My sister, who is awesome, said I should tell you guys about the time I set the lawnmower on fire.
That right there, folks, is called a tease. Because what ensues are my greatest lawnmowing stories. Enjoy.
My mom had a kumquat tree that grew in the field between our house and the Swart’s. That field has seen a lot of things over the years.
The tree was adult height, maybe 6 feet tall or so. She loved it. It was loaded in fruit.
Anyway – I’m mowing along, minding my own business, when the kumquat tree is gone. Leaves and kumquats littered the field. Also the mower made a loud noise.
The same thing happened to our gardenia bushes. Yes. Bushes, plural. I mowed down three of them, each the size of a 5th grader, planted along the back of the house. Each time I’d run over one, I was like “crap, now what do I do” and before I could solve the problem, I hit another one. This chain was broken, ironically, by a chain link fence I ran into. I hooked (ironically) a chain to the lawnmower and my truck to extract it.
Also, I did the same thing to our lamp post. And maybe a dogwood tree.
I once forgot to change the oil, or check the oil, in the mower for, you know, a couple of years. It caught on fire. Pretty aggressively. While I was turning around in the cul-de-sac. My mom was screaming at me, yelling for me to stop. I waved back. I thought she was just happy I was mowing the yard. Until I got really hot. Then I stopped. My shirt had caught on fire from the flames leaping off the engine. Yes.
That also happened to the John Deere. The fire catching part, not the part about my shirt or my mom. Flames were creeping out of the little shifter thing where you raised and lowered the blade. I shut it off and put the fire out with a water hose. Then I finished mowing. Crisis averted.
Once, I went through a phase of mowing in different patterns. My history teacher at school had told me that, by mowing in different patterns, the grass would grow better. So I tried all different sorts of patterns – diagonals, and straights and boxes and circles, and some weird herringbone thing. It started raining during that one, so I left and went home. The old lady from church had a perfect swastika in her yard. It was unfortunate.
As a 30 year old adult, I pressed the clutch instead of the brake and dropped the front two tires into our pond. Only the mowing deck, catching on a root, kept me from sinking it.
While in high school, I worked for a very large mowing company. I was partnered up with a guy named Kenchan, who was nuts, but that’s a different story entirely. Anyhow, one day, I hit the water main with a Toro and knocked out the water to the Pepperidge farms bakery in Lakeland. I also flooded their parking lot. The bad part was I really had to pee, but couldn’t, because they didn’t have any water. I grabbed a complementary bag of goldfish, left and went to the 7-11 and then went home. 300 workers in hair nets and white aprons stood around in the parking lot wondering what had happened.
I think that’s everything. The chamber is empty. I now pay a guy to mow my yard. It’s better for everyone.