Mexican standoff…

I might not be quite fanatical about lawn care, but it’s a pretty close run thing. In fact, “not fanatical” might just be a matter of degree, but compared to one of my two neighbors, I’m downright lax with my mowing and trimming routine. Normally that’s not much of a problem because the other neighbor lives somewhere on the other end of the mowing spectrum. Over there, they live by the once-a-month-is-good-enough standard. Sure, it’s bothersome, but I’m slowly learning to live with the things I can’t control. That’s not really the point, though.

The point, unfortunately, is that mine is now the neighborhood yard most in need of a good going over. While I’d very much like to take care of that problem, my John Deere is currently rated as out of service and unable to perform its primary mission. Loosely translated, after replacing the fuel filter, spark plug, and checking the fuel lines, I can’t keep the damned thing running for more than 45 seconds and even then it’s working at about 10% power. That means the yard is coming up on two weeks un-mowed and it’s starting to make me twitchy. The fact that it’s rained off and on every other hour for the last three days isn’t helping matters at all.

The fine people from the local Deere dealer are coming out on Friday to give it a diagnosis and attempt a repair on site. If that doesn’t go as planned, they’ll haul it away and bring it back up to operating standard at the shop. Of course if that happens, there’s no way of knowing when I’ll get my green machine back in service. That puts me in an awkward position of either a) accepting that the grass is going to be a foot tall or worse before I can do anything about it or b) ask the neighbor who actually takes meticulous care of his yard if I can borrow his tractor for an afternoon.

They’re both equally unappealing options. The former because it is an open admission of defeat and the latter because I’m completely uncomfortable borrowing a piece of equipment from the guy whose garage and workshop are cleaner than the kitchens in most commercial restaurants. It seems I’m in a Mexican standoff with myself. If things aren’t up and running on Friday, there’s not much chance of it ending well.

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