Thursday, July 20, 2006

Appliances Hate Me

Who knew that the small things of home owning would be the things that send me over the edge? Take mowing the lawn.

My parents never believed in "girl's work" or "boy's work". So mowing the lawn was a chore I was taught fairly early, and something I've never had a problem doing. It's not that taxing, it's good exercise, it's certainly more appealing to me than dusting or sweeping. So earlier this week I took out my new lawnmower and began mowing the lawn. Well, the kudzu in the back of my property. This is when the fun began.

I looked down when I was a little more than half-way done with the lawn and thought, "hmmm. That wheel doesn't look like it's at the right angle on the mower." Just as I thought this, the wheel fell off. I turned off the mower and found that the nut had simply fallen off the bolt holding the wheel on. I did a cursory search for it, but knew I'd never find it in the yard, so figured I'd just take a break and finish the next day. So I went to Home Depot, bought a nut, and came home ready to be a handy-woman, fix my mower and get on with life. I tipped the mower on its side, screwed the nut on as tight as I could and started again. Took one pass and the wheel fell off again. Sigh. Turned the mower over again, got a different tool, tightened the nut even MORE this time, and started. Tried to start, actually. There was something wrong with the primer button. I pushed it, but it whooshed half-heartedly. Hmmm, I think. On closer examination, there appears to be oil spilled from the machine. Ok, I think. By turning the mower on its side, I've poured the oil out and I must replace it. No problem.

I trubdle back to the hardware store, buy oil, get home and put the the carburator. Yes, I did. After pouring some in and wondering why it is so inconvenient to pour a little and wait for it to go down, I spot a little cap in the back of the mower with the familier drop-of-oil symbol on it. Uh-oh, I think. So I quickly put the cap back on the carburator, fill the real oil tank, and try to start the mower. But the pull cord suddenly becomes obstinate. It won't pull out. I try, and have no luck. I look carefully at the bottom of the mower to see if anything is blocking the blades. No luck. I start to panic. This, you understand, represents a significant investment of money at the moment. I cannot just replace this mower. And the lawn is about to swallow me - it needs cut NOW. I try again to start it. No luck. It was about this time that I called my mother in tears. Yes, I am 34 years old, and I still call my mother and cry when I can't figure things out.

Now, my step-father assured me that I just needed to drain the carburator overnight, let it dry and all would be well. And it turns out he was right. With a little milking, it started right up today, and after nice blue smoke poured out from the engine for a minute or two, the mower is right as rain. But oy. If this is what happens to me everytime I attempt to fix something, I'd better move back to an apartment right now.


Anonymous Mitch said...

Laughing this hard with a hernia hurts...

12:47 PM  

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