Wednesday, May 23, 2007

'Cause I'm a WOOOman! Double-ew, Oh, M-A-N!

I can bring home a mower
'semble it with my own hands
And never, never, ever let you
Forget there's no man!

...sorry about that. But if it makes it any better, rest assured that I'll have the song stuck in my head WAY LONGER then you will. Because that's how my brain (never) works.

So today I tell you of how I don't need any man. I know this is a point I've made before. (some people think I make it way too much. Then again, some of those people didn't even own a toolbox until I gave them one, so ha!) Anyway, yesterday was a great example of a day where, except for some mechanical aid from my Dad, I accomplished things oft called "manly"and yet without any penis.

This all starts with the fact that it rains a bunch in Hippyville. Makes things green and lush, but also makes it hard to find time to mow the lawn. And I have kind of a big lawn (like 400-500 square feet maybe?) and also my lawn is about 79% weeds. Weeds, weeds, all kinds of weeds. I don't feel self conscious about it because it was mostly that way when I got there and I just lost the losing battle I was fighting. ANYWAY, all this is just to tell you that I'm trying, this year, to conquer these weeds -- the weed wars I'm calling it -- and the rain is just working against me. I need, right now, to mow and to re-spray some excellent weed-killing stuff on the remaining weed strong-holds so that I can then mow (again) and rake the last of the dead bodies off of the battlefield, and then throw down grass seed and sit back and marvel at my grassy accomplishments.

But first I have to mow the lawn. And it keeps raining.

So yesterday was sunny and excellent and I ran home and changed into junk-jeans and started mowing! I was pushing around my antique gas mower(I call him Clippy the Wonder-Mower!) that was a permanent loan about 3+ years ago. It's old and funky and some parts are a little completely broken, but it works just fine for the thing I need: cut down and bag me some grass and weeds. Along we mowed, munchy-munchy-munchy-Plehhhh... Without warning my old mower friend just passed away.

Did I panic? No! (lie, I did panic for a sec, but I bet everybody does that.) I started going over everything that I already understood about lawnmower physionomy. Sparkplug still attached? Check. Still full tank of gas? Check. Throttle still connected to engine? Check. Etc, etc, etc. Then I called my Dad (the superior motorhead) and he came over and checked my checking and determined that I'd checked the checkable items checkily. We removed the sparkplug (and got excited when it seemed like the connection had been wimpy! Easy solution! But not our solution.) and cleaned it and checked the gap and cleaned the air filter and did a bunch of other things, and finally decided two things: it was not easily fixed (hmmm, pretty much no compression behind the sparkplug. That's bad.) and I needed a plan B.

I sent Dad home for his dinner and came up with my plan B: I drove over to my local department store with sad clothes but excellent tools and appliances (you know who you are) and purchased my first personally-owned lawn mower! It's red (why are they always red? They're always, always, absolutely always red! Except when they're green, but that's hardly ever because mostly always they're red-red-red.) and shiny (which Clippy hasn't been since ever) with baggyness and clean wheels and it's mine-all-mine-all-mine.

When I flagged down the fresh young man to take my pretend money for my very real mower he asked if anyone had helped me and looked shaken when I said no. He then asked if "someone" was moving the car around to the loading area and should we wait for "them." And I said no. And he got kind of lost and twitchy, because here he was in a scary place with the sale of a large, possibly dangerous power tool and no man to discuss torque and engine size and horsepower with. Me? I just watched him twitch.

Once I was able to convince him that I knew which model I wanted, what attachments I didn't want and that I was able to do the paying for it part all by my little, girly self I asked where to pick it up, and drove my very own car around to the loading area all by my little girly self too. And I didn't break a nail or anything! (take that, boy salesperson!) Then I had to go through the same song and dance as I talked the loading area guy to into letting me shove it into the car myself because, after all, I had to be able to get it back out again once I got home, right? I drove me and my mower home and put it together and filled it with the required fluids and nobody was killed or made otherwise dead during any of it!

And I'm not done yet! Once I had put my shiny (it's SO shiny!!) red mower to bed in it's new home I came in to tackle my cloggy bathtub drain. Oh yes, I had to deal with a drainage issue in the same night! And this is not the first night of arguing with this tub. Since Sunday it's fought me, and I've had three mornings of grimy feet and three evenings of ucky toxic goo fumes all over the bathroom. Yet still it refused to let the water fly freely to it's watery home. So I got the big guns. I bought a snake! A drain snake! A red (to match the mower), but less shiny, drain snake and I snaked that drain hoo boy! Snaked it within an inch of it's drainy life I did! And was I successful? Did water flow freely???

No. Super-failed. Big lack of any water zooming about. Today I had to give in and call drain-cleaning specialists.

But that's not the point, people. My point is this and only this: I tackled both the heartbreak of dead mowers and the agony of drainyless drains all by myself. I used tools and devices and contraptions and took things apart and put them together and did the some assembly that was required and everything.

Don't get me wrong -- men can be quite nice. They can be tall and broad of shoulders. They can sport evil-looking facial hair (evil but also nasty!) and rock a sporty shirt/tie combo. Nothing better then a guy who can give a quality foot rub or make a tasty dinner! I like them and sometimes want them and occasionally desire them (dirty!) and am proud that I don't have to need them.

Until someone has to climb a ladder. Screw that sh*t -- Mama don't climb no ladders!

Men can be hunky, dashing, manly-hot jet pilots who do tricks at 1 million miles an hour and charm the socks off of both me and Jon Stewart. Woof!

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