For those of you who know me well the next instalment of Granddad Rob antics will be of no revelation. To my mind mowers are God’s way of testing his flock’s resolve. Only the most devout know that when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the ten stone tablets he had left number eleven up there.
ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT: As oxen level thy grass so will thy mower. Honour both in equal measure.
I am thinking Moses thought, these are heavy, ten’s enough to be going on with, there’s not much call for mowing in the wilderness. I’ll leave the last one up here, for now, hidden in the long grass.
Mowers and me have a love hate relationship, in so much as we love to hate each other. They will blow up, seize up, wheels come off (hit a tree stump in long grass), the turning cutty grass thing falls off, bits break off or bend, and punctures are their default setting. Any attempt by me at TLC ends with grease and blood up me shirt. Every nut and bolt on all machines are especially selected so not a single spanner on the face of Kent fits them. Garden hose pipes throw themselves under it and get wound around the spinney bit. And “start the mower” is a penance dished out to grade ‘A’ sinners, by grade ‘A’ sadists.
One time when mummy needed me, (that’s ME) to start our mower, for her (she did the mowing back then), repeated attempts failed to wake it up. A fast rising frustration level was not helped by mummy saying, “why don’t you call Fred”…… “you could try asking Fred”……… “why don’t you just call Fred”….. “Fred will know what’s wrong”….. “Fred gets my mower started”. I had a brain wave and called Fred.
Freddy went into tech-mode, in Bobby* speak it translated to, spark-thing out, dry it, drop of petrol in the hole it came from, spark-thing in, pull the string. Did as was instructed. Mummy said …. “it will start this time, you see” ….“Fred knows how to get my mower started” ….“it will start this time”…“give it another pull”…“pull it again HARDER” BOOmOOFF an eruption of flame engulfed the mower (missed me, mummy and the stable). The obstinate mower was now in Joan-of-Arc mode. My defence, Fred’s fault for not quantifying “drop”.
Mummy immediately got very anxious….“can’t you put it out”…. “what have you done” “you’re bloody useless”….“what will we do”….“where’s the bucket” … “don’t just stand there” …….. “can’t you do something”
“Let the sod burn” I said, while just standing there.
In a short time the pyrotechnics abated. A comforting smell of grass flambéed in a really nice four star hung in the air. Mummy said nothing ……….. nothing ………. nothing (result).
I pulled the string. The mower started. Lesson learnt, torture or in this case torching is a much under rated procedure in machine obedience techniques.
Mummy now sitting astride a warm mower ….. “good ol’ Freddy I knew he’d know …now git out the way you mad Irish bugger ……. you’re bloody mental”.
* Fred is Cindy’s fifty something, baby brother, and the only person I can condone calling me Bobby. I have got to be nice to him; I think he knows I slept with ‘is sister…. I don’t want him telling mummy.