Thursday, August 12, 2010

Epic 3-Day Battle with the Lawn Mower

I don't have the greatest history with yard equipment. The fight is usually not pretty and does not usually end well. At some point there is a comical scene where I end up hurting myself trying to show the yard equipment who's boss.

So, when the lawn mower quit starting on Monday, I knew it would be another battle in the war on lawn equipment...

Monday, I pulled and pulled on the rope with the handle that is just a little too small for an average human hand. After pushing the primer bubble 10x more than needed, the thing still wouldn't start. In my frustration I put the mower back in the shed and proceeded to slam the door shut. <SNAP> ...the force broke the handle off the shed door. Lawn equipment 1, Ben 0.

Tuesday, I let all the excess gas drain from the over priming on Monday and proceeded to try to start it again. No luck. Beat the learning curve, Ben, you can do it! I stopped trying to start it and took the air filter off the mower and it was caked in 6 years of oily, gassy gunk. I cleaned it and tried to start the mower again...nothing. Moving up on the evolutionary scale exponentially at this point, I went to Home Depot and bought a new air filter and read on the package, "Replace this every 3 months or every 25 hours of operation." Whoops! Hoping this would be the salvation, the turning point of the war, my Saratoga, I installed it. Victory! The mower started for 30 seconds and then died, even with an oil change. Mower 2, Ben .5 points for not hurting myself or breaking anything.

Wednesday: Thinking back to Home Depot, I knew I had to go back like Jack Shephard knew he had to go back to the island. I had to get a spark plug, especially after seeing how burned up the one was that I pulled off the mower. Spark plug replaced, engine primed, cord pulled...BLAST OFF! Battle won! This thing purred like a cat that just figured out how to receive love without having to give any back.

On another note I must admit that this mower has not been running well for 4 years. Rather than doing anything about it, I just figured each mow might be its last. Like a good American consumer, I thought, "I'll just buy a new one when this piece of junk dies" (albeit, due to my neglect of oil changes, spark plugs, and air filters). I was not motivated to do anything to take care of it until it didn't work anymore, but I had plenty of motivation to complain about its quality along the way. Isn't that life for so many of us? It's not much of one, that's for sure!


  1. Very funny! Yes, preventative maintenance is not one of my strong suits either. I'm a wait-till-it-breaks kind of guy. Then, when it is broken, I'm a wait-till-the-yard-looks-like-a-corn-field-before-fixing-it kind of guy. My wife pretty much hates both guys.

  2. I have had numerous (adventures) you might say with demon possessed mowers and on several occasions the Lord ansered my prayers and cast the demons out just before I pulled the cord the 3rd time. I have learned that if God doesnt want it started it aint gonna start. I have also learned that God says "yes" to me more than "no" when I seek His help at the beginning of a potentual episode rather than as a last resort. At present I am blessed to have a neighbor who needs my professional tax services and is willing to mow my yard for me in trade. I praise God for this blessing and wish for you the same blessing soon. I can get bent out of shape in a hurry if I forget to consult God for wisdom and for His blessings in my everyday life experiences.