Some days you should stay in bed

Randall Franks

As I turned the key and the engine on the gray Murray riding mower was balking, I sort of knew it was going to be one of those days. With a little prompting though I was off and running. Many people love to mow, although I started mowing other people’s yards at about age nine, I really am not a mowing fan. In fact I sort of take the Los Angeles film set approach, let’s kill it and paint it green. This year my neighbor graciously mowed my front yard early in the season; I then returned the favor the next time I mowed. We have kept this up helping each other with whoever is mowing knocking out the front yards on both houses all season long. This was my time, so I am chugging along trying to keep my lines all neat and straight. I was making quite a bit of progress and it seemed it was going to be an almost flawless day. And then, after nine years of mowing my front yard avoiding a sewer line clean out, it must have come at me at least 45 miles an hour when it went flying in a dozen pieces around the yard. I just took that and stride and kept plowing, I mean mowing. Next I found myself trying to cut around the air conditioning unit. There it was just as it had been for nine years, the eight-foot PVC water drain coming out of the side of the unit and running along the ground dumping the water on the ground. I can’t tell you how many times I had mowed over that with ease. One this day however, when I rolled over it, I think there must have been a snake inside because it popped right up in the blade and once again pieces of PVC were flying around my yard. By this time, I was growing pretty frustrated. I had not done anything differently than I had done time and time again but there it went. I figured OK, that’s it, I can’t hit anything else. Boy was I wrong. After winding around crape myrtle after crape myrtle, apple trees, privet hedge, dodging drainage areas, avoiding flowers, trying to get the grass out of the street and off the driveway, finally my job was coming to a close. I notice a poke sallit plant protruding along with some grass up near the side of the house where I normally breeze by and cut with ease. I move into place cutting them down and then reverse back out and what happens, the mower decides it was possessed and gets right up against my siding leaving about six feet of black markings off the tire on the wall. Well for better or worse, I was done and I can’t tell you how happy I was. I parked that machine that I am sure was holding up anger that it held within for many years and it just decided to take it out on this day. I said I was done. I wasn’t. I still had to clean up the PVC around the yard. So I was doing that and checking out the pipe that now was in need of repair. Guess what as I stood over it, a large siphon came out and pulled the items in my shirt pocket down that drain. You believe me don’t you? Well maybe it was a small siphon, anyway down they went, bye bye. I thought, maybe I can get them out if I take a hanger and bend the end and reach down and hook it. Guess what, that fictional creature came back and got the hanger. I thought I needed to get away from that hole or next I would be trying to crawl out myself. I would hate to see me in a four-inch pipe. I took out my hacksaw and cut the end off the broken drain on the air conditioner. That will do I thought. I got some heavy duty cleaner and got off as much of the black as I could. That will do for now. So off I go to Ace Hardware to get a new connector and cover. I came back measure the depth of the pipe, found a piece of wood put in a crooked nail and recovered at least the hanger. Nothing else was salvageable so I capped it and called it a day. I seriously thought about going in a crawling under the covers and pulling them over my head. I was afraid it would collapse though, so I gave up that idea and decided that there are just some days you should stay in bed in the first place.

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