The Lawnmower Saga

It seems like this blog has gotten a bit lame because it's all horoscopes all the time, which is due to a combination of my tiny attention span and the miniature episodes that happen in my life.  I've been trying to think of something else to write about, but all I have is this long lawnmower saga that  I’ve mentioned, but here it is, in it’s completeness.  I'm so sorry.  It's all I've got.

Earlier this spring, I spent four hours, or possibly forty, attempting to start my lawnmower.  Trying all of the things that I could do with potions and sprays, like using starter fluid, and replacing the gas, and buying “mechanic in a can,” (which, by the way, caused the woman at the hardware store to say, “Wow.  Cool.  You mean I didn’t have to get married?  Come back and tell me if it works!”)

But nothing worked, so that woman is still married, and all this effort was spread over several weeks.  Meanwhile, the grass kept growing.  I eventually realized I needed to take it in to the very kind but quirky small engine repairman who fixed it last time.

But the truck was full of compost, so I had to spread that around the gardens first, but first I had to weed them, and then the truck didn’t start, so I had to jump it and drive it around while it charged, and then I eventually moved all the compost, and then waited til someone was around to help me load the lawnmower, and while all this was going on, I had to go to the coffee house every day to see if I could find Lawnmower Guy.  He doesn’t have a sign or a business card or anything; you just have to bump into him.

Meanwhile, the lawn continued to grow, creating nice habitat for Jeffrey and his babies.  (Who says a family is one boy rabbit, one girl rabbit?  We in Washington celebrate all kinds of loving partnerships.)  But I never saw Lawnmower Guy.

Eventually, everything else came together, so I decided to take it to the other guy, the one who has an actual sign and a phone number, the guy who lives about two houses away from Lawnmower Man.  He was pretty creepy in the way of having lots of pinup girls in his shop and an NRA sticker on the door and other things that are supposed to look patriotic but really just make a person look angry.  But he took the lawnmower, and called me a few days later to say I could pick it up for $100, cash only, which seems steep, but whatever, sometimes you have to throw money at your problems and not think too hard about it.  So I went  to pick it up, and even though it was only 3 days later, he looked at me blankly, and said,


I told him I was there for my lawnmower, and he gave that kind of creepy up-down checkout look and made a comment that made me uncomfortable, but I handed him a wad of $5 bills, not to be passive aggressive, but because that’s what I had, and we loaded the lawnmower and I drove away.

Anyway, every day after that, I ran into Lawnmower Man.  Three weeks, I didn't see him once, then I started seeing him every day.  One day, I was drinking coffee with a friend, and he walked in and I waved hello, and it reminded me to tell this long and tedious story, which is really becoming one more of my disabilities, right?  Like, why do I keep telling this story?  Is there treatment for this?

But it's what our life is composed of.  Lots of long and tedious stories that have a few interesting human connection parts to them.  I'll pretty much sift through anything to find those little human bits.  Oh, how I love the humans.  So I told my friend the story, blah blah blah.

Skip ahead a week, and I was once again sitting in the coffee house (does it sound like that’s all I do?), and Lawnmower Man entered, saw me, and walked over to my table.

“Betsy, we need to talk about something.  Is it okay if I sit down?”

“Sure,” I said, smiling.  “Have a seat.”

“Wow, I’m really disarmed by your smile.  Give me a minute.”  I didn’t add that detail to suggest that I have an amazing smile or something, which I don’t – it's pretty average: a few teeth, an upturned mouth, etc – but rather, to round out the picture of Lawnmower Man.  (WAIT:  I just reread that and it sounds like I only have a few teeth.  What I meant is, it's a typical smile that reveals a few teeth.  Sheesh.  It's not like I'm some toothless cat lady or something.  I have many teeth, people!  Toothlessness is not one of my problems.)

So he sat down and composed himself for a minute while I waited, and then said, “So, last week, you were in here with a young woman, and I got the impression that you were talking about me.”

I felt pretty embarrassed, because he’s a super nice guy and had apparently been wondering for a week whether I was talking about him, so I had to tell my whole long story (I know!  Do you see my point?  I'm stuck, telling this stupid story over and over in which literally nothing happens.)  I told him that I had hoped to bring it to him but didn’t bump into him, so I had to go to the creepy guy down the street.

“Would you say he’s creepy in a sexual way?”

Right?  How do you even answer that?  And is it appropriate to go into it?  Like, should I explain, "I appreciate the female body as much as anyone, but I prefer not to see  women in skimpy leather thongs posed with Stihl chainsaws."  So I was silent, which I think says, "Yeah.  Creepy in a sexual way."  (Are there other ways to be creepy?  Like in a ghostly way?)

Anyway, he decided I should have his phone number in my phone to avoid this issue in the future, but rather than just saying it aloud, he leaned in, looked around furitively, and in a very quiet voice said, “Old prefix, eleven sixteen.”  (Although I changed the eleven sixteen part for the obvious reason.)

Did anyone else love that movie, Lars and the Real Girl as much as I did?

(You could choose to be grateful, if you're so inclined, that I stopped myself from recounting the lawn-cutting itself, which only took about 11 hours due to the length and wetness of the grass.)


  1. I'm always seeing people saying they ruined their keyboards by spraying coffee/tea/wine/whatever due to uncontrollable guffawing over the funny parts of blog posts but I never do... so tonight I was on the last mouthful of my coffee when I hit your TEETH comment, and sister, I have to say that this was a 'please let me be able to swallow this liquid before I choke/spray/snort it everywhere' eyes-squinched-tight kind of laugh .. Ya done good :)

    And the rest was non too shabby either :)

    I really think you should post about the lawn-cutting, too. If the spirit moves you.

    1. Oh, yay. It i s good to have laughter. But don't spit on the keyboard! I learned that the $1,100 way this winter....

      I don't think I should let that writing about lawn-cutting spirit move me. That is for sure.

  2. So as I'm reading this post, your comment dings into my e-mail and once again I think, Fucking Fate. Whatever. I do give a shit, I can't help it.
    I just finished watching a movie which is about the most basic movie concerning humans I can imagine (I'll probably talk about it tomorrow when I've slept on it and let my emotions die down) and then I get your comment about humans and oh hell, Betsy.
    Grass and lawnmowers and the men who fix them and well, it's late here. I'm going to bed. I hope you sleep well.
    Love from me...Mary

    1. I know! Now I have to go watch that movie. On the list. Love to you too!

  3. Something tells me you could write about trimming your nails and it would be fascinating.

    1. Now that is a generous comment, Delores. Tres generous. Thank you.


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