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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Monday, July 11, 2005

"There's something strange afoot at the Circle K"

If any of the RRR's Readers recognize that quote, they should be ashamed of themselves. Nonetheless, it fits. With Mrs. RRR off to teach swim lessons to recalcitrant children I set about to give the acreage an overdue haircut. When I approached my venerable Cub Cadet to check for fuel, the gas tank was gone! Unable to believe some thief would go to the trouble of stealing just the plastic fuel tank, I lifted the hood. The flexible tank was crumpled into a crumpled plastic wad down by the rear of the motor. The new gas cap I bought cheap at Sprawl Mart has a vent screw on it I'd forgotten to loosen the last time I mowed. As the engine sucked down the fuel, the flexible tank simply folded in on itself. I took off the cap and the tank slowly unfolded itself back into shape. I'd never have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

That problem solved, I filled the newly restored tank and tried to start the mower. “Chunk!” and nothing else, yet a very healthy “chunk”, not a weak starter “chunk”.

I might add here that the blessed old Cadet years ago burned up the clutch on the blade shut off, so the previous owner, Grandpa Ranger, simply welded the drive pulley for the blades to the front of the crankshaft. Simple and deadly should someone forget and put their foot under the mower deck. I got down and moved one of the three blades. It seemed OK. I traced the belt. No jams or kinks. There seemed to be absolutely no reason it wouldn't start, yet that was the case. Finally I raised the deck up as high as it would go and tried it in that position. The motor caught with a roar and a battered spray can of penetrating oil flew out from under the deck with blinding speed, bounced off the air compressor and spun on the shop floor like a quarter on a deli counter. It appears I had knocked the can over some time in the last couple weeks and it rolled under the mower and stuck under a different blade than the one I had checked.

It could only happen to me. But I still had enough time to get the whole yard done and was started on the trimming when Mrs. RRR came home. My reward was a delighted smooch and oatmeal with raisins followed by her homemade yogurt with strawberries and bananas sliced in. No one has it better than the RRR.


Blogger Mid-kid said...

I guess I need not be ashamed since I don't recognize the quote. Where does it come from? Some inappropriate book or movie? Why do you know the quote? Inquiring minds want to know.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Shamgar said...

Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure. As high brow and intellectual as Ranger Readers are, such entertainment should be far, FAR, below their radar. The RRR investigates such things for his readers so their sensibilities will not have to be offended.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Mid-kid said...

I protest! Even the most intelligent people need to let their busy minds rest with mindless entertainment occasionally.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Shamgar said...

And the more intelligent, the more the need for the entertainment, right? So that a genuis would only be able to stay sane by spending all but a few minutes a day in mindless pursuits...

3:28 AM  
Blogger Sassmo said...

You insult the film most egregiously. As silly as it was, it's triumphant nature inspired a lot of kids to actually pay attention when a professor mentioned Joan of Arc or Waterloo(p). Films today are heinous in comparison.

2:12 AM  

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