Joys of trimming

After I finally got the old lawnmower fired up and got the leftovers from last year’s flowers and the winters detritus chewed up, the lawn was in shape—sort of.
A couple more buzzes and the grass was gaining ground on me. But in spite of the growing windrows of brown grass, I refuse to rake and carry. Grind it into mulch is my motto.
The edges, however, would not pass the Pearl’s inspection.
“Elliott, quit fiddling around with that pontoon boat and get the whipper-snipper out and trim up the edges. And those shrubs you didn’t get around to trimming last year also need some attention.
“AND don’t forget to take the Christmas lights out of them BEFORE you fire up the hedge trimmer.”
“Yes, dear,” I muttered with a sigh as I plunged into my garage in search of the suitable equipment.
The whipper-snipper surfaced first, and then the extension cord well-tangled in a heap of tomato cages—right where I had carefully stored them last fall. The cord looked a little ragged, but I braved the window well to plug it in to my antique (read no ground fault) outdoor outlet.
You can’t see what you are doing, so you have to poke at it while on your hands and knees peering blindly through the weeds that now shroud it.
“BZZZZttt..! Contact.”
When I woke up, I swathed the end of my burnt fingers with Vaseline, reset the breaker, and wired a new plug onto the end of the cord. An hour later, I was ready to go.
Last year I had rewound the snipper spool with heavy-duty line. It took an hour to cram it into the beast, but no more of that cheap line that only chewed on my brush for about five seconds.
Plugged in, I attacked the garden wall edge. “Buzzzz . . . buzzzz!” I made exactly two swipes before the new heavy-duty, bargain line broke off. No problem; I tapped the auto feed mechanism to advance a new piece.
“Bzzz . . . bzzzz,” nothing. A harder tap. “Bzzz…. bzzz,” still nothing. A good bang. “Bzzz. WHAP!” The spool end flew off and 15 feet of that heavy-duty line whipped out neatly lassoing my legs—hogtieing me as neatly as a rodeo victim.
I tipped over and while lying on the ground, semi-conscious as I had whacked my head on the garden wall blocks, I was sort of wondering whether some rancher was going to rush out and give me a blackleg shot and castrate me before untying me.
Neither happened, and it only took me 15 minutes to crawl over to my truck to retrieve the side cutters on the ground–right where I had left them—while working on the wiring two days earlier.
I freed myself and an hour later, I managed to get enough line re-stuffed into the whacker to finish the trim job. Then I started on the hedge trimmer, remembering to keep my digits all clear of the reciprocating knife.
I was concentrating so hard on that I forgot about the extension cord.
“BZZZZttt.” Sparks flew as I managed to shred my last extension cord.
It was Miller time. The hedge would just have to wait.
As I relaxed on the deck with a wobbly pop, the Pearl drew up a chair and spread out the latest flyer.
“Look here, they have a pair of new cordless jobs here—a whacker and a hedge trimmer. Just what you need for Father’s Day,” pointed out the Pearl as she glanced askance at the quickly-drained wobbly pop.
My suggestion of perhaps a new fish finder instead was studiously ignored.
Oh well, maybe we can get some new cordless Christmas lights, as well, because there’s no way I can get those ones tangled in the hedge out in one piece.

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