« Ironic1 on Rocketboom | Main | I'm no Lloyd Bentsen »

How to Mow Smugly

GS_18in_815_18.jpgYesterday I bought, assembled, and used our new mower. Yep, it's a pushie. It seemed quaint and antiquarian but practical. And it fit some basic needs of mine:

1) Affordable: At $125 it wasn't dirt cheap, but not bad considering I was looking forward to a summer of paying the neighbor kid $15 a mow. Additionally, no gas, and that is no small consideration these days.

2) Low Maintainance: I'm lazy.

3) Green: I can now mow the grass with the fervor of an environmental zealot, knowing that not only am I saving myself from the scurlious stares of lawn conscious neighbors, but every time I use it I am a poster boy for conscientious environmentalism. I am neither consuming fossil fuels nor am I contributing to global warming. And isn't half the fun of being green that self-important feeling of being greener-than-thou?

4) Availability: The neighbor kid was never that reliable.

5) Exercise: Blogging is not an aerobic workout. I need all the exercise I can get.

6) Safety: I wanted something my 11 year old and 8 year old could use while retaining the typical number of digits on their hands and feet.

As a bonus the product I purchased was made in America by a company in my erstwhile home state of Indiana. That made me feel good too and a little nostalgic. Yes, sentimentality is always a selling point.

The kids and I put the mower together in our kitchen with only a 3/8" wrench, not the "two adjustable wrenches and screwdriver" that were called for on the packaging. That took all of maybe 10 minutes. (By the way, if you get one, follow the directions. There is a great tip about putting dishwashing soap in the foam handle to make it easier to put on the handlebar.)

Then we trundled it out into the lawn and started at it. That bore less than hoped for results. Now, the grass was long from 10 days straight of rain which made things difficult. The kids had problems getting the mower to cut at all. I could do it, but I had to sometimes run it back and forth, getting some momentum. The resulting lawn looked like a bad haircut, with tufts scattered here and there. I'm going to take a running leap at it again, mowing crossways to my last mowing, and see if I can even it out.

Still, I comfort myself that if the neighbors scowl at me for my raggedly lawn, I can always say, "Yes, my lawn looks horrible, but I am not contributing the the coming environmental apocalypse. Can you say the same?"


I had a push mower back when I lived in Indiana. I remember deciding that my lawn (smallish) was exactly as big as I could handle with a push mower.

Fortunately (?) here in Chicago I have about 10 square feet of lawn and can "mow" it with a scissors.

it doesn't get the uniformity, usually, of the motorized. but i don't think that's bad, is it? i mean, crew-cutted greenery isn't my idea of beautiful, anyway.


We got an electric mower last year (a little greener than the gas guzzler) and when that went to the shop for a warranty repair, we got a reel mower like what you have. It's very nice, but a little more labor-intensive. I've noticed that very t-i-n-y twigs seem to gum up the works. But other than that, I have no complaints.

Post a comment