A $60 Walk

I figure, it’s not often you get to make $60 for taking a walk. So you should take advantage of it when you can.

Unbeknownst to me, it all started two Sundays ago when I shut down my lawn mower and put it away on the back porch like I always do. Then, last Sunday, I went out to cut the grass, and the thing just kinda looked up at me and said: “You’ve really got to be kidding me, right?”

“No, I’m not kidding,” I said, pumping the rope another hundred times and assuming that by that time I had flooded it. So I cleaned the air filter and I checked the plug and I waited a bit. The plug seemed serviceable, but could bear replacing. When it didn’t start an hour later, I went to the store and got a new one. No joy.

So I had the lawn mower doctor look at it over the week, and the diagnosis came back “No Compression,” which I think is motor speak for heart attack. The options were: (1) buy an expensive new motor, or (2) buy an only slightly more expensive new mower. Since my mower is … ahem … old, I chose option #2, which, seeing as I drive a Miata and Lisa drives a Mini-Cooper, left me a problem–that being, how to transport a lawn mower from any store to my house.

“Delivery!” I thought. I’ll just ask them to bring it right over.

And so armed with this idea, I went shopping. And I asked folks how much it would cost to deliver, and pretty much everywhere I went I got the answer: $60. Sixty bucks. For less than 15 minutes of driving all total, I mean there and back. Sixty bucks? That’s $240/hour. When I told her, Lisa concurred. Quite spendy.

“You could get [next door neighbor] to help,” she said.

I had considered this already, and had already decided to put my male need to do things myself aside and ask his help. The problem on Saturday was that when I came back from shopping he was gone. And when I got up Sunday late to check, not only was he gone, but the newspaper was sitting on the driveway as if they had been gone all night (or maybe he was just tuned in and was pulling out all the stops to avoid having to drive me back to the store. Shrug?

So, I took the only option left. I went to the store, bought a lawn mower, and rolled it out to the parking–where I proceeded to take ten minutes to construct it, tighten down all the bolts and whatnot, and then take off across the lot with it to eventually walk it along 2.5 miles of the people trails that lead from the store to take me back home.

That’s right. I pushed that mower all the way home. Took a bit under an hour, and got me 5K-6K steps. Yeah, I got a few odd stares and a good-old-boy gave me a little tip of the ballcap salute. What of it?


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