Monday, May 19, 2008

Unpopular Mechanics

Have I mentioned my complete lack of knowledge about machines? No? Well, have I mentioned that we have about a TRILLION gadgets with motors that I use on a regular basis? Yes, I am a complete moron about motors and all things related to them, and yet I am regularly encouraged to use various expensive devices that could conceivably dismember me if used improperly.

If you have some kind of idealized view of country life where we all get back to the land (get back? I'm already there, thanks) by trimming our lawns by hand and chopping down trees with an axe, let me ruin that pretty fantasy for you. Country life means machinery. The sound of summer around here is the sound of combustion engines.

We have a lot of machines: chainsaws, lawn mowers, trimmers, water pumps . . . and I'm lucky if I can even start any of them, much less figure out what's wrong when they don't start. There's all these complicated buttons and choke levers and God knows what else on them. I pretty much just randomly flip switches and pull cords until whatever the thing is roars to life. The only thing I absolutely will not use is the Stihl chainsaw, because that is a seriously brawny piece of metal. I have a hard time lifting it, much less holding it steady enough to avoid cutting off my foot. I leave that one to the man of the house. Gender roles? I'm all for 'em.

Unfortunately, I can't avoid all the machines. I'm the one who's home and has the time, so I do most of the landscaping/gardening/mowing. When we got our new (used) lawn tractor, I got the thing stuck on inclines like 4 times, with one tire spinning in the air. And then A. helpfully pointed out to me that perhaps inflating the COMPLETELY FLAT TIRE on one side might improve my stability. Noted. Now, please excuse me while I go die of estrogen-related shame. Thank you.

I would be perfectly happy to stick to my kitchen and my house, but the damned grass keeps growing, so I keep struggling with the machines. And my own stupidity. I think the machines are winning.


Roger A. Post said...

Maybe you need more sheep to do that yard work. That would mean more fencing, of course, to keep the grazers out of the flower beds. And more fencing might allow you to run a power auger to set some corner or gate posts, at least until you encounter a boulder. But wait, then you could bring in the explosives expert to blow the rock to smithereens. The possibilities for fun are endless!

SaraPMcC said...

I'm nervous just hearing about the chainsaw.

cndymkr / jean said...

Ugh. Machines are not my thing either. You should be granted extra bonus points for even trying!