When I was a kid almost everyone had a snazzy mower like this
to keep their yards under control.
It was a great system, really.
Few moving parts and you could stop quickly.
Add in the benefits of some solid aerobic exercise...
and it was quite the machine.
Of course, I hated ours.
It was actually Big Boo's job to mow the lawn.
But Big Boo was a jock and played every sport humanly possible
at that point in ancient history.
Guess who got to mow the lawn when he had practice?
We lived in a nice upper middle class neighborhood.
The race to best the Jones was always on.
The McPearsons were the clear winners
with their first ever color TV
and matching Cadillacs.
We weren't sure what Pricilla's daddy did for a living.
But unlike our daddies
he wore his church clothes to work every day...
suit, tie and hat!
Naturally it was big news when any
delivery truck showed up at the McPearson's house.
One lovely Saturday morning
the Sears van dropped off a big brown crate.
I could see it from my bedroom window...
and had to go investigate!
By the time my sneakers hit their lawn,
it was out of the box.
The biggest, fanciest green and yellow lawn mower
I had ever seen in person.
Mr. McP stood behind the bar grinning
and pointed out the features to his oldest son.
Two things stuck me as funny...
Mr. McP was wearing casual clothes
Mr. McP had his hands on the bar as if he intended to use
the wonder machine himself!
Everyone knew that they had a "man" who did all their yard work....
and no one knew he had casual clothes!
Had the McPs fallen on hard times?
We gathered... the neighborhood kids...
around it at a safe distance.
Mr. McP carefully filled the gas tank with a funnel
and screwed the cap on tight.
After a couple of pulls on the rope...
it roared loudly to life and he warned us all to stay back.
I've never seen a man mow a yard so proudly!
Or a herd of children following behind one.
It was noisy and it stunk.
We loved it!
I suppose it was the thrill of the moment
and a big sense of pride that caused
Pricilla to become so frisky.
Mr. McP hollered at us to go home.
Mrs. McP let me stay.
Was I lucky or what?
She warned us to stay away from Pricilla's father
and went back to her quiet house.
We decided to pretend to be horses.
The things little girls do for fun!
I had a pixie but tossed my head anyway
to get the proper horsey expression.
Pricilla was way better with her long curls
and even longer legs.
Neither of us bothered to notice
that she had crossed onto the long grass.
We were wild stallions from Arabia running like the wind.
The clash was horrific,
when the wild Arabian met John Deere...
Pricilla and Mr McP met as they rounded the same bush.
I first ran for Mrs. McP
and then home.
News spreads fast in the old neighborhood.
By the time she got to school on Monday
everyone knew that the McPs' fancy new lawn mower
hadn't cost an arm and a leg...
just three toes.
My lawn mower died yesterday.
Its a gas powered Craftsman that would never impress anyone.
I prefer electric like I used to have,
but this one was here and mine is up there.
My yard has a big square O in the tall grass.
Today the man will be using part of his day to fix it.