The Lawnmower Man (NOT affiliated with the movie)

Posted: April 28, 2012 by baki3626 in Family Fables
Tags: , ,

Me and My Pops

When I was young, I use to look at my relationship with my dad like Luke Skywalker’s relationship with Darth Vader. My pops was always traveling the galaxy because of work, he usually wore a lot of black, and when he talked to me it usually sounded like an asthmatic James Earl Jones. But as I got older, I realized that my old man was like Vader in other ways. Under his big, shiny, plastic helmet there lied a bald, pasty geriatric with prosthetic limbs and a real heart. Um… instead of breaking down this runaway metaphor any more, how bout I just tell you a little story that kinda sorta illustrates my point. I call it…”The Lawnmower Man.” (NOT to be affiliated in any way with that train wreck of a movie)

For my tenth birthday, my pops started letting me cut the grass with him. I have absolutely no memory of asking for that as a present but it’s the thought that counts…I guess.


And it was actually kinda cool. Every Saturday morning, I would go out after watching cartoons, attempt to make small talk with the old guy and then bond with Mother Nature through diesel fuel and motorized machetes. Having the sun cook my skin while sweat glued my t-shirt to my  pre-pubescent body made me feel like a man. A man’s man! Unfortunately, you don’t officially get your “man-license” until you’ve had a “right of passage.”

DYK #1: Did you know that my father is a master of efficiency? Man once stayed up to 3 in the morning studying road maps just to find a route that would save us 10 minutes on a trip to my aunt’s house in Atlanta. How do I know this? Because I was the little dumb-ass holding the road maps for him.


So in order to make our Saturday morning lawn care that much more efficient, I would cut all the grass in the backyard with a medieval push-mower while my pops cut the grass in the front on his riding mower named “Bucky.” I always wanted to ride Bucky. He was bright red, his grille made him look like he was smiling and it was much better than using a safety-free push mower on uneven, unstable soil. I literally had to wear work gloves when I held the thing to keep from getting tetanus. And I basically had to hot-wire it while yanking on the ripcord in order to get it started. Not to mention that this Clydesdale of cutting was built during WWII and was made out of the finest steel plated iron the U.S. of A had ever produced. Which meant it weighed twice as much as me. And I was a husky kid! But I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that the push-mower definitely ran things. And me. If he wanted to go left, we went left. If he wanted to take off and go blazing down a hill into a tree, that tree didn’t stand a chance. And if he wanted to go into a ditch that looked like something Gollum lived in, well then I would end up having my “right of passage.”

DYK #2: Did you know that bees, wasps, yellow jackets and any other insects with the ability to sting human flesh hate the vibration of a push-mower? Did you know that medieval push-mowers are very aware of this and like to piss off bees, wasps, yellow jackets and other insects with the ability to sting human flesh? I do….now!!

Hellacious Hive

The aforementioned ditch was situated right next to the back of my house. And it was in said ditch that the Juggernaut of hives lay. I believe it was originally attached to my house but got so big that it fell off. This mammoth hive was easily comprised of about 95% of the world’s species of insects. How do I know my math is correct? Because when my WWII push-mower careened into the ditch, every insect I ever saw in National Geographic attacked me! Luckily, I was a skittish little thing. The second the first bee started shaking it’s pointy ass at me, I let go of the mower and ran. I ran like Forrest Gump on a football field. I ran until I saw purple and tasted onions. And then…I ran some more.

Getting the Gump Out of There

When I finally stopped running, I decided to tell my pops about the war going on in our backyard between the tetanus tank and the Wu-Tang Killer Bees. This greatly troubled my dear father. Not because his son had third degree bee stings or because I had managed to wet myself multiple times. No, no, this troubled him because it was inefficient. The time I spent preserving my life was time not spent cutting grass. So my pops stroked his mustache, hopped off Bucky and boldly strutted to the backyard like Don Cornelius into Studio 54. I tried to warn the fool! I said,”Fool,” I mean, “Dad, it’s not worth it! The bees own the mower now! Tomorrow they’ll own the house! Let’s just ride Bucky off into the sunset and see where we end up!” But the old man wasn’t haven’t it. That grass was getting cut, damn it, and not even God Himself could stop him! But what about bees, wasps, yellow jackets and other insects that enjoy stinging human flesh?

Please come back next week for part two of this recently un-repressed memory of mine entitled “Old Man vs. Wild.”

Killer Bees on the Swarm

  1. geekgirlat40 says:

    Don Cornelius! HA!

  2. FEmery says:

    This was hysterical!

  3. baki3626 says:

    Thought you might have a thing for him, Athena. 🙂

  4. baki3626 says:

    Look who’s talking, Ferne.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bwahahahaha…I had the same childhood except my dads lawn mower was red and made by Scott…I had an old John Deer push mower that needed duct tape and CPR every time you wanted it to start and while the front yard which my dad cut was glorious and lush and even the backyard was apparently a rock farm filled with angry insects poisonous vindictive plants and hidden trap holes…

    I made sure to buy a house that didn’t have a yard…

  6. baki3626 says:

    Well my friend, you and I are now officially “Brother in Lawn” 🙂

    Please come back on Saturday for Part 2.

Your words SHOULD be here! :-)

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