My lawn mower and I are finally in sync. We now operate at the same speed. I used to walk too fast for it and had to mow a second time if I wanted the lawn to look halfway decent. Manufacturers no longer allow you to control the speed of the blade. My current, old man speed is a perfect match for my mower. It’s missing a warning label that states, “This mower works best when pushed slowly; think baby steps, like the ones Tim Conway took when he imitated an old man.”
I’m happy that the mower and I get along better, but I’m not happy that it shoots the grass clippings 30-feet in the air, pelting everything along the route. To fix that I modified the side flap with duct tape to reduce the force of the spray; it helped to cut it down somewhat, but the tape starts to shred after a few times mowing and needs to be replaced. At this rate I’m going to spend more money for tape than I did for the mower. I should have expected it; I bought the lowest price mower on the market, and got what I paid for. That’s what happens when you’re a cheapskate.
The other thing I don’t like about this beast is the safety flap on the back of the blade housing. It digs into the turf when I pull the mower backwards, taking twice as much of my limited strength to pull it. It used to be easy to mow in both directions; you just flipped the handle back the other way and pushed down the next row.
That came to an end several years ago when the U.S. Safety Council mandated design changes. They thought we were too stupid to mow a lawn without their intervention, making so many mandated alterations that you need an engineering degree to perform a simple lawn mowing task. They even made the gas cans so safe that it’s difficult to fill the tank without spilling gas all over the place.
I have another lawn care problem that has nothing to do with the mower; it’s the people who walk their dogs and leave a mound of dog droppings in my mowing path. Maybe it’s not the person’s fault; they may have a physical ailment that requires them to use a specially trained companion dog that gives them comfort for their ailment called, “Too-lazy-to-bend-over syndrome.”
Anyway, most days I have a good time mowing. I can look back when I’m done and feel I’ve accomplished something; a real highlight in the day for an old coot like me. Except when I forget to check my shoe before going in the house.
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