By Tim Kalinowski
April 22 was Earth Day. That’s always an important day for me every year, and I always try to mark the occasion by doing something nature-loving. However I can honestly admit this year’s Earth Day didn’t quite do it for me. On the plus side I did spend most of the day outside and got a little sun; on the negative side it was not quite in the spirit of reverence for nature I had intended.
It’s hard to be reflective and thoughtful about Earth’s wondrous bounty while simultaneously kicking the stuffing out of your stupid lawnmower because the darn thing refuses to work.
The day started off well. It was a day off for me, and I had intended for things to go like this: Sleep in a little more than usual, go eat brunch out, quickly cut the grass, go for a nice walk in Police Point Park, do my taxes, and then head out for an evening party I had been invited to.
Parts one and two went according to plan, but then the grass cutting thing came up. I spent the next six hours taking the entire machine apart and putting it back together again. I made numerous trips to local hardware stores, buying new parts, lubricants, cleaners, fuel, ether, an air filter, a spark plug, and a large socket wrench and long 5/8 socket to install said spark plug. At about 6 p.m. I finally, through whatever combination of these things, got the beast running. If you can call it that.
The RPM on the engine was so low that even a three inch tuft of grass proved a challenge, and would cut the engine out if I pushed through too hard. What should have taken perhaps 20 minutes to do, took the better part of an hour to complete.
So at 7 p.m. I came inside mentally and physically exhausted after my struggle with the lawnmower beast. My back was sore. My index finger was blistered from pulling on the starter rope about 100 times during the day. My voice was hoarse from all the swearing. I was $60 poorer.
I decided to lay down for a quick nap. Two hours later I woke up. So much for all my Earth Day plans.
I did get the grass cut. Happy Earth Day.