Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mowing the Yard: A Cautionary Tale

Mowing the yard seems like an odd thing to think about in the bitter depths of winter, with the Polar Vortex winding up to take another shot at our collective chins, but I had to share this story with you. It comes from my friend Bob (who is a veritable fountain of funny stories, many of them unsuitable for polite company), and I've seen it in a number of variations before, but it's still funny. And someone needs to compete with the humorous tales spun by Angel over at her blog. Herewith, the story of a lawn-mowing gone wrong ...

We have the standard 6-foot wood fence in the backyard, and a few months ago, I heard about burglaries increasing dramatically in the entire city. To make sure this never happened to me, I got an electric fence and ran a single wire along the top of the fence.

Actually, I got the biggest cattle charger Tractor Supply* had, made for 26 miles of fence. I then used an 8-foot long ground rod, and drove it 7.5 feet into the ground. The ground rod is the key, because the more you have in the ground, the better the fence works.

One day I was mowing the back yard with my cheapo Wal-Mart 6-hp big wheel push mower when I found the hot wire for the fence broken and laying out in the yard. I knew for a fact that I had unplugged the charger, so I pushed the mower around the wire and reached down to grab it, to throw it out of the way.

It seems as though I hadn't remembered to unplug it after all.

Now I was standing there with the running lawnmower in my right hand and the 1.7 gigavolt fence wire in the other hand. Keep in mind the charger was about the size of a marine battery and had a picture of an upside-down cow on fire on the cover.

Time stood still.

The first thing I noticed was my pecker trying to climb up the front side of my body. My ears curled downwards and I could feel the lawnmower ignition firing in the backside of my brain. Every time that Briggs & Stratton rolled over, I could feel the spark in my head ... I was literally at one with the engine. It seemed as though the fence charger and the el-cheapo lawnmower were fighting over who would control my electrical impulses.

Science says you cannot crap, pee, and vomit at the same time. I beg to differ. Not only did I do all three at once, but my bowels emptied three different times in less than half of a second. It was a Matrix kind of bowel movement, where time is creeping along in slow motion and you're all leaned back and BAM BAM BAM you just crap your pants three times. It seemed like there were minutes in between but in reality it was so close together it was like exhaust pulses from a big block 427 Corvette motor turning 8,000 rpm.

At this point, I was about 30 minutes (actually, maybe two seconds) into holding onto the fence wire. My hand was wrapped around the wire palm down so I couldn't let go. I grew up on a farm so I know all about electric fences ... but Dad always had those crummy, low-end chargers made by International or whoever that were about nine volts and just kinda tickled. This one I could not let go of. That 8-foot long ground rod was now accepting signals from me through the permadamp Ark-La-Tex river bottom soil. At this point I figured I'd have to just man up, grit my teeth and take it, until the lawnmower ran out of gas.

Damn!, I thought, as I remembered I had just filled the tank!

Now the lawnmower was starting to run rough. It had settled into a hi-performance loping run pattern as if it had some kind of big lawnmower race cam in it. Covered in poop, pee, and with my vomit on my chest I thought Oh God please let me die ... Pleeeeaze die. But no, the engine settled into the rough lumpy cam idle nicely and remained there, like a big bore roller cam EFI motor waiting for the go command from its owner's right foot.

So there I was in the middle of July, 104 degrees, 80% humidity, standing in my own backyard, begging God to kill me. God did not take me that day ... he left me there covered in my own fluids to writhe in the misery my own stupidity had created.

I honestly don't know how I got loose from the wire ... I woke up hours later, lying on the ground with a bad sunburn and the lawnmower beside me, out of gas.

There were two large dead grass spots where I had been standing, and then another long skinny dead spot where the wire had laid while I was on the ground still holding on to it. I assume I finally had a seizure and in the resulting thrashing had somehow let go of the wire.

Upon waking from my electrically-induced sleep I realized a few things:

1 - Three of my teeth seemed to have melted.

2 - I now have cramps in the bottoms of my feet and my right butt cheek (not the left, just the right).

3 - Poop, pee, and vomit, when all mixed together, do not smell as bad as you might think.

4 - My left eye will not open.

5 - My right eye will not close.

6 - The lawnmower runs like a sonofagun now. Seriously! I think our little session cleared out some carbon fouling or something, because it was better than new after that.

7 - I can turn on the TV in the family room by letting a fart go while thinking of the number four (I still don't understand this).

That day changed my life. I now have a newfound respect for things. I appreciate the little things more, and now I always triple-check to make sure the fence is unplugged before I mow.

The good news, is that if a burglar does try to come over the fence, I can clearly visualize what my security system will do to him, and it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over, which also reminds me to triple check before I mow.

Have a good day. Be careful what you touch.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* One of Andrea's favorite stores.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Oh my God, that is the funniest tale of dark humor I've encountered in a while. This definitely woke me up!

Thanks for the shout-out, Bilbo.

You know, when I first read this I thought it happened to you! No one should ever have to pee, crap, and vomit at the same time, even if the mixture doesn't smell that bad. It might be an advantage to turn on the TV by farting. Lots of fraternity boys and Good Ole Boys would have a talent there, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

And here I was calmly sipping coffee when I started reading this. Now that I have stopped spewing coffee while laughing, wiped away my tears and apologized for waking the neighbors with my shouts of laughter, I can thank you for the funny wake-me-up.
I shall have to share with said neighbors who have an electric dog line and I often encounter the wires for that laying along the lot line. I'm never touching them! - Katherine

Insane Penguin said...

This was so funny I spewed my coffee also.

Mike said...

Some lessons learned are NEVER forgotten.

Big Sky Heidi said...

That was the funniest story I've read in a long time! A salute, Sir! You set a number of us off right with a great laugh!