For The Love of A Good Power Mower

There are few things my husband values more than his wife, his life and his children. His golf clubs, his chain saw and his precious lawn tractor. He tends to guard and protect these three things with more ferocity than I've ever seen him guard me.

He's so in love with these three possessions that at one point of time or another, our marriage almost came to a shattered end over them.

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Oh my preciousssss, my preciousssss!

Of course, that also may have had something to do with the time I hurled his favorite club into the woods after a particularly bad golf moment of my own. When Boo finally found it (after first chewing my arse out and huffing off in a man-tantrum) the shaft was bent from coming to a sudden stop against a tree trunk.

He saw that bent shaft and the world stopped. I do believe he even stopped breathing momentarily. When he finally got his wind back, he took to yelling at me full throttle about my disrespect for his things.

I, in turn, got my panties in a twist and grabbed his driver and snapped it over my knee.

That was the last time we ever golfed together. Heh.

Most of the time, my darling Boo is easy going about well, everything. It takes a lot to ruffle his feathers. Which is why he's such a good husband for me. My fur stands straight up if someone looks cross-eyed at me. He calms me down and helps me see reason instead of red. And I, of course, help light a fire under his easy going ass when need be.

It's marital bliss most of the time. (Not counting the current tug of war over his constant need for for me to have my ankles behind my ears.)

The bliss ended last night. Fric was on the push mower, singing to her heart's content as she trimmed grass around the trees and flower beds and her brother sat on the riding tractor, happily pretending to be a Formula One race car driver while cutting the lawn.

I, of course, ignored them watched them like a good mother hen as I read my latest summer trash novel.

Suddenly, Frac shut off the lawn tractor and called out to me that he thought something was wrong with the tractor. He heard a bang and wondered if something happened to the mower.

"Don't be silly," I casually called out, while flipping my page. "If it was broken, it would stop. You probably just hit a rock or ran over a twig."

Frac looked unconvinced and suggested putting off mowing until his father got home from work and checked out the tractor, you know, just in case.

"Nice try, dude, but that lawn is going to get mowed whether you use the lawn tractor or start chewing it off with your teeth. You choose." My concern for the lawn tractor was over-shadowed by the shaggy height of our lawn and how I noticed a surprising increase in the number of wild life using my front lawn as their feeding grounds.

Frac shook his head in that man-are-you-a-stupid-woman type of way and sighed and started the lawn tractor. When it started easily (although I will admit to hearing a clunk) I felt vindicated in my decision and waved him onward.

The grass wasn't going to mow itself, people.

A half an hour later, the lawn almost, but not quite finished, the tractor was making funny sounds. Frac was visibly fretting now, checking oil and gas levels and scratching his little blonde head.

"Don't worry about it, Frac, just park it in the shop and go wash for supper," I told him. "It's probably just the battery. It always quits. You can finish after supper," sayeth the wise, mechanically inclined super Mom I am.

Supper came and went and Frac went to finish the lawn. "Mom, I can't get the tractor to start."

"Did you put the battery charger on it?" Because, you know, the battery charger solves all problems.

"It's not the battery. It has lots of juice. It just won't start."

"Don't worry about it then. Dad can look at it when he gets home," I note as I look at my wrist watch. Boo was supposed to be home hours ago. I was trying to contain my annoyance over actually cooking supper for him only to have him not home to observe my keen wifey skills.

Eventually, Boo wandered in. After listening to Frac describe the lawn tractor's current saga, Boo got a worried look on his face and went to go see what ailed his precious mower. I poured myself a cold drink (read: mojito) and turned on my lap top; completely unconcerned about his mechanical problems.

That may have been a mistake. Turns out, it may have been one of many I made that day.

Boo came thundering in, steam pouring out of his ears, and all but shouting at me, "Did you tell him to KEEP mowing the lawn after he heard a boom?"

"Yep," I answered, not even bothering to look up from my lap top.

"WHY would you do that?"

"Because it didn't seem serious to me and the lawn looked horrible."

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I thought about holding a mirror in front of Boo and pointing out the cartoon similarities, but I wisely decided against it.

Insert cuss words here and a completely agitated Boo as he headed for the kitchen, slamming cupboard doors and looking for the phone book. Fric and Frac wisely headed outside to avoid the thunderheads hovering over Boo's head.

"It didn't seem serious," Boo mimicked maniacally. Grabbing the phone book (and cursing) he came to a stop in front of me.

"Tell me, Tanis, when, in your schooling, did you become a mechanical expert?" Since the steam from his ears was fogging up my lap top, I looked at him (blankly, I admit,) and shrugged.

"What's the big deal?"

(Note to self: When husband is visibly agitated with you, perhaps the best course of action is not to be cavalier and dismissive.)

"The big deal is when you told him to continue mowing after hearing a boom and telling him he just ran over a rock (again with his maniacal mimicking) you effectively MURDERED my lawn tractor!!!"

"What?" I asked, somewhat defensively (and possibly a wee derogatory.)

"Yea!" he continued all huffily. "It seems the crankshaft broke and blah, blah, blah, (I kinda zoned out through his mechanical explanation) and now the engine of my beloved lawn tractor is seized!!!"

Boo may deny this, but I swear I saw tears glisten in the corner of his eyes as he lamented the loss of his favorite possession.


It was right about then that his eyes bugged out and his face went red and I think he contemplated murdering me.

"Sorry. I didn't know," I offered, while sipping on my drink.

"OOPS. SORREEEE?" he kinda screeched. You could see the synapses firing in his brain as he weighed the pros and cons of burying my body out back as he stood there and twitched before me.

"You can fix it, right?" I helpfully offered.

"You don't FIX DEAD things! DEAD is DEAD!!! It needs a whole new engine. I don't have the time or the money to rebuild that engine!! I may as well buy a new tractor!" he choked out while I watched his left hand twitch.

"Oh." Pause. "That's sucky." Aren't I helpful in times of crisis? Thinking fast, (as I recognized my life may depend on it,) I thoughtfully pointed out how much he would come to love a new lawn tractor. We could find a really pretty one and I'd even let him name it.

Boo stared at me, in slight disbelief, and said "I rebuilt that lawn tractor! It was my DAD's."

I was tempted to point out that the lawn tractor was old and ugly but common sense kicked in and I tried to look apologetic.

I apparently didn't succeed because Boo cussed again, muttered something about useless wives not understanding the value of things and stalked outside, slamming the door behind him.

I walked to the front door just in time to see him kick the front tire of my car. Thinking I could make this better, I opened the door and called out, "Come back in, honey. Let's talk about this."

Boo shot me a murderous look and went to go mourn his beloved tractor.

"Would a blow job make things better?" I yelled. "I won't use my teeth!"

Boo stopped and slowly turned around. I could see by the look on his face he was not amused.

Here I thought the blow-job was the band-aid for all marital boo-boos. Turns out, not so much. I've got a feeling that the only way Boo's gonna be happy with me is if I show up naked riding a brand new riding lawn tractor sporting a big red bow and smiling a toothless grin.

Let's just say the odds of that happening are slim to none.

Poor Boo. He's always getting screwed and never the way he wants.


Yesterday I was featured in a local newspaper. Click HERE to witness me make a public arse of myself. Again. My family is sooooo proud of me. Heh.