14 July 2005

Curses! Time to Mow the Lawn Again! Part III

Recently, I mowed my parents’ lawn while my parents were out of town. It reminded me of all of the times growing up when I mowed the lawn. As soon as I was able to operate “Old Orange” without cutting off my toes, my father handed over the pull cord to me and never touched the lawnmower again until we all moved out. When I was over there last week to mow their lawn, I couldn’t help but notice how much the lawn has shrunk since we all moved out; the pine straw “natural areas” have spread until the lawn is about a quarter of its original size. This isn’t to suggest that my dad is lazy; in fact, he is the hardest working man I know, but I think I get my hatred of mowing the lawn naturally.

I shared mowing duties with my brothers. Generally, the only thing that we argued about was whose turn it was to mow the lawn. Once, it almost led to a fight between my two older brothers that would have ended up on the evening news if my eldest brother had been able to run (he had been crushed between two cars). As it was, my eldest brother waddled about the unshorn front yard, braces on both knees, a crutch in each hand, like some kind of deranged penguin chasing after my other brother. My other brother was wise enough to stay just out reach of those crutches and clever enough to prolong the situation by baiting my eldest brother with taunts. Why my crippled brother was in the argument, I will never know; the dispute was between my other brother and I. It went something like this:
Crippled brother: “Come back here and say that!”
Other brother: “I’m not gonna fight a cripp!”
Crippled brother: “Why don’t you just mow the bleep lawn?”
Other brother: “You gonna make me?”
Crippled brother: “Come back here and say that!”
Other brother: “I’m not gonna fight a cripp!”
Crippled brother: “Just wait until my knees get better!”
Other brother: “I’m faster then you when your knees are fine.”
Crippled brother: “Come back here and say that!” It went on like this for some time. I sat on the front steps and watched. I don’t remember who ended up mowing the lawn, but I am fairly certain it was my turn.



fiorinda said...

Don't you miss the days when your wife mowed the lawn.

She doesn't.

Anonymous said...

your brother must love you very much to have put himself through the excruciating pain and sheer agony he must have experienced in dragging his crippled, beaten body across the lawn; in a valiant, but clearly futile attempt to chase down your healthy, exuberant and in fact, somewhat cruel other brother in order to spare you from the most frightening and terror inducing of tasks: mowing the lawn... you should be ashamed; watching that horrible scene unfold right before your eyes and not lifting a hand in assistance... one only hopes your brother does not read that story, as i am sure it would rekindle a litany of nightmarish memories for your brother... memories it has probably taken years and thousands of hours of intense psycho therapy to overcome... and you used to make your wife mow the lawn??!!? i bet the crippled brother mowed the lawn that fateful day...

Splitcat Chintzibobs said...

Actually, it filled me with great joy to see my brother limping across the lawn that day. You see, he had been off of his feet for weeks and, it seems, had lost the will to live. All he would do all day is eat pringles and Marathon bars, and throw the Pong controller when he lost (which was every time). We all feared he would never walk again, and he kept getting, well, bigger. Soon, he would have been doomed to a life of couch-bound obesity, having to cleanse himself with a sponge on a stick. That fight was a godsend. It was a blessing to see the life return to his eyes. It was almost like that scene in Forest Gump where young Forest breaks his leg braces running from bullies. I sat there on the steps thinking, "Run, bro, run."
As for my wife, she volunteered to do it. She thought it would be a good way to get a tan (apparently she in not aware of the origin of the term "farmer's tan"). She did it twice.
In all fairness, I should admit that my nephew also mowed my lawn once, but he ran over a family of bunny-rabbits. I think there were three rabbits before he ran over them, but it was difficult to tell. He was so traumitized by it that he has not been back to visit since. Granted it was Easter Sunday, and he was only eight or so, but really--get over it!!!

fiorinda said...

She mowed more than twice because she distinctly remembers almost overturning the mower on each occasion on that weird little hill by the forsythia. She would volunteer, but then who would watch the kids?

Splitcat Chintzibobs said...

I think her memory is flawed. She mowed very, very slowly. Each time she mowed, it took her about nine hours to complete the job. It is possible, due to the long time involved, that she has mistaken those two marathon mowing sessions for several shorter ones.

fiorinda said...

she mowed slowly so she wouldn't kill herself. ...and it only took 4 hours. not nine.