I need a mechanical nurse.
No, not a robotic medical assistant. I need someone to keep my mechanical stuff in order. Someone to fill up the mower, make sure the string trimmer has string, and to make sure they start when I’m ready.
I need an intern.
A mechanical intern. Someone to which I can delegate the chore to keep my mechanical devices in good working order.
I’ve decided that it’s not really the spring-time clean-up I hate. I hate going to the bodega, hauling out the power devices and find out
- I left the gas in the string trimmer all winter and the gas turned to maple syrup.
- I ran the trimmer out of the plastic string last fall and didn’t replace it.
- ditto #1 for the lawnmower.
I was really motivated to get the yard in shape today. So motivated, I gave up a day on the river. It’s been a crappy spring and this was the first Saturday where the weather would cooperate. I was going to attack the dead pampas grass and the neighbor’s leaves that had blown into my yard with a vengeance. You know the look. Ugly dead stuff be gone!
All that beautiful pampas grass that was a lush 4-5 feet tall during the summer died over the winter and needed to be cut back. It taunted me. Dead pampas. Is there anything more sad than dead pampas? Anything more sad than brown maple leaves curled up against the shubbery?
Yes, a dead string trimmer.
I struggled mightly to get the string trimmer started. I drained the petroleum maple syrup and filled it with the dregs of the gas left in the can – probably the equivalent of maple syrup light.
Tugging on the starter cord a elebenty bazillion times didn’t give me a hint of the tinnitus inducing whine of the two-cycle engine.
If I only had the equivalent of The Apprentice. Somebody that would help me just for the glory of try to please me. I would have barked out the order to
- get fresh gas!
- get a fresh spark plug!
- pull that starter cord!
- turn the running device over to me to do what I do best: destroy things.
Like a surgeon – I need a mechanical nurse.
#6 string! Stat!
Instead, I devoted two hours to a lost cause. The string trimmer won the morning. It would not start. It was retired back to the bodega. I took a break for lunch.
My next option was to use the hedge trimmer. It’s electric.
Simple, right? Plug and play.
Yeah, except the pampas grass is fifty yards from the nearest electric outlet. So I do my imitation of the Wichita Lineman and I drag the main line.
Yeah, I need a small vacation.
But I gave myself a small reward after the pampas grass was cut.
I burned it.
It was a glorious blaze.
In the back yard.
To hell with the “no-burn” ordinance. Forget the fact that the last time I did this, I destroyed a section of the vinyl siding on the house.
I am a rebel.
About the three trash cans… that’s about an hour’s worth of work of back-breaking work. My reward is a triple Jack and Coke and five ibuprofen. (Nancy is gone for the afternoon, I’ll hoping to be coherent before she returns.)
Not nearly as much fun or colorful as a roaring blaze, the tear inducing smoke, and crackling.
But it will have to do.
I am definitely rethinking my lawn/landscaping. I think a nice fire should do it. I’m sure that petroleum maple syrup will still burn.