Masculinity and Lawnmowers FTW

Lawnmower: Getty Images

Lawnmower: Getty Images

Sorry folks, no links this week. Try to contain your disappointment and somehow soldier on. I’ve been really busy, so I’ve literally read basically nothing. Except this one book I’ve been trying out. Sigh, books are so difficult and long.

Anyway, what I’ve mainly been doing is trying to get my lawnmower to start. It’s been about a month long ordeal so far with no end in sight. Every day my grass, nourished by the Florida sun and ubiquitous summer thunderstorms, is inching closer and closer to neck level. On the plus side, there are few things I enjoy quite so much as getting under the hood (as it were) and tinkering with engines. I believe that’s why I like the Disney Fairy short films that come on Disney Jr. so much: I share a real affinity with the Tinker fairies. I’m even thinking about putting together one of those instructional YouTube videos to help others in my current predicament. It would go something like this:

1. Pull the cord on your lawnmower enough times that you work up a decent sweat: the type where the roots of your hair are just a little damp and sweat marks are starting to form on your gray t-shirt. In Florida during the summer, that will take approximately five pulls, depending on your level of fitness.

2. When the mower won’t start, go back inside, kick off your shoes angrily, sit down, and watch soccer for about two hours.

3. When the game is over, head back outside and pull the cord again. Try out various degrees of ferocity in your pulling technique.

4. When that doesn’t work, tip the mower over on its side. Discover that the only thing on the underside of a mower is the blade.

5. Return the mower to its right side up position. Open the gas tank: full. Open the oil tank and pull out the stick thing: looks like there is something black on there. Rack your brain for next options.

6. Head back inside and search YouTube for lawnmower repair videos. Find one that looks about right. Watch it and find out the guy doesn’t actually repair his mower, but just talks about it not working for about ten minutes. Find another one that suggests changing the spark plug and shows how to do that really fast with something called a socket wrench. Looks easy enough.

7. Ask your wife what a socket wrench is.

8. Find out that your socket wrench doesn’t have the correct attachment. Head to Lowe’s to buy the spark plug attachment and new spark plug. Buy the wrong type of spark plug and wrong attachment and bring them home.

9. Wait a few more days then go back to Lowe’s and buy the right attachment and spark plug. 

10. Remove the old spark plug with the correct tools. (Hint: turns our there’s a little black thing on the back of the socket wrench head that, if turned the right way, makes unscrewing something a lot more possible). Install the new spark plug.

11. Attempt to start the mower again. 

12. When that doesn’t work, give up.

13. A few days later, watch the rest of that YouTube video and learn that a clogged carburetor is another likely culprit.

14. Google, “what is a carburetor?”

15. Head back to Lowe’s and buy some carburetor cleaner spray. Spend several days trying to figure out where the carburetor might be on your particular mower. Spray the carburetor cleaner on any and all possible components.

16. When that doesn’t work, text your friend that knows about “guy stuff.” Don’t mention the part about the Tinker fairies.

17. Try to find the model number of the engine so your friend can buy a new carburetor. Give up again when you can’t find the model number.

18. To be continued…

That’s about where we stand, but it’s still more helpful than that first YouTube video I watched that had about 200K views.

I’ll be back soon. I promise. If, that is, my grass doesn’t envelop me in the meantime.