jeudi, juin 15, 2006
Adventures in weedtrimming
This morning, in spite of the promise of late spring heat, I dressed as though I was gearing up for a walk through a snakepit. Long pants covered my sturdy socks down to the ankle. My feet were protected by a pair of old running shoes, and my eyes covered with a huge pair of sunglasses. Then I stepped outside, ready for combat with the...weedwhacker. Next year a lot of the surprises I face will seem relatively tame (I hope). The bats that wheel through the breezeway won't scare me as much. I'll find a way to do something about controlling the moles that dig holes in my backyard. Maybe I'll find a way to stay on top of the weeds that sprout in my vegetable garden and the clover that leaps up overnight in the front lawn. Or maybe I won't care as much. But the weed trimmer was especially intimidating. The booklet that came with it brimmed with warnings and suggestions for how to dress and behave around it. And I had a reputation to live down with certain friends. As a child of New York intellectuals, I had as much experience with power tools as I had with diving for pearls in the Caribbean. Walking into the garage, I eyed it in a measuring way and read the instructions printed below the engine. Prime the engine. Ok. Grip the throttle. hmm...sounds like fun. Turn to half choke. Then pull on the starter cord. This was where I got stuck. Instead of coming out smoothly, the cord jerked painfully out of the trimmer. Clearly I should have spent more time at the Y this past winter developing muscles for the tasks I would face out here in pioneer country. After a number of tries, I slipped back into the house, hoping that none of the neighbors had seen me make a total fool of myself. Writing profiles seemed almost tame by comparison with the ruggedness of the task at hand. A confident frontier woman, I walked bravely up to the trimmer, primed the pump, and began tugging. For a few intoxicating minutes, it actually demolished a couple of weeds...tommorow I hope that my weed whacker and I can rid ourselves of at least five or six more before the string that slices the weeds disappears again. That is, if I can find a way not to sleep on my sore arm. In the meantime, where is that darned manual? By the way, is anyone else out there a mechanical moron?