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I was actually industrious today! And it didn’t involve the computer!!!

Sunday, April 9th, 2006


- Unknown

I will wait until your lightheadedness subsides….

Our realtors were coming by at 5:30 PM to take pictures of the house so I thought it a good idea to mow the lawn for the first time this season.

If you recall, I keep track of how many times I use my riding lawnmower and then average that over the cost to get costs per mow. With today’s effort, it brought each mowing down to a paltry $51.85. (Yes, it is a spreadsheet. So.)

When I decided I was going to do this, I had one overriding thought going over and over in my head: do NOT spill gas on your shoe.

There was the mower, there was the gas can. All I have to do is transfer the gas from the can to the mower. Easy.

Don’t spill gas on yourself.

I put gloves on to pull out the spout tightly. This had been successful recently when I filled up the motorcycle without incident.

Don’t spill gas on yourself.

I tipped the can and the gas flowed into the tank.

Don’t spill gas on yourself.

I stood there happy with myself as the gas flowed and my thoughts wandered to how nice of a day it was and how the birds…

I looked down, under the can which was out of my line of sight just in time to see a steady stream of gasoline dropping like a rope to the top of my running shoe.

All I had to do was…. Sonofabitch!!!!!!

I had my newest “old” pair of running shoes on and a pair of my brand new Under Armour (Protect This House!) running socks which were now soaked in gasoline.

Auspicious beginnings, folks.


Yeah it HAD been all winter but after the gas fiasco, I was in no mood for a $1200 mower that didn’t want to start.


Not even calling it a bastard sonofabitch seemed to have much affect.


Bye-bye battery.

Now I had a full tank of gas for a lawnmower with a dead battery and let’s not forget a running shoe and running sock soaked with petroleum.

I was about to blow.

I pulled out the trusty battery charger which I’ve had to use WAY too many times since I bought it, and hooked it up. I had rolled the mower out of the garage (thinking that the MINISCULE amount of gas I MIGHT spill would be better out of the garage) but the connections were too far away from the outlet so I had to roll it back in.

At this point, do you think I was in the mood to heed the voltage settings? Hell no, I was soaked in gas so let’s crank up that sucker to full and see if we can’t blow this battery or at least create some sparks.

After a few more cussing sessions, it started with a huge plume of black smoke that lasted long enough that it occurred to me that I should back it out of the garage again.

Finally it was working and I got to the business of mowing my lawn.

Later on when I was trying to move the mower, Carrie started yelling at me over the engine noise that there was a bar hanging down. Sure enough, a cotter pin had escaped and one of the support struts that held the mower part was hanging down. Because I had moved forward without knowing this, the bar stuck in the driveway and got bent when I pulled forward. We got it bent back so the bar would fit back into it designated hole and I put a new cotter pin in.

Testy little bitch, ain’t she? (I was referring to the mower, people.)

I finished mowing and as these things work, became obsessed with picking up all the branches, stray leaves, and trash to make a perfect scene. I even did some raking in the corner of the yard because there was too many old leaves and grass.

After I was done with all this, I decided the Saturn needed a spring cleaning so for the first time ever, I detailed the inside. I scrubbed, vacuumed, and even used Q-Tips to get all the nooks and crannies.

And let me announce, it was very nasty. After 8 years, a lot of stuff can accumulate in those nooks and crannies. I even saw some stray hairs from cats we don’t even own anymore. I wouldn’t have been too surprised if I had found one of the cats!

So now the inside sparkled and I attacked the outside. When I was done, the car gleamed. I even Windexed the inside and outside of every glass surface and treated the tires with stuff that made them look dark black.

Too bad it still runs like shit but tomorrow, she goes in the shop. But boy doesn’t she look nice?

When the realtors showed up, I had just got out of the shower. The husband of the husband-and-wife team was the first to show up and took a bunch of pictures with his digital camera. When his wife showed up, we went over all the paperwork and decided that we’ll be putting it on the market starting Monday the 17th which is also the day we will be leaving on a week’s vacation so if they have any lookers, they can come and go as they please.

The thing that sucks about all this is that until it sells, we have to have it show-ready and if they call, we have to grab the dog and get out of the house while they show it.

The other thing that is a potential suck is if they want to buy it before we leave. In that case, we will have to agree to a rent-back where we pay to stay. The bad part is that we will have to pay based on THEIR mortgage which will be significantly more than ours. It’s a buyer’s market so we’re at the disadvantage here.

At the end of the day, our hose looked pristine, the lawn manicured and completely free of anything but golf-course-looking grass, and my car looked showroom-ready.

Everything would have been perfect if my foot didn’t smell like unleaded but even that couldn’t bring me down.

Life is good.

Free Advice for Today: “When you say ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.