Adventures in Mowing the Lawn – Part III

She stepped outside, the temperature already soaring to 105 degrees, and faced the enemy – one Briggs & Stratton black lawn mower… it sat there waiting for her, taunting her.

Unlocking the chain from around the handle, she moved the mower into position. Planting her foot firmly on the body of the mower, after two unsuccesful days at attempting to mow the lawn, she was determined to start it, no matter what… grabbing the starter cord, she pulled. Sput, sput, sput… and nothing.

After several futile attempts to start the mower, the boy who called her mother asked, “Are you okay? Your face is really red.”

Gasping for breath, she said, “Yeah. Can you go get me a Diet Coke, please? It’s hot out here.”

The boy complied, and she sat on the steps in front of the house, already exhausted in the stifling heat. When the boy brought her soda back to her, she asked him to bring her a screwdriver. She knew that if she could not start the mower, there must be something wrong with it – so she decided to perform minor mechanical exploratory surgery.

She found the choke spring – it was okay. She checked the oil level – it was okay. She checked the gas again – and it was okay.

What could be the problem, she wondered.

Michy knew she’d met her match, but she would not be defeated by the evil mower. She decided to call in backup. Picking up the phone, she called her brother in law – a lawn and garden specialist who owns his own business. Her sister picked up the phone, and as she relayed her dilemna to her sister, who was yelling the information to her husband in the bathroom through the closed door (and we don’t even want to know what he was doing in there), she told her tale of the evilness of the mower, with a catch in her throat, ashamed she had nearly been defeated.

And that’s when her sister asked the question that sent her over the edge. “Did you check to see if there was any gas in the tank?”


After a few more questions, the brother in law (BIL) offered to come and assist her in her quest. When he arrived, armed with his trusty gas can, she hung her head in resignation that no one believed she was actually smart enough to check to see if the tank had gas in it. However, she smiled a rueful smirk when BIL opened the lid to the gas tank to discover it was full.

Ha! Told ya so, she grinned to herself.

BIL then opened the top to the carburetor, poured a bit of gas directly into the carburetor, and then pulled the starter cord with all his might. Sput, sput, sput….whiiiirrrrrr!!!! :: pause :: sput, sput, sput, sput. :: belch ::

The mower had come to life, only to gasp its final breath once again. This process repeated itself several times over, before the BIL finally figured out what was wrong… the gas feeder line was clogged!

A quick detaching of the hose, banging it on the ground a bit, and then reconnecting it did the trick. A bit of gas in the carb, a bit more in the tank for good measure, and the mower was now purring like a kitten in his hands.

But BIL was not finished yet…oh, no. The day’s hero decided to finish mowing Michy’s front lawn for her, ducking under the low hanging branches of the only tree in her yard, to make the grass on that side level with the grass on the previously mowed side of the yard.

Michy watched with gratitude as BIL effortlessly finished the front law for her. She smiled to herself, and to her sister said, “You know, I didn’t call him here to do my job for me.”

Michy thanked her brother in law, as the boy jumped up and grabbed ahold of him and hung on, saying, “Do the backyard now, please, so mama doesn’t make me do it!”

Michy laughed, but gave an evil eye to the boy who calls her mom. She’s still not so sure there wasn’t a mix up. There were, after all, times she wished she didn’t have to claim him as her own. This was one of them.

She thanked her partner BIL for his help, and the hero departed with a tip of his cap and a wave.

Moving the mower now to the back yard, Michy knew she had defeated the mighty mower. She felt strong, powerful, and she knew the mighty mower would never again threaten her security as a Mower of Lawns again.

In the back yard now, Michy yells to the boy child to pick up all his toys so she can transform her back yard of hay into something that resembled a real yard. The mighty mower did not growl and sput at her this time, but purred like a contented kitten when Michy effortlessly pulled the start cord.

Happily, Michy continued mowing the back lawn. Two strips of yard in the enormous back area were completed, and Michy knew she had defeated the mighty mower.

She was confident, feeling good about finishing the lawn today.

That’s when it happened.

From out of the tall grass, from seemingly nowhere, it came… hidden in the depths, lurking there, waiting to attack or be attacked… the evil came up and bit the might mower, bringing it to a haltly, crunching stop…

Yes, dear friends, the might mower smelled of burning metal…before the blades stopped turning and the thunking noise deafened the roar of the mower motor. The might mowery had been defeated – but it was not by Michy, no.

No, the evil that was strong enough to defeat the might mower was more powerful than even Michy could have imagined… for on this day, a day that will live in infamy, the mighty mower was defeated by none other than…

…a size 4 1/2 NASCAR overstuffed slipper, carelessly left in the yard by the boy child who called Michy mother…

The stuffing flew in every direction… the slipper was badly wounded, bleeding it’s foam and cotton insides, thrown in every direction…and when Michy lifted the mower gentle to heal its wounded underbelly, she pulled the slipper from out of the blades, mangled, torn almost beyond recognition…

But Michy swore she heard the size 4 1/2 NASCAR slipper laugh at her…

Holding the dying slipper in her hand, Michy heard from behind her a small voice say, “Oh, crap.”

When she turned to see where the voice had come from, all she could see was the back of the boy child disappearing behind the fence…

“Oh, son…” she said in a sing-song voice, following him around the corner.

The lawn would have to wait for another day, but Michy won’t soon forget that day the evil slipper defeated the mighty mower. Neither will the boy who calls her mom, for he will remember it oh so fondly the next day, while he is picking up all his things from the back yard in the heat of the day… and working off his chores to pay for the cost of reviving the mighty mower he was partly responsible for bringing down…

And as for the slipper, well, it and its partner Lefty have both been given a decent burial at the bottom of the dumpster in the alley, immediately behind the back yard battlefield where they fought together so valiantly.

Good day!

Michelle L Devon is an author, novelist and a writer, and today, she’s trying her hand at being a humorist of sorts, but the sad thing is, the story you’ve just read, all three parts, are completely true! Visit Michy’s site at for more information and other writings!

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