Maybe you have mown your own lawn. I am a bit of a priss and I never have. Mama said girls don’t mow lawns…Mama never said anything about power tools and hammers so I guess I’m ok there. But if Mama tells me not to use tools then my husband may be in trouble. Actually that’s not entirely true…he’s been doing better. I can’t really use them now anyway but maybe in the future.
Back to lawnmowers; I know most kids have mown the lawn. Most parents usually teach their kids how to mow. In rare instances the parents are either;
- Too drunk
- Not there
Tater and Junior decide to mow the lawn on their own or at least play with Daddy or Pepaw’s mower while it’s all put together and pretty much working. Of course Daddy and Pepaw are away possibly;
- Hiding from the family
- Or to borrow a friend’s fun past time…shooting rats at the dump J
At any rate…no adult is near the mower which is actually working today. They fight to determine who gets to start the mower. Junior wins and Tater vows vengeance. He’s always heard girls like scars. Ha haha ha will Junior ever be sorry!!! They begin mower starting ritual. I think something gets sacrificed to John Deere but I’n mot sure. I don’t really understand the mower starting ritual…it involves pulling a string, hearing a cough from the mower, pulling a string, cussing, sputtering, pulling a string, more cussing, hammer or wrench strikes, coughing engine, pulling a string and then the engine springs to anemic life. It gains momentum and then the cats all hide. I think that’s close. Somehow Tater and Junior have learned to do this at the ages of 7 and 8. They start to mow the lawn and it’s kind of fun watching the grass fly out the side…then it happens…an army man gets caught and chopped up. In many yards one of the kids screams and either reaches for it through the side vent or sticks his foot in the vent…at any rate…digits and blood go flying. In this case…Tater sees how to get revenge. He sticks his shoeless foot in there. Blood and toes go flying. Tater and Junior know this is pretty serious and not likely solved with mountain medicine. Their Mama must be told. Tater gets to sit down and scream while Junior goes into hiding for his life. We’ll say Tater lost his toes and Junior lost his butt. Mama will come to the door, run down off the porch hollering, assess the situation, spank the bleeding child, grab it up, holler at it, load it into the station wagon and take it to the nearest hospital all while never dropping the cigarette out of the corner of her mouth, and invoking the name of God. At the hospital said injured child is stitched and patched up still stunned or by now marveling over the changed appendage. Junior is now hiding in the trunk of the nearest junked car because when they get home from the hospital Junior will get it from Mama, then when Daddy gets home he’ll get it from Daddy and possibly Pepaw and Meemaw!! Junior will get it from everyone and may not be able to sit down again. Tater, that little snot, is home from the hospital and tattles on Junior who’s been hiding in the trunk. Tater tells Mama exactly where to find Junior. Tater sits smugly on the sofa with his bandaged toeless foot propped on the dog. Junior gets spanked by everyone, because in the new and improved story…”Juniour helt me down and stuck my foot in there because I told him I was gonna tell on him for startin pepaw’s broke mower!!!” I never knew anyone who’d lost fingers in a mower, just toes….we didn’t talk about that because we thought he was ‘funny’. We had never known anyone right in the head who would willingly stick his foot in a mower with no shoes on….we simply couldn’t conceive of it.
I hope this doesn’t offend any toeless mower folk…I know there really are children who torment others with mowers…I once heard of a boy who put a mower on his sister’s back…It may have been a fib in retrospect. But toeless Tater did exist…I think he only lost 2, we weren’t allowed to stare, ask questions or talk about it and were not allowed near mowers. They still scare me!