Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Girl vs. Lawn

Recently, I have become responsible for mowing my own lawn.

This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to a lot of you. Or maybe it sounds lazy or sexist (after all, I can clean house like nobody’s business). But it is what it is... Or was. I have never had to mow the lawn before.*

It didn’t start well. It didn’t start at all, because the first thing I discovered was that the lawnmower was kaput and would take an Actual Lawnmower Repairman to fix.

Since the Home Owners Association won’t let me get a herd of goats (even a small one), I had to get my hands on a functioning lawn mower. And since an Actual Lawnmower Repairman costs money, and I am going to be the New Mower of the Lawn, I decided to get a rechargeable electric mower because it’s:

• Better for the environment
• Not dependent on my filling it with gasoline, which is icky and smelly.**

But the situation is getting dire, because the grass is now two weeks long. And I have small dogs. I’m worried I’m going to lose one of them.

Worse, I’m worried what might be taking up residence in my lawn. My suburban back yard could turn into a scene from Death in the Long Grass.

Or there could be gnomes. Or velociraptors.  This could happen:



So I look up what I want online and go to Home Depot. They have rows and rows of mowers: riding mowers with cup holders, push mowers with air conditioning... It’s a car lot of lawn mowers, but there is only ONE electric mower model in house. And it’s out of stock.

So the Home Depot Associate says: Well, I do have one in the back. It’s a return but it works perfectly well.

Me: Sold.

We get the thing in the Jeep and get it home and I call @peterthefencer to come over and help me get it back OUT of the Jeep, and then I charge it up and I read the instruction manual and I look up online How to Mow a Lawn.

Apparently there is a Great Debate over side to side mowing versus a spiral patterns. I mean a Great Debate. It’s like the Big-Endians and Little-Endians. I went with: However the heck I can manage to push it.

Because my bargain basement returned-but-working-perfectly electric rechargeable lawnmower is not self-propelled (none of them are). It’s RCM propelled.

And here’s what else I found out. My yard only LOOKS flat. That five degree slope is like freaking Everest when you’re trying to turn a lawnmower on it. Especially when one’s small stature puts one at a severe leverage disadvantage.****

The first time took me an hour and a half and a couple of breaks. There may have been pointing and laughing from the pothead teens across the street. There may have been some swearing. There may have been gnomes.
Not My Lawn

But at last it was done! It looked (mostly) great. I felt such a great sense of accomplishment!  I was high-fiving the dogs and doing a victory lap around the yard (a slow, tired victory lap).

And then I realized I was going to have to do it again the next week.

And the week after.

And twice a week in full summer. You can’t give those gnomes an inch, or they’ll encroach right back in.

I think I hear them singing their Elton John war chant right now.

Maybe I’ll clone some velociraptors to keep them out. That would take care of my home security as well. Though I suspect if the HOA objects to goats, they won’t go for genetically engineered dinosaurs, either.

But if I had velociraptors, I wouldn’t have to worry about the HOA, either.

Jurassic Security System




*Ironically, I have mown a pasture before, but that was on a tractor. Not the same thing as wielding a Toro in the suburbs.
**Mostly this last one.
****This is why I’m in equal danger from gnomes as I am velociraptors. Also, gnomes are creepy.

2 comments:

  1. Good for you that you didn't just cave and hire someone to mow the lawn for you! I've never mowed a lawn before either and, good God, I hope I never have to. :P

    Btw, my dog wore the same exact expression as the retriever in the first pic whenever he stood in our ficus hedge back in Florida. The wind would kick up and he'd be smiling ear to ear. Too funny.

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  2. We shall see. I have a nephew. Once summer really kicks in, I may see how badly he wants gas money.

    Dogs are awesome. I have had cats, but can never really warm up to their inscrutability.

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