Now that I’m off for the summer, I’ve pretty much taken over general yard maintenance. That way, Paul can spend his weekends and evenings teaching me to play Counterstrike and having water gun fights with the kids instead of running the mower. Besides, it gives me a chance to turn my music up too loud and let my mind wander while I cut whimsical patterns into the lawn.
*Is there a way to mow the lawn without getting covered head to toe in wet grass and chopped up bug pieces and weed juice? If so, I must be doing it wrong.
*The weed whacker has awakened the destroyer in me. I love the roar of the motor, the smell of the gasoline, and the way rogue weeds fall before its whirling blade like so many tiny felled trees crashing to the forest floor. I can hear the spiders screaming, and… I like it.
*Note to self: combustion engines are hot. I figured that out when I burned my finger on the lawnmower motor casing as I was brushing off the loose grass. A smarter person would only have done it once.
*I remember when I used to moon and sigh and wax poetic over the first sunshine yellow dandelion of spring. No more. They are from the bad place.
*About halfway through cutting the grass, I always start sneezing. I don’t have bad allergies, but inhaling half the lawn seems to set them off. I suppose I could wear a surgical mask, but it would totally clash with my yard work outfit. Which brings me to my next point:
*I have an outfit I wear for doing yard work. Paul’s old black jeans, covered with paint and held up with a belt made of twine, and a day-glo orange t-shirt . People driving by on the street often elbow their friends and gesture at me to point out how cool I look.
*If the cap pops off of the oil tank of the mower, and hot oil comes spewing up out of the hole and raining down on you in a geyser that would make the Beverly Hillbillies jealous, don’t just cock your head and stare at it like a troubled Lhasa Apso. Let go of the starting lever, so the engine will stop. Another valuable lesson, learned at the cost of a grey v-neck t-shirt and a pair of workout shorts (hence the need for a yard work outfit). I’m passing it on to you for free.
*Every time I mow the lawn, I have to pick off at least one or two tiny bugs that are crawling on me. I like to imagine that they are the warrior heroes of an epic bug movie, on a kamikaze mission to stop the giant Doom Engine and its evil operator from destroying the home of their forefathers. Of course, it’s not a happy ending kind of movie. Not if you’re a bug, anyway.