Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mower Headlights

That's what I'm going to install, lawn mower headlights. Because, after all, the rows are hard to see after dark and you can never rely on the street lamps for light.

Since the sun sets in the front of the house, the heat is intense by the time I get home from work. I waited until 7:00 but then the thunder storms came. It doesn't seem the course of prudence to be chopping the grass with a machine running by spark plug and a long metal handle serving as lightening rod. So I waited. The rain never came.

Eric usually cuts the grass but since his accident, it's grown so long I'm going to have to use a sickle to hack it down. I began my first row but before I could reach the end the mower coughed and sputtered, then stopped. At the end of every row I emptied the grass catcher. This is going to take a long time.

I ran out of gas. A trip to the gas station and back but now the light has left me. This is taking forever. I've been out here for two hours now. My lawn is so huge I swear it grows another inch by the time I finish mowing. I'm making circular patterns so that I don't have to stop at the end of the rows. Besides it looks cool.

Wait, what happened to my handle? It's loose. No, it's coming apart. It's missing the screw. Where is that bolt? I can hardly see out here. Here I"m feeling around the grass in the last swath of lawn behind me. Here is the knob, where is the bolt? Never mind. Let me find another one in my little shop downstairs. Here's one that will work. It's the bolt from a toilet. Back to the lawn.

Each time I filled up the wheelbarrow I ran it down the hill to the back of the house. I can't even count the number of trips I took. This is getting old. Meanwhile I re-start the mower when I get back.

My neighbors have come home late from work, their headlights shine over the stripes in my lawn and reveal rows that look like a corn field. I wonder what time it is?

The porch light shines on a third of the lawn and the street lamp blinks on and off, like a street lamp in the red light district. Will this lawn ever end?

Finally I make my final pass across the grass to neaten the rows. I come in and drink a gallon of water. I glance at the time. It's 10:00!

I'm just fortunate no neighbor came out with a shotgun! After all, in Kennesaw it's actually a law that everyone own one.

A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule. -Michael Pollan