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Tactical Statistician
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I love this column.

[URL= said:[/URL]]Riding a lawn tractor into the adult world
By Benjamin Price | Columnist | Story updated at 6:50 PM on Saturday, October 20, 2007

I've reached a new stage in life.

It's time to buy a lawn mower.

I never realized how big a step this would be. I suppose marriage and fatherhood are considered life's major milestones, but I would have to rank buying a lawn mower right up there with a first kiss, or at least getting a driver's license.

A 19-year-old kid doesn't own a lawn mower. A 25-year-old renting an apartment has no need for a top-notch Troy-Built Super Bronco Lawn Tractor. Only a grownup - a grownup with his own house and an acre of land - would need the Super Bronco.

Comparing blade diameters in the Craftsman and John Deere catalogs while searching for a deal on top-notch rider (or "lawn tractor," as they're called by the industry types), I've been struck by how strange this process feels.

It didn't sink in when I signed my name next to a 30-year mortgage. Or when I dropped $500 for a home inspection, took bids from roofers in the neighborhood of $10,000, or when I spent four weekends slapping fresh paint on the walls and shooing squirrels out of the attic. No, it wasn't until I decided to drop $1,000 on a lawn mower that it really sunk in: I'm now a homeowner. Thirty-one years old and practically an adult.

Suddenly, life has a whole new set of priorities.

Six weeks ago, if you'd asked me how I'd like to spend $1,000, a weeklong pub crawl in Ireland or a trip to one of those Hedonism resorts in the Bahamas probably would have topped the list.

But now it's a lawn mower. Of all things, a lawn mower.

For 20 years, cutting the grass ranked right up there with mucking out gutters and chopping firewood as one of life's most dreaded chores.

But all that changes when it's your lawn. Suddenly, like that day when you were 12 and realized for the first time that you really, really like girls, cutting your lawn becomes one of life's great pleasures.

There's nothing like filling a Solo cup with a stiff drink, dropping the mower's throttle down from "rabbit" to "turtle," and taking a nice slow cruise around your property.

You get to know it. Smell it. Memorize its topography - every anthill, every tree limb, every misplaced blade of Bermuda.

Close your eyes and you can replay it all in your mind, like a downhill skier memorizing his course.

Sitting atop a lawn mower is one of the last places a man can go to find refuge. No commercials or annoying pop-up ads. No ringtones. No text messages. Just you and the monotonous drone of a 12-horsepower motor and that satisfying smell of freshly cut grass mixed with gas fumes.

As our agrarian traditions vanish from this land, our fields grow smaller and our primordial urge to tend to our land struggles to find release. There are no more mules to be fed. There are no more Massey Ferguson tractors stored in wooden barns.

All a man has left to satisfy that urge is the riding lawn mower.

The lawn tractor.

• Price is an Athens Banner-Herald staff writer. Send e-mail to [email protected].

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 102107

2,515 Posts
ptsmith24 said:
merlock said:
ptsmith24 said:
merlock said:

I can't wait for a lawn mowing roomba :)
That's pretty good! But I'd still be more interested in 'set it and forget it'

As far as yard-work goes, even moving the joysticks is too much effort. :shock: :D
I heard snake enjoyed yardwork :wink:
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