Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mow like your great grandpa
Check out my badass lawnmower. It's the Scotts Classic reel mower: 20" wide, 30 pounds svelte, and guaranteed to make you the envy of every sanctimonious environmentalist on your block. I got mine last year but this is its first spring - when the Kentucky fescue grows faster than the list of washed-up celebrities coming to Derby - so I wanted to make sure I lurved it before I blogommended it. I do.

The cut is perfect if you aren't too anal, the silence is golden, and the exhaust is non-existent. I figure I've easily recouped the $120 price, when you factor in the $3/gallon gas price, the cost of driving to buy the gas, and the taxes you have to pay in America to get your government to torture and kill the people necessary to get the oil out of the ground. Plus, it's a minor workout to mow the lawn, meaning I don't have to pay for a spa membership or a yoga instructor or a wushu guru. So I figure I'm way ahead of the game financially.

We have a small yard, so it's not too big a chore to mow with a manual mower. It takes about 20 minutes to mow our yard, perhaps a bit longer when I stop to savor my neighbors' thought balloons, which read, "There goes that goddam liberal again," and "Sweet – he's mowing Amish. Let's compensate by pouring some old oil down the sewer!"

The cut is a little less perfect than with a gas mower, but the slightly uneven cut serves as a reminder to my neighbors that they are in the presence of an Al Gore voter. It's kind of like a political yard sign without the crass marketing logos and bullshit stylistic American flag treatment.

My only complaint is that smallish twigs can cause the mower to stop in its tracks, so you have to pick up sticks instead of grinding them to smithereens like you do with a gas mower or your mower will come to a sudden halt when its scissors hit a twig. The occasional sudden stop also gives me a weird fingernails-on-a-chalkboard sensation. I'm not sure what that's about. A hitch in my git-along. A negative energy jolt to my manipura chakra. But that's a minor price to pay for saving an entire planet.

I copped my badass Scotts Classic at Keith's Hardware, but they're popping up everywhere now that C02 is so 2005. (I even got a certificate from the city thanking me for the purchase. No, really. It's hanging in the garage if you want to stop by to see it.) The blades need to be sharpened yearly, but Keith's does it for $10, which I'll probably do when I go in for some twine emergency or an impulse sledgehammer. Now if I can just trick the kids into trying it…

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