Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Rollin', rollin', rollin' ... Keep them doggies rollin'. Rawhide!"

I bought a gasoline-powered weed whacker today. Well, it uses a mix of oil and gas, a 32 to 1 ratio. I have to pour 8 ounces of this special weed whacker oil in this special gas can and then add 2 gallons of regular unleaded gas to the can, mix it up, and voila! -- one weed whacker cocktail!

I was very nervous buying a weed whacker. I never bought one before. And it is not the sort of thing I would desire to purchase, or know anything about. I used to have a personal weed whacker; I was married to him. And we had a simple weed whacker machine that was plugged in with a mega long extension cord, you know the orange kind on a spool. Well, I no longer have either the machine or the operator.

But I DO have weeds.



I actually have a local lawn service come once every two weeks to mow all the grass, because 1) I don’t own a lawn mower; 2) I don’t have the time to mow the grass; 3) my big strapping sons are gone most of the summer mowing someone else’s grass and probably using that same plug-in weed whacker; and 4) the service is reasonably priced. The problem is: I can only afford the reasonably priced lawn mowing service once every two weeks and the lawn grows WAYYYY faster than that. And they only run a lawn mower over the overtly grassy parts. They don’t get all those nooks and crannies and hard to get places where weeds seem to grow as tall as an elephant’s eye overnight!

Add in the fact that I am anal retentive and have OCD and all those weeds make me twitch.

I have a real NEED to cut them down with a motorized swath of fishing line!

The guy at the hardware store was very helpful, I have to say. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I could not get a weed whacker that had to be plugged in. Because the weeds are far, far, far too far away from any plug, I don’t care how long of an orange extension cord you’ve got! I knew there were cordless, rechargeable weed whackers, but I also knew how worthless all those Dustbusters I have ever owned have been. If a gadget can’t charge up enough to suck up dirt from my car mats, how is a gadget going to whack all those Amazonian weeds???

I had a feeling going in that I was going to have to get a gas-powered weed whacker. I didn’t really like the idea, but there was certainly no way I was going to whack weeds with a machete or nail clippers.

I have used a weed whacker before, precisely the version that plugged in with the ultra long orange extension cord because my personal weed whacker was often not home when the weeds needed their whacking. So, I am familiar with the action involved.

The idea of a motor and having to add gasoline made me a tad nervous.

I felt like I was going out to buy a new car.

The hardware guy reassured me, though, that I definitely wanted a gas-powered machine and not a cordless one. He said he would NEVER buy a cordless one. I figured as much. And he was very helpful at finding me one that was the right size and weight for me to handle. He did NOT try to sell me the deluxe $300 model! In fact, he sold me one of the models that were on sale. Which I appreciated. But he did not sell it to me BECAUSE it was on sale. But rather because he felt it fit my needs. And he gave me an already assembled weed whacker, so I didn’t have to assemble it myself. Again, most appreciated. (Yes, I realize he was giving me the floor model, but that was OK with me. The thought of having to assemble this piece of machinery from scratch was NOT a desirable one. Plus, I just wanted to go home and start making my swath ASAP OCOKA!)

The hardware store guy even put some of the oil/gas mixture in the machine and taught me how to start up the machine and use it and turn it off again. He hooked me up with a gas can and the right kind of oil and told me how to add the oil to the can first and then 2 gallons of gas and then mix it up. He even wrote “32 to 1” on the red plastic gas can with a black Sharpie so I would always know the correct mix of oil and gas to put in! (Frankly, the “add this 8 ounce bottle of oil, followed by 2 gallons of gas” instructions worked just fine for me, but whatever.)

And… he carried everything out to my car.

Clearly, this hardware store guy does a lot of business with women who need weed whackers but know absolutely nothing about them, or else this was just an incredibly kind and helpful man. Or both. I was impressed.

Whacked my first weeds this afternoon.

Feel sort of like a lumberjack or a manly landscaper kind of person dude.

Feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Feel like an American.


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