A lawnmower is a big investment, so you should research the matter thoroughly. Ideally, the perfect lawnmower will mow the lawn while you lay on the couch binge-watching the first two seasons of The Office. But since that’s called a “lawn service” and you can’t afford that, you’re going to have to settle for a lesser model.
How about one of those zero-turn babies? They’re like your dad’s version of the Millenium Falcon. You can almost hear him whispering, “It’s the lawnmower that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs” while he pirouettes around the shrubs like Nancy Kerrigan.
Unfortunately, a zero-turn lawnmower costs as much as a Romanian orphan, so maybe stick to a push mower. God knows you need the exercise. Maybe get the electric start — your rotator cuff will thank you.
ME: “Oh, I need to fill the gas tank.”
MY MOM: [thinking about the lawnmower that’s been living in her garage for three weeks] “Maybe you should take it out of the box first.”
Everybody’s a comedian.
Open the box which says DO NOT OPEN WITH A KNIFE with the biggest knife you can find. What do they expect, you’re going to gnaw it open like a rat?
The instructions are laying on top of the engine wrapped in plastic. Set those aside and never look at them again. Later, shove them into a kitchen drawer with all of your other instruction manuals. This is the instruction manual graveyard. It holds instruction manuals for things you don’t even remember owning. You must never throw away an instruction manual. This is the law.
Open the little Ziploc baggy of random nuts and bolts and immediately drop one of them in the gravel driveway, never to be seen again, so that future archeologists can dig it up and say, “Wow, a hexagonal torque wing nut for a Toro 22-inch Personal Speed electric start push mower. I bet somebody’s life went straight to shit after they lost that.”
And they would be right.
Actually, it’s not that hard to put a lawnmower together. I can even sometimes fix a lawnmower with the help of Amazon and YouTube, and after making a blood sacrifice to the gods of lawn mower repair.
The hard part is mowing every 12 hours in the spring when you can actually see the grass growing like in one of those time-lapse science films you used to watch in second grade.
You tell yourself it’s not a competition with your neighbors. Your lawn doesn’t have to look as nice as theirs.
You poor, delusional fool.
The sun is beating down on you like a golden hammer, you’re sweatier than an MMA fighter, and at some point your ankles have fallen off.
And while you’re humping your push mower back and forth like you’re blazing the Oregon Trail, your neighbor is drinking a beer on his back porch because he has a zero-turn mower and was done mowing his lawn three hours ago. It took him 10 minutes.
Your neighbor works for the post office. He gets 72 weeks of vacation per year. Life is not fair.
You hate your neighbor. You also hate mowing the lawn. You’d like to live in the middle of a parking lot, maybe in an old-timey Kodak photo booth. Or under a highway overpass with a pet pigeon. Or in a nuclear missile silo.
At least that way you’d never have to mow the lawn.