Along about knee deep in June

The poem expounding the virtues of June and vines ripe with strawberries that melt in your mouth is idyllic. But the truth is ‘knee deep in June grass’ and time to fire up the lawn mower. The whole topic of lawn care raised its ugly head at the debating table at the Bakery in Rainy River a few years back.
“I was pricing riding mowers this past month,” explained Frank, whose dickey ticker has made his wife really nervous whenever he undertakes any strenuous physical activity.
“And do you know, they’re nearly twice as much in Fat Frantic as they are in Bunyanville,” he added authoritatively.
“Course I didn’t buy anything. Just snooping around. But I need something with a little more power to chew up all those willow branches. Sure would beat raking. But I need something with good gas mileage and a road gear, so I can ride it down to coffee,” he added as he again turned on his hearing aids.
This was the signal for all to respond to his ramblings as talking to Frank when he’s tuned out and turned off is as effective as talking to a post.
“I definitely have been spending too much time cutting grass the past years, so I’m going with a triple deck rig this year,” offered Scrounger as he picked up the jelly donut his young lad had dropped on the floor, flicked off a bit of debris, shrugged his shoulders, and inhaled the balance of it.
“You mean you’re going to spring for a new outfit. They’re expensive!” snorted Pickle as the shock hit him and he choked on his coffee. Pickle and Scrounger have an ongoing competition to reign as the ‘King of Cheap’ in Rainy River.
“Don’t be ridiculous! I’m building it myself,” stated Scrounger fixing Pickle with a withering glance at the ridiculous suggestion of wild extravagance.
“Hey! Where’s the rest of my donut?” complained the young lad searching the table, then the chair and last, the floor for the balance of his calories.
“Jack ate it. Get another one from Val,” stated Scrounger, not only setting me up as the villain, but also figuring the angle for getting another half donut. The young lad fixed me with a glare of total distrust as he headed for the counter.
“I picked up a bunch of perfectly good mowers at the dump, swapped a few parts, tuned ‘em up and welded three of them together to form a 72 inch deck. I’ll just tow ‘em around with the four-wheeler,” explained Scrounger returning to the subject at hand.
“With that lawn of yours? Why it’s rougher than a Highway 11 and with just as many ruts and potholes! You’ll never be able to get an even cut,” expostulated Pickle whose own lawn is immaculate thanks entirely to the efforts of his long-suffering wife.
“Oh no, this rig flexes so it can follow all the contours. I was going to level out those ruts, but figured if I just kept trimming, eventually I will get the ridges gnawed down. Shouldn’t take more’n ten years or so,” offered Scrounger as he eyed the young lad’s replacement donut.
The young lad glared threateningly at me and moved his donut to what he thought was a position of safety. Whereupon, Scrounger unobserved scooped it up and took two giant bites devouring the better half of it.
“Flexible? How do you make a flexible weld?” questioned Pickle still in disbelief.
“Well I didn’t actually make a permanent weld yet. I just hooked ‘em all together with duct tape in case I have to make some adjustments,” stated Scrounger around the remains of the scarfed donut.
The young lad returned to his donut with a puzzled gaze at the shrinkage.
You know the kid doesn’t appear to be gaining much weight, but Scrounger’s sure fleshing out.