|I have bad rug mowing luck!|
“Hi, my name is Linda.”
“And I’m a, uh . . . an abuser.”
“Tell it to us, sister. Get it out!”
|All Jammed Up!|
I don’t abuse drugs, drink, porn, husband (much) or pre-natal vitamins. I abuse my lawnmower—not overtly. I mean I don’t pummel it with a tire iron or anything. I abuse our John Deere riding lawn tractor (because nothing runs like a deer) through my addictive, hateful indifference to it.
I’m so ashamed—also a little ticked off.
“This machine has been abused.” Those were the lawnmower fixer guy’s exact words, as he smeared grease around his hands with a green bandana. “We’ve got machines that are twenty years old that look better than your machine.”
Our lawnmower was three years old.
That’s the stinking excuse they used to reject our stinking extended warranty request to weld the stinking busted strut back to the part where all the whirly parts are; you know, the stinking whirly parts, the parts that do the actual cutting of grass.
My husband fixed an accusatory eye on me when he related the diagnosis—warranty, null and void—due to lawnmower abuse. Like all abusers, I attempted denial first.
“Sherwood, Babe, you know I always park that dumb lawnmower in the barn. It has never been outside when the tornados kick up.”
“Listen you! It’s not rain they’re talking about. It’s the stumps, tree roots, barbed wire, water faucets, welcome mats, hoses, bird carcasses, cement blocks, and three inch saplings that you’ve managed to run over.”
I tried anger next, of course.
“Well, anytime you want to climb aboard mister and mow in perfect, symmetrical rows exactly the width mentioned in the owner’s manual, you just get a running start and jump in the driver’s seat, because I don’t plan on slowing down long enough to switch out drivers; there’s a ton a grass out there. And it’s growing, always growing, even when I’m sleeping—growing.” I stopped talking and tipped my head toward the grass. “Can’t you hear it? Growing. Pushing up, always up. Growing . . . up . . .”
He grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me, a little bit.
“Linda, you need help.”
“Darn right, I need help. I could use a full time lawn man guy. You know, driving Miss Linda.” I snapped this last bit out with more bravado than I felt.
“No, not that kind of help. I mean a support group, so you can work through some of this anger you have toward our lawn maintenance equipment,” he said.
I started to whine, which is the third phase in a lawnmower abuser’s cycle.
At that moment, the children filed into the room along with Cheryl and Mr. Medina, my neighbors, and the girl from the dry cleaners. I gasped. It was an intervention. I bowed my head and wept and not for the last time.
I liked to say that I have been clean and sober since the intervention, but not so much. Last weekend, due to bad luck and high weeds, I ran over the corner of a worn out rug I’d tossed on the family burn pile. The rug dissolved into a yarn rope, twisting around the lawnmower blade like a noose. The blade jammed. Grass cutting ceased. Cussing ensued. The cycle continued.
Linda (Blade Jammer) Zern