I Own a Lawnmower

When you live in a house with a lawn, you have roughly three options for maintaining that lawn. You can hire someone to mow it for you, you can get a lawnmower to trim it yourself, or you can neglect the lawn completely until it dies a brown, withered death.

Since I live in a rental home, I leaned to the third option, and it's worked for me remarkably well so far. But there's only so many disapproving glaces you can collect from the neighbors before they send the Homeowners Association after you. To sidestep this problem, I changed my answer to #2 : I purchased a lawnmower at a season-end clearance sale at Sears.

Given that my lawn is so small I really could have gotten away with buying a weedwacker to do the job, my mower requirements were almost non-existent: blade that spins, preferably parallel to the ground. Therefore I got to the store with the intent of buying the cheapest model available. However, the mower upgrades were priced in attractively small increments. For instance, I realized I could get the next model up that had a higher horsepower engine for only $15 more. And then I realized I could get the next model up from that that had bigger wheels and a larger cutting radius for just another $15 more. And if it weren't enough, for just $20 on top of that, I could get a rear-discharge bagger to collect the clippings, if for some reason I felt like saving my grass for later.

The instruction book for this thing (yes, I paged through it looking for treasure maps and dirty pictures) was written for people who are completely unfamiliar with the art of yard maintenance. For example, they give helpful suggestions like "Do not attempt to stop moving blade with your hands," and "Don't cut grass when it's raining, or the grass will clump together, form gangs, and skateboard on your sidewalk." And it contained useful information like "The mower is shipped fully assembled, except for the parts that are not assembled." No I'm not making that up. I can only imagine the booklet was written by one of the designers, and the editor caught this and said "Ohhh, what about the gasoline? Don't we need to tell them to assemble the gasoline?" So that last clause was slipped in just seconds before the booklet went to the printer.

You'd be surprised I did not buy a robotic lawn mower, given my fascination with automating things, even if the automation process is more work and more costly than just doing something directly. Believe me, it was tempting, but I think I get enough of those disapproving glances from the neighbors already.

Well you know what, I still haven't actually mowed the lawn, even though I now have the mower. I feel I've made real progress here, and I don't want to wear myself out. One step at a time.