Gut Rumbles
 

December 22, 2006

Point A to point B

Originally published September 7, 2003

That can be a tangled path sometimes.

I started to cut my grass this morning. Jack's sister, Hillary, offered to do the work for me if I paid her $10.00. She wanted to use my mower but had never operated a riding lawn mower before. I wasn't sure that she had enough ass to satisfy the kill-switch under the seat, so I checked her out. Sure enough, she could crank the mower, but every time she hit a bump, her ass bounced and the mower shut off. I told her that she couldn't do the job.

She came back 10 minutes later with a friend. "We'll ride piggy-back," she said. "I'll drive the mower and she'll keep her butt in the seat." I gave them an audition and it seemed to work well. I asked Hillary how much of the $10 she was going to share with her friend. She motioned for me to come close, so she could whisper in my ear.

"I'M NOT PAYING HER, Mr. Rob," Hillary said. "She just wants to ride on the lawn mower."

"That's all YOU really want to do, too," I replied. "Why should I pay YOU for the opportunity to do what you would pay ME for, if I really negotiated strictly?"

"I'm going to cut your grass, Mr. Rob, so you don't have to. That's why." And she batted her beautiful Scots-Irish hazel eyes at me. She is thirteen years old and bound to break hearts one of these days.

I couldn't argue with that point, so I let her do it. I watched the two of them for about 30 minutes, corrected a few mistakes, did some training and gave some advice until Hillary learned to ride the mower like a pro. Now I don't know if I'll ever get her off of it.

While I was making sure that the girls didn't kill themselves, I heard, "Mr. Rob! Mr. Rob! Can you give me a hand over here?"

That was my neighbor across the street, one door down. He is about 40 years old. His kid plays with mine. Why he called me "Mr. Rob" is a mystery to me. His truck just died at the end of his driveway and he wanted me to help him push it back from whence it came.

"I think the battery croaked," he said. "It quit and it won't start now."

"I've got jumper cables," I replied. "Why don't I just pull my truck over here and see if we can get it going?"

That's what we did, and the neighbor's truck started on the first try. He was delighted, but I told him that I didn't think my jump solved his problem. I've jumped too many dead batteries before. Usually, I have to rev the engine in my truck to generate some serious amps to by-pass a dead battery to get another engine to turn over. His started like Moody's Goose.

I took the cables off and he drove the truck back into his driveway. I said, "Try to start it again." He did and the truck fired up right away. "Your battery is not the problem," I told him. He has an S-10 pickup, which is a model that I once owned and put 120,000 miles on before I sold it five years ago to someone who is still driving it today. "You've got a computer chip going apeshit on you."

I've been there and done that with an S-10. I recommended that he take it to 21 Auto tomorrow and have them put it on their diagnostic machine. They charge $40 if they hook you up, but they always find what's wrong. At least they always have for me.

So, I taught a young lady to handle a riding lawn mower, helped a neighbor with a car problem and fed two kids really well today.

I've done all the good deeds I need to do. I can be a shitass the rest of the day.

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