Forest Lawn

     It’s a jungle out there. Oh wait, that’s just my front lawn. Thanks to the unusually cold and wet weekend weather we’ve experienced this spring, my annual struggle with my lawn mower began a month later than usual. I couldn’t put my yard work off any longer. It was time to enter my cob-webbed mausoleum of a shed. The musty air smelled of bug spray and gasoline. In the center of the tomb was my red Toro lawn mower. Or I should say my dead Toro lawn mower.

     I brought it out into the sunlight wondering if it would crumble into dust. I pulled the cord a few times. Not even a sputter. I checked the spark plug, cleaned the air-filter and banged on the carburetor, but it was too late. CPR was not going to bring this machine back to life.

     Meanwhile, my grass continued to grow, reaching for the sunlight while drinking the rain.

     I called my son and asked him if he could help get my mower started. He loves a challenge. He spent an hour or so spraying the carburetor with starter fluid. He managed to get the machine to make a slow put-put sound but the engine wouldn’t turn over. I replaced the gasoline with fresh fuel. After a number of unsuccessful attempts, a smattering of rain showers forced us to give up. There would be no miraculous resuscitation this year. My Toro was deader than the remake of the movie Flatliners.

     Meanwhile, my grass continued to grow past the middle of my shins on its way to my knees.

     I don’t like being the last person on the street to mow their lawn. The neighbor who holds that record already cut their grass twice this season. I was sinking into a severe case of LDS (Lawn Depression Syndrome). At the same time, my lawn was thriving, reaching new heights.

     “You have to do something about the grass,” my wife said. “An animal scurried over my foot when I was in the front yard.”

     “What kind of animal?” I asked.

     “I don’t know,” she said. “I couldn’t see it through the grass.” She then displayed her new decorative lawn signs that read “Welcome to Jurassic Park.”

     Time passed and I still had no solution. Borrowing a neighbor’s lawn mower was not an option. I didn’t want to be held responsible for burning out someone else’s machine. I thought about weed-whacking the entire lawn, but that never yields good results. I could call a repair shop, but I didn’t want to wait for an appointment. I needed a quick fix. I remembered a sign posted somewhere nearby for a company that delivers live goats to eat your lawn. I wondered who picked up after the goats. I decided Naaaah.

     I asked my son if his landscaper could give me an estimate for a maintenance plan and an emergency mow. I felt a wave of relief after his consultation. I signed on for a maintenance plan without a second thought. I’m too old, too tired and too busy to do all this work by myself.

     I’d like to know what happened to the kid who would knock on your door offer to mow your lawn for ten bucks. I might be living in the past, but my lawn keeps growing toward the future.

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