four little, five little, six little engines

what? lawn mowers have little engines…

…you didn’t think the title was a native american reference did you?

yeah, like i want MORE hate mail from the anti-defamation league. fuck all that.

no, this is about my mower situation. driving off to work friday my yard looked better than it had in quite a while…and not because, like my septuagenarian neighbors, i hired people to do it. this was all me. but it’s been a journey. oddly enough (and this is not made up just to fit) i’ve burned through six mowers since i’ve been doing my yard (which goes back to when i was twelve, so thirty years and some change) and they went a little something like this:

murray – wal-mart – $100 – 198? – 1999 or so.

it was a no-frills, no power, get the fucking job done side-shooter mower. used it to make money as a tween. these fucking things LAST. talk about don’t make ’em like they used to!

from 1999 to 2003 i had a guy that did it, but then he got locked up which prompted be to drop $200 for…

lawn man – wal-mart – $196 – 2003 – 2013.

this one worked hard and towards the end fought hard to stay around. in the end the whole intake was held on my zip-ties. the rope was replaced twice, the blade three times, and the spark plug and filter more times than i could count. got picked up by a tinkerer who worked for the city and, when he knocked on my door, i thought he was gonna cite me for leaving it by the curb. it was an odd exchange…

“is that mower just left by the curb for junk?”
“depends on who’s asking…”
“well, i’m asking…so, is it just being left out like trash?”
“are you asking ’cause you WANT IT, or ’cause that’s a bad thing?”
“depends – if i want it, does it cost anything?”
“nope – all you”

hey, you never know what you may get cited for.

craftsman – cash america pawn (austin) – $20 – may 2013 – august 2013. so priced because they couldn’t get it to stay running. a brief visual revealed the spring on the throttle was pulled off. bought it for twenty, re-attached the spring, and it fired right up. even fit in the trunk of the bmw. all was well…until the end of the summer, and then that one odd winter mow you have to do around here. it started off making a noise, the oil sucked, so i did an oil change and the noise went away. that is, until…


it threw a rod and blew out the side of the engine. craftsman quality, my ass. you’d think i’d learn, but no.

again, borrowed from neighbors and JAB and what-not through the fall. the winter was kind and it didn’t grow too much (the drought the summer before killed most of the grass along with some of the trees). but some spring the issue was forced, bringing about:

craftsman – cash america pawn (lockhart) – $75 – march 10, 2014 – march 11, 2014.

yep. a day. fired right up on the pawn shop floor but didn’t run smooth. “bad gas” they said. bullshit. took three tanks of good gas and nearly two hours to do the normally forty-five minute job on my front lawn. went back the next day. i then ALMOST went for one at “my” pawn shop (where i shop a lot) but it wouldn’t start there. then craigslist had one that was mere YARDS from the ufw’s then apartment, so i ended up with…

craftsman (HONDA motor, though) – CEO of acadia ambulance service – $110 (talked down from $125 per craigslist) – march 25, 2014 – september, 2014

another summer mower romance. ran smooth as hell, showed me how clean the oil was, “had just been tuned up”, he said. then it got used for a summer, started running a little funny, then did what they all seem to do – starts, runs two to three seconds, dies. still in the carport, but after replacing spark plug, air filter, cleaning carburetor, etc, etc and still having the same problem? i said “fuck it”, grabbed the last of the home depot cards from our wedding, and got me the…

lawn machine (NEW) – home depot – $235 february 12, 2015

starts easy, runs smooth, two year fucking warranty. boo-ya…we are DONE. or so i hope.

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