Southern Man

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

Now, don't get me wrong - Southern Man is no tree-hugger. Tree-planter, yes. However, in his quest to be a more responsible citizen of Planet Earth it occurred to him while shopping for a replacement for his fourteen-year-old gas mower that (a) his rental lawn is about the size of a postcard, (b) he needs more exercise, and (c) old-style reel mowers - just like Dad used to use - were only eighty bucks or so. So Southern Man found himself back home with one of the beasts and eager to try it out.

Reel mowers don't use gas or oil and are pollution free (at least to operate), have a minimum of moving parts and require little maintainence and will probably last longer than Southern Man will, and promise to provide a good workout once a week. But then there are a few issues.

First, the design is such that you can't cut closer than four inches or so to edging or fences, so you must go back around with the edger when done mowing the lawn itself. Second, it does a fine job if you have a nice clean level lawn, but real-yard hazards such as twigs and rough terrain really slow it down. Finally, coarse grass and tall weeds and dandelions just laugh at it and you end up going over the same patch a dozen times before giving up and moving on. There were some places where it wouldn't cut the grass at all. Not to mention that bagging and mulching are out of the question.

So after a few hours of frustration Southern Man jumped back into the SUV and picked up a good used old-fashioned pollution-spewing gas mower for $40, which knocks the job out in about fifteen minutes. Two mows at the local rate of $20 a pop and it'll have already paid for itself. Expect the reel mower to sit unused until Southern Man gets sick of looking at it, then it'll get dumped at a garage sale or something. Or Southern Man might offer teenage son a quick twenty to mow the lawn and let him give it a try. That would be worthwhile just to watch. Hey, teenage son - want to mow my lawn?


At Wednesday, April 25, 2007, Blogger gouldie said...

I'll take that reel mower! I'd been wanting to acquire one.

At Wednesday, April 25, 2007, Blogger Southern Man said...

Oh no, it's already gone :( But believe me, you didn't want it. Unless you have too little frustration in your life or something, or were planning to use The Boy as a reel mower mule team, or something like that.

At Thursday, April 26, 2007, Blogger neighborsgrrl said...

My dad used the reel mower when they still owned a house, but the real work was in planting a gazillion flowers. Have you considered going for the less lawn, more stuff approach? Why not just pave the thing over, ha ha and stick up some plastic ornaments.


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