Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Mow My Lawn And Quietly Despair.

Regular readers with long memories and no lives or friends will recall my ‘lawn situation’, and my gratefulness levelled at the two shirtless radge-packets who last summer came round twice a month and strimmed said lawn in return for enough money to buy some cigarettes or cider and for not putting my windows in.

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?

Me: Aaah…

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!

They shrug.

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.


Blogger Alison Cross said...

I feel your pain.

When I was eight and a half months pregnant, at the height of summer, one of the local gadgies (as we call them up here in the land of the blue facepaint and irn bru) leaned over the fence to ask how I was keeping, seeing as how I was massive with child.

I told him I was fine and continued to get the lawn mower ready to do the front lawn. I hovvered the lawn in manner of woman half-heartedly hoovering the carpet only to turn round and see him still leaning over the fence WATCHING ME CUT THE GRASS.

After a few minutes of this I asked him whether there was anything else I could do for him. He said no, but FECKING WELL KEPT WATCHING ME CUTTING THE GRASS

I was proper Pregnant Woman livid.

So I know how you feel ;-)

Ali x

12:01 pm  
Blogger InvisibleWoman said...

Shouldn't worry, they'll break into your shed and nick it and all will be right with the world. You do have a shed don't you?

12:29 pm  
Blogger Nicky said...

@Alison Cross, I once answered the door to two local young scallies offering to mow the lawn for a fiver. They'd done it before and done a reasonable job, so I smiled and said yes. They then proceeded to wish me well on the birth of my impending child. I wasn't pregnant. They didn't get the mowing gig ever again.

1:46 pm  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

The first time or 2 is an adventure, but the novelty of hoovering your lawn fades quickly.

Your little radgies will be back in business with a new lawnmower in a month, I suspect.

5:38 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Ali: I have to point out that I am not pregnant.

IV: Hello and welcome. I have the world's most secure shed so am unconcerned.

Nicky: This is neither facebook, twitter or one of those 'forum' things that were quite fashionable a few years ago that I didn't really understand.

Sew: No doubt.

Why are people referring to 'hoovering' their lawn? Am I doing it wrong?

8:57 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

I'm really looking forward to the sunflower episode.

11:03 pm  
Blogger punxxi said...

hire them to use the mower unless you have decided that you quite like it.our yard is all hill so you can't use a mower, so we hire a weed whacker on it. It is worth the price.

4:54 am  
Blogger TwistedScottishBastard said...

I'm surprised. Your post reveals a caring sensitive Tired Dad that I was not aware really existed.
Are you sure that the motivational course has not had some deliterous side-effects?
Have you felt the urge to hug a tree/person/animal or even a politician?

7:21 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Em: You'd better brace yourself. I got home from work today to find several of them had fallen over in the wind!!!!!

punx: It seems frivolous to pay someone else to use kit I actually own. Austerity and all that.

TSB: I do not hug. I am not a hugger.

12:51 am  
Anonymous Em said...

Excellent. A dramatic turn of events...

11:24 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Em: Literally the most interesting thing to happen in ages. I put them up straight again and drummed my fingers waiting for something equally exciting to happen.

9:38 pm  
Blogger fourdinners said...

After vanishing (sensibly) from the blogosphere I have come back (not sensibly) to learn about you mowing your lawn.

I just remembered why I left.

er...can I borrow your mower?

There are several delinquents around here I can't wait to incite to burgle(?) in order to justifiably stab them - according to British law of course...

11:01 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Dinners: Ah. You're back. And yes, this is about as exciting as it gets around here these days.

6:43 pm  

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