Sunday, October 9, 2016

Feeling bruised

A few years ago, Jeff and I were volunteering to build the Angie's List garden. It was early days and we had to use a motorized post-hole digger to install the raised beds that have been the best idea we ever had for that garden.

If you've never used a motorized post-hole digger, I invite you to try. It's harder than it looks and if you don't pay attention, it will whip you around like a bathtub in a tornado instead of bore into the Earth. No there is no video. But I'm pretty sure I hadn't felt so whip-lashed since I was a baby and toppled into the washer.

Jeff saved me from the post-hole digger. My sister Diana (I think) rescued me from the washer. I don't actually remember that. I just know the story.

My one and only daughter was laying on the living room couch recovering from a sore throat when the motorized lawn aerator got hold of me today. She said she'd never laughed so hard in all her life.

My neighbor, Jason, called me this morning saying a friend  had loaned him an aerator and wondered if I wanted to use it, too. It looks a lot like a roto-tiller. He said it looked pretty easy to operate.

So this afternoon, I put on my lawn sneakers and headed across the street. He was mowing but told me I could go first. He'd never used one either, and gave me a duplicate of the lesson he'd had that morning. I offered to do his yard as I was grateful for the loaner but he demurred, looking forward to the challenge.

Like my mower, it had a bar you push down to propel it. I couldn't get the damn thing to go down so he did it and then sauntered back to his mower. So off I went. Except the machine kind of took off without me. Before I knew it, I was clear across the yard and had murdered two of my ceramic pumpkins.

For a moment, I was afraid the damn thing would aerate its way right through the picture window but I wrangled it down. It took me a while, but I thought I had it under control and headed around the yard.  I got back to my point of origin and meant to turn to make another pass.

Let me just say that the thing doesn't corner. I had one foot on the curb as I pulled heaved to get it to make a turn. Victory was within inches when it lurched forward like a gazelle who's just smelled the crouching lion. I went tumbling down the street, ass over tea kettle.

That's apparently when the young redhead glanced up from the couch.  Jason had moved on to his back yard. I laid there, dazed for a bit. I don't know how long. I don't wear a watch. Probably just a second or two. I really don't know. At the time, I thought I'd escaped notice.

I scrambled up, dusted myself off and stared down the still rumbling, spawn of Christine. I opted to continue, but this time, just made wide circles in the yard. No more corners.

Did I aerate my yard effectively? I guess we'll find out next Spring. There are plugs of dirt all over it. When I was done -- OK I might have given up -- I still couldn't get the damn bar to move. So I left it snarling in my yard and went to get Jason. He was a little surprised I was done so quickly, and I felt compelled to warn  him that the device might be demonic.

A few hours later, I got a text from him. The machine, he said, "that aerator is very aggressive and has a mind of its own."

I rubbed my backside and agreed, silently happy no one had witnessed my exposure to said aggression. That's about the time I ran into Alison, who was still chortling.

I'm raising a demon.

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