The doctor is in

The frogs started singing on Friday so I guess it’s time to start on this year’s crop.

I went over to Lenard’s and dragged my little rototiller out of his shed because my own is too cluttered up with my trike collection to store anything else. Besides Lenard likes using my little tiller. . . like the Littlest Bear’s porridge bowl, it’s just the right size.

Of course getting it out of the shed is easier said than done as Len’s lawn tractor had the entrance blocked and it was deader than a doornail. If my old neighbor Beaner had been handy it would have been no problem. He would have simply one-handed it over the top of the offending tractor. Beaner being away, I struggled, pushed, and pulled (and cussed a little) until I squeezed it out the door.

I slopped a bit of gas in the tank, gave it a sniff of the ‘Ether Bunny’ and she fired right up. I ran ‘er up a plank into the back of the pickup and headed for home.

At home things continued to hiccup. First I put in more gas, topped up the transmission lube, gave it one more sniff of ether and pulled the starter cord.

“Bang!!” it backfired and a ball of flame engulfed the back of my left hand and singed off my left eyebrow.

With my hat I quickly beat out the flames now licking at the gas tank and hurried into the house to run some cold water over my now turning pink hand. The grease I had already got pretty well smeared on my hands seemed to help the first aid process.

No cops or neighbours showed up at the scene of the explosion. With all the violence in the air these days I guess no one wanted to take a chance on being an innocent bystander. With the spilled gas dried up, I took another chance to fire up the beast. . . without the ether. . . and once purring I tore into the first garden, chewing up a bunch of discarded flower pot root balls and trashy old vines I hadn’t really got around to clearing up last fall. Oh well they’ll make good mulch and the ones twisted up in the tiller. . . I’ll cut them out later.

I finished the first piece and jumping the tiller over the retaining wall headed for patch number two. That’s when the second medical emergency happened.

Not me! This time it was the tiller. Its fuel line, after a long, difficult life had developed hardening of the arteries and suffered a catastrophic aneurysm. The engine sputtered, died, and fuel from the just filled tank rushed out onto the drive in spite of my effort to apply a tourniquet.

I dragged out my tool box and prepared to carry out open heart surgery. I couldn’t find suitable donor veins so in spite of the pronouncement about social distancing, I put on my face mask and headed down to Dr. Pickle’s for a consult and supplies.

Pickle as usual had some gadget in a state of disassembly sticking out of the back of his truck.
He peered over his glasses and guardedly inquired holding up his hand, “How are you for virus? Six feet! Six feet!”

“No Covid virus here. Maybe a touch of mad cow, though,” I replied.

“A touch!” snorted Pickle, “We all know you’re totally nuts.”

After an intensive discussion on tiller open heart surgery, all the time maintaining 6 feet distance, Pickle found replacement arteries for the patient in the bowels of his dispensary.

I hurried back to the operating room and with the help of the new artery, a little JB Weld had the patient off the table and into the recovery room by lunch time. I threw in an oil change and tightened the drive belt for good measure. After lunch it was straight into rehab, marching up and down the garden at full tilt. No molly coddling here!

I wonder how much I should bill OHIP for this procedure. Can’t I just use my Health Card?