I enjoy reading reaction to things I have written. I got a very sweet email from a women last week who closed with something to the effect of: Obviously I don’t expect a response as you wouldn’t have time to reply to all of these kind of messages. I replied… I dream of a day when I have people to handle my correspondence. But not that much going on. I have no people… yet.
Sometimes the feedback surprises me, though. Three weeks ago I posted Old Red is Not Dead. I optimistically expected laughs because while I may be in the minority, I think I’m hilarious. What I didn’t expect was an outpouring of support for the old girl. It seems that a good many people ascribe feelings to inanimate objects and felt sorry for Old Red’s condition. I’ve seen Cars, Toy Story, and The Brave Little Toaster. But I don’t subscribe to the belief that things have feelings or are any more than things. Sorry Pixar.
Maybe I’m growing a little soft in my old age, but after taking some abuse from readers, I saw her under the deck and thought she might be staring at me longingly as I was cleaning the winter grime off of the house. So I hit old Red with the pressure washer and cleaned her up.
I have to admit that the old girl came out looking pretty good. There was actually a little shine under all of the dirt and bird poop. She cleaned up quite well. Before I used her on the lawn, I took these runway shots of her.
Front… side… work it! Love the camera!
After our little modelling session was over, I pulled the chain to start her up… and nothing. Not a thing. Either she is allergic to clean or the water killed her. Thanks a lot for making me feel bad about her dirtiness, people – your concern brought on her demise. Little boys told to wash up have been fearing this for centuries – Clean can kill. Yes, Old Red is Finally Dead.
At least she went out in style.
I have grumbled about her for so long, yet I am slightly sad about this. Sure, I’ll get the new mower I’ve wanted and have a nicer looking lawn with less effort. But I find myself a little nostalgic as I remember the sixteen years we fought each other. At least we fought together. My recent journey has certainly awakened a sensitive, more emotional side in me. But I didn’t expect to have a soft spot for a lousy, hunk-of-junk lawnmower.
Never coming to Amazon.com, the story of a man and his cantankerous mower:
I don’t foresee Pixar buying the rights to Missing Old Red and the only woman who could do her voiceover justice is Lauren Bacall, who passed away two years ago. So it’s a story that will remain untold as Old Red marches to the lawnmower graveyard. I have to say, I thought I would be glad when this day came, but I am surprisingly hesitant to push her away.
Ask me again after a few Saturday mows with self-propel and none of her shrapnel showers and I may hum a different tune. But today I wish to propose a final toast:
Here’s to Old Red – she may have been a bitter old cow, but she always chewed the grass her way.