Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lawn Mower Mundundities

First, I would like to address the title of my post, and only to the extent that "mundundities" is my own fecundity. I meant it as a derivative of  "mundane." What's the point of English if you can't make up words. (How ridiculous is it to say whats the point of English if you can't make up words?! I mean if we made up all of our words then there wouldn't actually be a point to English. So you know what? I apologize for making up the word Mundundities. But I don't apologize so much as to change it.)

Second, I would like to address the word fecundity. Hello, fecundity. (I shouldn't think that's funny, I know.)

Third, I would like to write a short story about my lawn mower struggles. It is as follows:

Liz and I have recently purchased a home. We purchased it in late October so there was no need to immediately buy a lawn mower because the grass had stopped growing. SO, this spring the grass started growing again, as is its way. But I was unprepared. I had no mower! (Cue music that is supposed to add suspense, indicating that the primary conflict has arisen.) (I told you it was mundane. Or at least it was implied in the title.)

I could have done what a normal person would do and go to a local hardware store to purchase a lawn mower, but I had gotten it my head that I could buy one second hand from a pawn shop. After many visits to local pawn shops, I had finally found one at a good price which would serve my purposes. The owner said he wanted to change out the air filter but if I would come back tomorrow I could buy it. So that's what I did. But the next day it had been sold.....

What a jerk who does that? (sigh) They told me to go down the street to another pawn shop. This was on my lunch break mind you, so I was in a nice suit. It is a navy suit which I had expertly paired with a sort of brownish lavender shirt with a white and navy tie. I don't mean to brag but I looked good. Court-ready even. I would blow away a jury with my suave demeanor. Yes, in a court room I would be at home, but as it happened I was very self-conscious of pawn shopping in a suit. (I was also self conscious of  the fashion forward shirt, if I'm honest). So unhappily I went to a second pawn shop. They had several mowers to choose from. A short gray haired man showed me out to the back in order to make an easy sale.

 We turned each of them on, one by one.

I pretended to inspect each carefully. Hoping to evoke a sense that I might know what to look for in a second-hand lawn mower so as to get a better deal. I made an offer 20 bucks below asking price. My brownish lavender shirt and navy suit betrayed me. The short gray haired man staired blankly for a moment and then repeated the asking price of $90. I capitulated grudgingly.

So there I was, in my nice suit in a parking lot in a somewhat shady part of town, the proud owner of a shiny second hand mower. (Well it was better described as rusty than shiny.)  Then there was the matter of transporting the mower back to my home.


 I drive a small 2008 Sentra. It's pretty sweet. I don't wanna brag but, yeah, it's a compact.


Well, not quite. It kind of hung out the back and I didn't have any bungie chords. SO after getting my suit quite dirty I managed to put it in my back seat. I think the pawn shop employees thought it was pretty funny, but they did not offer to help. Jerks.

Long story short. The mower crapped out half way through my lawn resulting in, but not limited to, the following itemized events:

1. Feeble attempts to fix it.

2. Embarrassing neighbor interactions in which they mowed my lawn in my absence.

3. Uncontrollable weeping.

4. A return to the pawn shop.

5. A brief argument as to whether they would give me my money back that I won (Lawyered).

6. And a new mower purchased from Wal-Mart. (sigh).


Thursday, February 2, 2012

On Losing Ones Youth; Or, On the realization I might be an enabler

My older brother has recently moved to North Dakota for work. Brrrrr. Sounds pretty bad, but not as bad as when you consider he has a pretty sweet beard and he loves hot coffee. He might have been made for the great white north, eh. (Is North Dakota the great white north? He said he was closer to Canada than Kansas. So I'm going to say, 'yeah it is' feel free to correct me in the comments section. Our little Dorothy (Joey) is not in Kansas anymore).

The reason I mention the "Joe Man" (as he is sometimes called in certain computer game situations, I can only assume this call sign comes from Top Gun, as some kind of play on Ice Man. This is only reinforced by his propensity to say, "You know why I don't like you?! Cause you're dangerous." And then he bites/clicks his teeth right in my face. True Story) (whew another long aside!) (One day I will just write an entire post in parenthesis. Cut out the middle man. Now back to my original sentence, which began way at the beginning of the paragraph....) is that he is integral to my story. 

Before he left, he and I took a trek to Manhattan Kansas, to visit the third brother (if we were the brothers' Karamotsov he would be Alyosha) (*Liturature Reference High Five*). (What's better is the analogy really does work for him if you've read the novel) The third brother is dating a girl that is a few years younger than himself. She is 20 and he is 24. Not totally ridiculous. But, lets call a spade a spade, one must ask, "I wonder if there is a maturity gap there?" But whether it's to Paige's credit or Matt's arrested development (wait is that a thing? or just a tv show?) I really don't think there is. They are good together. However, as Joe and I have recently discovered, the fast paced world of college 20 year olds is behind us. And what's sad is that we came to this realization when doing the most relaxing non-fast-paced of activities:  getting Coffee. 

Now realizing you are too old is traumatic, realizing you're too old while getting coffee... that is something I was just not prepared for. Anyway, Paige joined Alyosha, Joe Man and myself for coffee before we set out for the evening's activities. Great! Paige brought two of her sorority sisters. (At the risk of sounding creepy:) Great! Or so I thought....

 They spoke so fast....

 About so many different people...

AAARRGG! I couldn't keep up! It was like a twitter feed was coming out of their mouths and beating me about the face while periodically interrupting the beat down with bursts of laughter. Yeah. Horrifying. I tried to be entertaining, clever and funny. I don't think it worked. They just kept on with their conversations at break neck speeds.




That was about all I gathered. I looked over at Joey. His brain hole was experiencing the same kind of whip lash. But the Joe Man was not bested. No. He stood up with his coffee slowly. Walked back over to the barrista counter and ordered something else. He came back and listened quietly. Something was different. He sipped his cup with self satisfaction. He had the solution. I didn't know until later, but he had put a double shot of whiskey in his coffee. An inventive, simple response to the realization you are too old for your present company. But...let us be honest, maybe a little bit of an alcoholic's response as well. 

Now that my brothers and my younger brother's girlfriend won't be speaking to me as I have undoubtedly offended them with this post, maybe I should sit back and sip some Irish coffee. Maybe read a book, complain about some youngsters, while wearing slippers and a sweater vest, and toast to my aging ears and to silence.  

I thought about including below an Irish Drinking song written by Matt (Alyosha) that, I like to think, was written partly about the Joe Man and partly about Matt's truly alcoholic friends, whom I have great love an affection for, despite their tragic flaw. BUT Matt, through indifference or negligence, never sent it to me and, as I wrote this post for November, I thought it was time to post. I can always ad it later.