Saturday, August 08, 2009

Zero Turn Radius Lawnmowers

You might be wondering how in the heck I have anything to say about any lawnmower, much less a zero turn radius one. Yes. Well. That makes two of us. I'm still wondering how it is possible to have a thirty minute conversation about zero turn radius lawnmowers. But it happened in Kansas. And I still have no idea what a zero turn radius lawnmower even IS!

Wait. Let me back up for a second to tell you that I love Cowstuff. I married a Cowboy. Yes, I know, mostly he dresses like a Fratboy, but deep in his heart he is a Cowboy. And when he wears his Wrangler jeans, my heart just melts. Y'all, he can WEAR those Wranglers. If he puts on a big belt buckle, boots and a pearl-snap shirt, game over, I'm through. Those Wrangler jeans saved our relationship at least once... but that's a different blog post. I also love country music, two-steppin' and Stampede and pickup trucks. But that is just about where my love of farminess stops. Anyone who knows me will understand that I am a Pretty-Pretty-Princess. A delicate flower who belongs in a castle, not down home on the farm scrubbing pearl-snap shirts on a washing board (my cuticles!). Besides that, A and I are both frighteningly allergic to pretty much everything IN Kansas -- or on a farm -- hay, grain dust, grass, horses, cats, dust, smells, and you could also add to the list dilapidated old farm houses, excessive heat, cigarette smoke, and zero turn radius lawnmowers sitting in the front yard.

Which brings me back to how I ended up involved in a thirty minute conversation about the damn things. A's family lives in farm-country outside of Wichita. They even have dirt roads out there still. But I think most everyone has electricity by now; except maybe Nelda. Anyway, his neighbors to the back are Nelda and Greg. I was told before I met Nelda, when you see her riding around on her lawnmower with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, you'll only think of Granny Clampett. Well Nelda came by one night last week and left a wedding present for A and me on the porch. So A's parents were insisting that we stop by there and say hello and thank them properly for the gift. In my mind this is a five minute project. In farm-land, it can take all afternoon.

When we pulled into the gravel driveway at Nelda's place, the first thing we saw was an old grain silo. The yard was neat enough, thanks to the zero turn radius lawnmower, which was sitting right in the front. The old farm house was surrounded by a number of other smaller house-like buildings, one of which I think was an outhouse. We parked in the shade because it was hotter than hell. Greg came out to meet us and invited us to sit on the porch (outside! in the heat!), where there were several old chairs with dirty old bathmats folded on them as cushions and a bunch of plants in coffee cans. I picked out the least-dirty looking chair and perched on it delicately, thinking we would only be there a few minutes. Then Nelda came down with her cigarettes and a can of Budweiser and the armpits of her tank top were all sweaty so I knew right then that it wasn't any cooler inside the house. We commenced to talking while Nelda smoked and I have no idea what we talked about but I know it involved zero turn radius lawnmowers because Nelda must have said "zero turn radius lawnmower" about fifty times. Nelda and Greg both seemed oblivious to the heat, the cigarette smoke, and the chickens pecking around our feet. The whole time, in my head, I was screaming Get. Me. Out. Of. Here. I kept trying to send piercing looks over to A, but he either missed the hint or was ignoring me.

Finally, finally A said we needed to get going and I thought THANK YOU JESUS. But no, it was not over yet. Nelda wanted us to see the inside of the house, where they were doing renovations. When we walked inside I realized the porch was the far better option for visiting. The inside of the 1860 farm house was... how can I put this tactfully?... trashed? The walls were torn up, the furniture was crowded around willynilly, the floors were dirty. There was stuff everywhere. Even ignoring the "renovations" (which I suspected were a very, very long term project) the place looked like a tornado had blown through. There was trash laying around. An old dog. Unmade beds in random places. I said nothing and tried to touch nothing while A made nice comments about how lovely it will be when they finish the place. Nelda kept saying, Whatever you do, DON'T but an old farmhouse! They are a ton of work! And in my head I'm like I really don't think you need to worry about that. Another twenty minutes of chatter and then, at long last, after what seemed like a whole day but was really only like an hour, I was back in the car with the a/c blasting, and the only thing I could think or say was What the......???


Black Daffodil Films said...

GAH...I wanna meet this Nelda...sounds like a real interesting lady... or perhaps I should say woman--who smokes and drinks Budwiser. Tell me PLEASE was she smoking "cowboy killer" (aka marlboro reds)?

I'm with you on the cowboy thing...I think all girls go crazy for Wranglers and a pearl snap shirt.

Hilarious post...I've missed you!

Michelle said...

Lindsey, she was smoking the fancy cowboy killers - Marlboro menthols! :D

Abby said...

LOL, we don't have a big enough lawn for a "zero turn radius lawnmower", but if we ever need one, I'll know where to go for advice. :)

THE WRITER said...

Well if you ever start a punk band, I think you have your name all picked-out for you. Michelle and the Zero Turn Radius Lawnmowers!

Jadey 0:-) said...

Thats a great story - My Dad is from country stock too. :P