Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Disaster on the Lawn Mowing Front!

It's actually chilly out there this morning! I wore a jacket for the first time in months. It feels strange, rather like the first time I wear tennis shoes after months of sandals and flip-flops.

Not that I'm complaining. I love Autumn and everything that goes with, as I've mentioned before. In addition, I'm also excited that my lawn will soon stop growing for a while and I won't have to mow.

Especially since, at the moment, I'm not sure I can mow. You see, I tried last night and I think I blew my lawnmower up.

I wasn't doing anything different to normal; I started the mower, managed to get the entire back lawn mowed and just as I was going to the front, it happened. The lawnmower died. I was confused. I restarted it. Nothing. I restarted again and it caught. I mowed for about 10 seconds and black smoke started pouring out the side. This was a little alarming, as you can imagine. It would have been a little easier to deal with if I hadn't been in my front yard in broad view of my neighbours. Not to be defeated, I tried again. The black smoke poured out. Then it stopped. I tried to mow and the moment the blades encountered longer grass, out came the black smoke.

Naturally, I did the only thing a single woman with no idea why her lawnmower is billowing smoke can do: I called my dad.

And, naturally, my dad did the traditional thing. He laughed at me. Then he told me to call Sears to see if it's still under warranty. While I appreciated his advice, it wasn't as though this thought hadn't occurred to me. What I really wanted is that magic fix that I expect my dad to have: A simple easy flick of a switch. Sadly, I didn't get that and thus, I was left alone with my smoking lawnmower.

Fortunately, the Dog Whisperer next door had come out to his yard and I noticed him watching. "Want to borrow mine?" he asked.

I thought about it. My lawnmower had died just as I'd started to cut the long grass out front. At this time, it looked like it had a bad, uneven haircut. Defeated, I agreed, stammering my thanks and feeling guilty about calling him The Dog Whisperer.

I didn't feel guilty for too long. "It's hard to start," he said. "Once it starts, it won't stop though."

Well, that was good. Nothing worse than a lawnmower that stops in the middle of mowing.

Except, you know, one that billows black acrid smoke.

He gave me a sly grin as he walked away after wheeling out his significantly older mower and leaving me alone with it.

I pulled hard on the choke cord. Nothing. I tried again, nothing. Following The Dog Whisperer's advice, I primed again, using the little red rubber button thingy. I pulled the cord again...nothing.

This went on for a few minutes and the entire time, I felt like The Dog Whisperer was probably laughing and snickering. While it was chivalrous of him to loan me his mower, it would have been even more chivalrous to start it for me since by the time the blasted thing FINALLY caught, I was a sweaty mess. It had taken about five minutes to get the stupid thing started and it was hard work.

So, I did finish mowing. My lawn isn't as short or neat as I like since his mower blades are dull and don't cut that short but, as the addage says, beggars can't be choosers. It was very, very kind of him to loan me his mower and at least I got my lawn mowed.

Now I have to figure out what's up with my mower. It's not normal for a mower to smoke like that...right? I will follow my dad's advice and find out if I'm still covered under warranty since the mower was brand new at the beginning of the summer. If not...well....hopefully the problem will magically fix itself.

That's not likely. While I'd love to shout the magical Harry Potter spell, "Reparo!" and get the mower to fix itself, doing so just makes me sound a little odd. I know this because, yes, I tried it last night because that's the kind of thing I do and the Dog Whisperer chose that moment to come out into his yard. He gave me an odd look and then offered me his mower. Perhaps he thought it might be safest.

So, keep your fingers crossed that my lawn decides that now would be a good time to go into hibernation for the season. Thus, I will not need my mower and I can have some time before I need its services again.

If not, maybe I can try staring at it and trying to figure out why it's smoking. Or...I can call Sears. That might be better. I'll keep you posted.

Happy Tuesday.

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