Men, Mowers, and Malfunctions

Yesterday, a Milwaukee man shot his lawn mower in his front yard because it wouldn’t start. I’m certainly not condoning this gentleman’s behavior, but I can certainly relate.  I’ve lived with a man for sixteen years who mows, trims, and wacks every weed in the yard at least once a week, and when one of his machines malfunctions, it drives him crazy.


“Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!” The noise coming through the window can only mean one thing.  My husband is frantically pulling the cord in a futile attempt to start the mower.  “Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!”  Silence.  Long pause.  The “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!” sounds a little faster this time.  I sigh because I know what’s coming next.




“Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!”  Faster, faster, and even faster he goes.  Where he’ll stop, nobody knows.


I stick my head out the window and utter probably the dumbest question I’ve ever asked, “Is there gas in the mower?”


If looks could kill, I’d be dead.  “Yes, it has gas!” he said sarcastically as sweat dripped off his forehead.  “I think it’s flooded.”


“Is the ignition switch on?” I inquired.  “How about the spark plug wire?  Is it firmly attached to the spark plug?”


He turned around slowly to look at me. “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?” he asked, “and since when did you become an expert on lawn mowers?”


“Since I discovered Google,” I answered with a smile.  “If you’re not using fresh fuel then you should probably just try another spark plug.”


He muttered something unintelligible as he stood up and grabbed the cord again.  “Stand back,” he ordered.  “She could blow at any point.”


“I thought your mower was a male,” I said.  “Or is that only when it’s working properly?” 


“Very funny,” he said as he yanked the cord.  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!”


He tried with his left hand.  “Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!”


Suddenly, a rainbow appeared over the house, angels sang, and the mower roared to life. Even as black smoke spewed out the bag, he was off and running (literally) as the mower seemed to take on a life of its own.  “She’s out of control!” he shouted breathlessly as he ran behind the mower, veering dramatically from his normal meticulous cross-cross pattern.  A horrible sound came from the mower that sounded like he was attempting to cut gravel instead of grass.  Suddenly, a black rubber belt flew out the side of the mower, narrowly missing my left eye, and landing at my feet.  The mower sputtered to a stop.




“Looks like the self-propelled belt is broken,” I said as I held up the piece and scrutinized it carefully.  “You should be able to get this back on with a screwdriver, a welding tip, and maybe some Super Glue.”


He shook his head.  “I’m just going to put this mower back in the garage and do some weed wacking instead,” he grumbled.


I went back inside and a few seconds later, I heard, ““Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!  “Ziiiiiip!”


Silence.  Long pause.


“Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!  Riiiiip!” 


Silence.  Long pause.


“Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip!Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip!” Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip!Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip! Ziiiiiip!”


I sigh because I know what’s coming next.


The weed wacker sailed past the window and landed next to my flower garden where it promptly roared to life.


Now you know why I can relate to the story below:


<a href="" rel="me">Technorati Profile</a>





About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at
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