Celebrating 25 years of publishing

Published September 17, 2019


Things become complicated when the lawn mower dies

By John Toth / The Bulletin

From one second to the next, the lawnmower dropped dead right in the middle of mowing the backyard.

I thought that maybe It was just tired and needed some rest, maybe a little more oil. I stopped everything and tried to bring it back to life.

I have not had much luck with small engines, but was hoping that this self-propelled, fairly expensive lawn mower would change that. I don’t want to print the brand because it may not be the manufacturer’s fault that the Toth small-engine curse destroyed it, like many of its predecessors.

I wish the curse would have allowed me to finish mowing the whole yard. Instead, half was freshly mowed, and the rest stuck up like someone’s big, green uncombed hair in the morning.

No amount of pulling and cranking would bring it back to life. Come on, just this one time. Finish the lawn, and I’ll take you to the lawn mower ER.

That was a lie. After finishing the yard, I would have just put it back in its place and gone about my business for about a week, when I would pull it out again and use it, hoping that during those off-days it fixed itself.

My gracious offering of fresh oil didn’t do any good. I took off the gas cap several times and put it back, but that didn’t help, either.

There wasn’t much else to check. I let it rest some more while I got on Facebook. Some people would share this experience on Facebook and perhaps ask for suggestions. I decided to keep it private – until now.

I felt let down. I now had to look at a half-mowed lawn until I could get this thing fixed.

I used to have an electric mower as a backup, but gave it to my son-in-law, thinking that I wouldn’t need it anymore. It was a push mower, and I don’t want to push. I just want to walk. A few years from now, I’ll just want to sit. And then I’ll have to pay someone to sit, walk or push.

But that’s in the distant future. For now, I use the walking to get my cardio exercise done during mowing season. This way, I get something out of it other than being tired. Except this time, this usually reliable machine decided to drop dead in the middle of my cardio routine.

Before I could load it into one of my vans to take it to the lawn mower ER, I had to take out the van’s middle seat, which must have been designed by some evil force of darkness whose intention was to dislocate every disk in my lower back.

This was getting to be a huge hassle. When I was about to take a break and try again in a little while, the seat miraculously moved. Then I had the privilege of dragging this supposedly portable van seat into the house. It would have been a lot easier if the lawn mower would have just worked long enough to finish the job. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about this stuff for a week.

Since this all happened in the late afternoon, I drove the sick machine to the lawn mower ER the next morning. It didn’t take long to get that dreaded call.

“Its’ engine is shot. This thing is no good,” came the news from the lawn mower doctor, who didn’t mince his words.

Sadness enveloped my wallet. It was a good machine – well, sort of good, while it worked. I didn’t know what to say.

“Get a Honda,” recommended the lawn mower doctor after a pregnant pause and just before we hung up.

And my lawn was still not mowed. Oh, the agony.

I learned my lesson. I went down to Brookside Equipment in Angleton and treated myself to a nice Honda walk-behind mower.

Just what the doctor ordered. It’s a dream machine that purrs as I run after it. I have a new friend.

(I look forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send me a note at john.bulletin@gmail.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)