mouth open. No time to think about her, either, with another turn coming up. His hat was chewed up that time.
Now his wife was running across the yard waving her arms. He reached under the seat to cut the switch off. “Something the matter?” he asked as he smoothed his hair and got off the mower.
“Have you gone completely crazy?” she asked. “You are going to kill yourself…and just look at the yard!”
He had a strange gleam in his eye as he explained the problem to her, stating that he was going to cut the grass. She stared at him for a long time, then threw up her hands and went back to the house.
Surveying his track as Joey Chitwood, the stunt driver, might do before a big event, he cranked her up and took off again. He was getting this grass cut in record time.
But the vibrations of the wildly racing machine began to take it toll. First the cover over the motor flew off. Then it was the air filter. As he zoomed around the yard he noticed more and more parts lying on the ground each time around. Finally, a bolt in the steering column sheared off just as he went into a turn.
Barely missing a tree, the mower plowed into the woodpile, covering the man and his machine with logs. The mower died then and there, never to run again. The man limped away without looking back, bruised but not beaten.
Lawnmowers – balky, stubborn, mule-headed contraptions. I hope they didn’t arrest the guy that shot his…they ought to give him a medal. We ought to take up a collection for him so he can have it stuffed and hang it over his mantelpiece.

(July 26, 1984, - the East Alabama Today section of the Ledger Enquirer)
Have a Lovely Day!

1 comment:

  1. Good humor. Can't find that in many places...