Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Four Weedings and a Fun-a-Rama

When I was in college, I worked one Summer at an industrial park which was to some extent hidden in military bunkers buried underground. I never saw the alien spacecraft, nor observed any weapons of mass destruction. But I did get set off, with a friend and mowing tools,to spend the day in the vacant wooded empty beauty, with instructions to graze the top of the hillsides by machine, in a shearing way.

When I was in high school, my brother and I agreed to mow a woman's yard for five dollars and fifty cents. She would come out and point out for us obscure places she felt we had missed. We'd spend hours on end, trying to please this woman. I cannot through the fogs of time remember if she was over-picky or we were over-careless, but I marvel that it took us months to say "no, thanks" to her generous offer to in effect continue to work for a quarter or two an hour.

Our "regular" customer, my high school biology teacher, was a different kettle of fish altogether. She gave only the most helpful instructions, and always praised us and made us feel useful. We rode an International Harvester "Lo Boy" riding tractor to mow her yard, a kind of cross between a tiny farm tractor and a little mowing tractor. Whichever of us was on the tractor used to sing. I love the sound of my own voice, when the noise of the tractor is my backing group.

I remember when we mowed my father's medical group's clinic, and, sadly, put a rock through the window of one of his colleages. The rock must have flown a long way, but it made the neatest little hole in the bottom part of the window. I seem to recall the senior physician assembled a bid from a professional mowing service after that.

Somehow, the thought of riding mowers also inspires in me a longing to be at Six Flags over Texas, a place I almost never go nowadays, though it is almost local. I'd ride those little vintage cars, faux model As and Ts which run on gas but are kept on the track by an intervening rail which limits the ability of the wheels to wander.
I love the fun-o-rama of the sound of those little engines put-putting along, reaching breathtaking speeds in excess of ten miles an hour. I've never been much for thrill rides, though I am certainly thrill-susceptible (and have always rather thought that you probably could buy a thrill if you just shopped aggressively enough). But give me model cars bound to earth by a rail, or a "spelunker's cave" featuring boat rides through a "dark passage" of faux gnomes digging for minerals, and I'm having fun.

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