5.11.2005

mow the GODDAMN lawn

when maggie goes out in the front yard and we can't see her legs, we know it's time to mow the lawn.

I always wanted a lawn to mow - I dreamed of cutting the grass, weeding the garden, planting new flowers...maybe I'd have little gardening clogs from land's end. and bella and I would have matching gloves. and I'd teach trent how to mow the lawn when he was old enough, and I'd take him lemonade and we'd roll around in the grass after.

yeah. WHAT. EVER.

now, we don't even have that much lawn to mow. a postage stamp in the front, and whatever is smaller than a postage stamp in the back. a half postage stamp, if you will. but because we live in a rowhome, and because we're in the middle, it's a total bitch to cut it. sometimes I think I'd be better off with some scissors doing it by hand. I bet it'd be quicker.

we have to drag our mower out of the shed in the back, walk it all the way around from the alley past the front of all the houses on our block, and bring it into the front yard. and because everything we have that's home-related was given to us by someone who no longer wanted the item in question, we have the crappiest lawn mower ever created...a black and decker 12 amp electric lawn mower. 12 amps, people. you know, slightly more power than your hair dryer.

so crappy mower + reaaaaaaaaally long grass + cranky patrice + nosy neighbors = wackiness. at least the day after, it seems like wackiness. at the time, it felt like karmic cruelty. like you wonder what the hell you did that was so bad that it came to THIS.

as I'm dragging the "mower" around to the front, my next door neighbor asks me if I'm mowing the lawn. dumb question, but I play along...not knowing...then, pow: "oh. GOOD! I can't believe it!" as in "your lawn looks like shit." coming from a woman who enjoys shrieking at her 19 year old hoodlum son while her drunk husband swigs beer outside on the porch at 10am on a saturday, this is a big insult.

I get the mower all set up, with its 60 foot extension cord running into the house (goddamn stupid electric mower) and turn it on. BUZZZZZZZZZ. anyone who has ever used a mower knows that BUZZZZZZ doesn't cut grass, WHIRRRRRRR does. we had no whir. we had only buzz. meaning the blade wasn't turning.

it turns out that the only way that the mower works is if you push down on the handle so that the blade is off the grass, and then wait for the blade to start turning and pick up speed. then you gently lower the blade down onto the grass, but not for too long, or the blade will stop. so it's a constant monitoring of blade turning while pushing down on the handle, all the while trying to move either forward or backward. picture this in your mind, people. and the only way it would work at all is if I had the blade set to cut at 3 1/2" inches high. three and a half inches high. does that even qualify as "cut"? although, amazingly, 3 1/2" high looked alot more trim than what it was beforehand.

so my plan was to cut it at 3 1/2" and then go back over it at 1" high (which is normal height) when it wasn't quite so bushy. then I'd do the same with the back lawn, which was even more overgrown.

luckily, the mower at least let me finish the front lawn before it completely died. and of course, as sean dragged the mower back around to the shed (bless his heart) I could hear our neighbors clucking at the fact that it was clear that we weren't going to cut our back lawn. if you could only understand the irony of this...let me explain further.

so we have a shed in our back yard. it is big enough for a car to fit into, and has a peaked roof. right next to it is our neighbor's "shed" which consists of two and a half walls with a rusty tin roof covering it. on top of the rusty (and sagging) tin roof is anything you could ever want. (yes, on TOP of the roof.) a truck box, a bike, 2 basketballs, the windshield of a car, a christmas tree stand, various metal pipes, wheels, and some cinderblocks. all on top of their shed, all displayed for the world to see. like a mini junk yard high in the sky. and they are worried about my grass being too high??

so anyway. we have to find a new mower. because even though I like the idea that my grass is pissing off my trashy neighbors, the dog is seriously in danger of getting lost in it.

4 validations:

NME said...

Your neighbors have some nerve. I seriously would have asked them about when they were going to get that junk off their roof.

This is precisely why I thank my lucky stars that my back "yard" is concrete. I NEVER want to mow a lawn. Please remind me of this if I ever consider moving.

Kelly said...

My brother lives in a neighborhood where the owner's association will leave you a nasty note if your lawn is more than 3.5" high.

I live in a wonderful apartment complex that has managed to locate me next to the large rolling hilly grassy area that someone else mows. It's the best of both worlds, really.

Missuz J said...

When we were living in a similar situation--our tiny back yard was inaccessable accept by walking through the house, we had a rotary mower. (I had actually tried to cut the grass with scissors. Pretty ineffective) No cord, no gas. You just push it and the blades spin around. It worked like a dream! Even on my 4 inch + grass. I've been told by several people that it's actually better for the lawn as well. The only reason we have a gas mower now is my dad gave it to us. I still prefer our old one. All you have to do is get the blades sharpened every once in a while at the hardware store. I think it cost something like 80 bucks.

Jaws said...

I lived in a city before moving here. If you called the city on your neighbors grass being to high the city would send some one over to mow it when you were at work or some thing and then send you a bill for $110. Hate grass. Hate Pollen. Mow it down to a 1/2 inch when you aren't exspecting rain for a week then see how the neighbors like your brown carpet in the front yard :oP