Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Remedial Mechanics

Let me begin by saying, I am not mechanically inclined. If my car starts making a funny noise, I will first drive it more, hoping it fixes itself. If that doesn't work (like it ever has) I take it to the mechanic. If something like the garbage disposal stops working I will look at it...examine it.....possibly get under the sink and tap on it.....and try it again. If it still doesn't work, I have Mrs. W call her dad or one of her friends' husbands to see what they think.

Recently, as I was mowing our yard (an empty lot next to our house) the riding mower stopped working. At least, it wouldn't go into gear after I put it in neutral so I coould move some of the kids' climbing toys. The mower is an old Allis Chalmers garden tractor (a little tank). After lifting the seat of the mower and examining the transmission case I figured I was in over my head. I did try restarting, pounding on the top of the mower, then shifting.....but, surprisingly that didn't fix it.

Then, in a fit of frustration, I tried pushing the mower back to the garage. Unfortunately, the mower has a nasty habit of locking up (even in neutral) when it is being pushed. It decided to lock up as I pushed it up a hill. Before I knew it the darn thing as rolling backward, on top of me. Another fist to the top, and I decided to let it stay in the yard.

Fast forward a few days (5 days). The grass was getting tall, and the mower still sat in the yard. I had been reminded many, many times that I needed to fix the mower or move it. My response..."tomorrow, honey". I also decided to draw a line in the sand....Only I would fix it this time.

Well, we found ourselves at the inlaws one afternoon, and I mentioned, in passing, to my father-inlaw that the mower was having issues. He asked, "Have you checked the belts?" My response, "You bet"....which meant, "The belts??!!". Next day I went out to the mower, pulled open the seat, and noticed the main belt was off. But it seemed very tight...so I tried prying it back into place. Of course, I skinned several knuckles in the process, got my hands oily, but failed to move the belt. By this time, I think my guardian angel had as many laughs as they could take....so a little voice in my head said, "try crawling underneath the mower".

Taking the advice of my voice, I crawled underneath the mower, where I could push the pulley and reattach the belt in about 5 seconds. I really like my guardian angel.

I then fired the mower up, mowed the yard, put the mower in the garage, and strutted in to the house to bask in my new found manliness. Testosterone was flowing that afternoon, my friends.

When I got in, I was greeted with, "YOU fixed the mower? How did YOU fix the mower??" (I have used caps to indicate Mrs. WHW's emphasis). My response..."Just another thing this man can do...." She laughed, and made some sort of comment about everyone getting lucky once in a while....and how I should push mow the places that I couldn't get with the rider.

Unfortunately, the push mower wouldn't start. Instead of pushing my luck, I went to Home Depot and bought a new push mower. To quote Dirty Harry (in Magnum Force), "A man's got to know his limitations".
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