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The Lawnmower

March 27, 2012

I recently passed yet another milestone in this process called aging, one that is rather painful, albeit funny….

A couple of weeks back, I was preparing to mow the front yard.  My aging lawnmower is always somewhat difficult to start, and having set idle all winter made it even more recalcitrant than usual.

I was standing in the driveway, somewhere between my third and fourth pull, when I glanced over my shoulder.  Jogging down the street was a teenage boy, probably no more than 16 years of age.

As I contorted myself into position for another mighty yank, I felt sweat forming on my forehead.  I gave it a good yank.


Not so much as a sputter.

The teenager pulled even with my driveway and glanced over at me.  I thought…. probably anything to break the monotony of running alone.

I pulled again.  Not even a cough.

By now, the lad was past me, but he looked over his shoulder nonetheless, perhaps intrigued by this timeless duel between man and machine.

I tried one more time.  Still no response.

Having apparently decided he had seen enough, the jogger stopped.

“Do you need me to start it for you?”, he asked softly.

It is difficult to put into words the thoughts running through my mind at that moment………

Do I look so feeble that I require assistance?  It is just a lawnmower, for goodness sake.

Or, is it my perceived incompetence?

Or, possibly, merely a polite young man seeking to do a good deed for a senior citizen?

“No, thanks.  I’ve just about got it.”, I answered demurely.

P.S.  If he had prefaced his question with “Pops”, I may have been compelled to take him out.


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