I Mow My Lawn And Quietly Despair.
This year, I approach the assembly of my new lawnmower with some trepidation. To be honest, I’m astonished it needs any input on my part construction-wise at all. Shouldn’t it already come in one piece? It’s one of the largest functional item’s I’ve ever owned and I’m becoming concerned about a future in which I purchase a car or a house and find it comes requiring a degree in Air-Fix. Is this how it works now? You pay people for stuff you then need to build?
Oh well. It’s not the most dispiriting birthday present I’ve ever had but at least it serves a function.
Blonde Colleague: [Several days earlier] But what about the radgies? Where are they going to get their White Lightning money now?
Me: It’s not my problem anymore.
B.C: They’ll probably start mugging old ladies for their pension again.
Me: You don’t know that. [They probably will.] And to be honest, it’ll be a relief not to have a couple of shirtless fourteen-year-old boys knocking on my door – the door of a single adult man – anymore. People talk.
B.C: But they were canny! Doing all that work for a couple of quid instead of going on the rob!
And she’s right. As I heave my new lawnmower onto the front lawn I admit to myself that I am now depriving some local delinquents of legal employ. But it’s a gift – I have to use it.
I reflect to myself that it would be funny if they came down my street now and saw me with my new lawnmower.
The radge-packets walk down my street. “This is ridiculous,” I think. “If I write something on the tedious subject of mowing my lawn no-one is going to believe this is happening. Fuck.”
Radgie 1: Alreet, like?
Me: Yeah, um…
Radgie 2: Lawnmower is it?
Radgie 1: WE’D do THAT [gestures at lawn] for ya!
Me: I know but [gesturing at offending lawnmower] it was a present so I’ve got to use it, you know?
Radgie 2: Aye. Right then. Used it before?
Me: NO! First time! I’ve just put it together!
Me: Here we go!
I pull at the ‘power’ handle attached to the real handle. Nothing happens. I release the safety-thing that allows you to ACTUALLY pull the ‘power’ handle and it whirs into life. I grin at the the radge-packets. They scowl.
After mowing for a bit I feel oddly content. Adult. Capable. I glance back. THEY’RE JUST STANDING WATCHING.
I realise they are going to watch me mow MY ENTIRE LAWN.
I manfully shoulder-on, aware that every square-foot of grass represents a mouthful of Diamond White to them. They’re gone by the time I finish. I collect the grass clippings with my newly-acquired rake (get me) and bag it. Judging by the weight it’s at least equivalent to twenty Lambert & Butlers.
I feel DREADFUL. I am convinced the local crime rate will soar. And am also dismayed that this is the only interesting thing to have happened to me in some time.
NEXT: I take the sunflowers back inside, realise I'm being silly and put them back on the patio again. REALLY.