Every school year in high school, I have to complete 20 hours of community service. Yesterday, I spend almost three “mowing” the lawn. Most of that time was spent cursing both the extension leads (There were more than one) and the half-broken lawn mower. Here are some of the best things about mowing your school lawn (that was sarcastic).
Firstly, we have the wonderful fact that most of this grass hadn’t seen a blade in probably close to a year. There was some attempt around October time, but as I recall, they didn’t get very far. The result of this was that I was cutting almost knee-length grass with a wonderful lawn mower (more on that later).
Secondly, there are around thirteen trees or tree-dedicated spots dotted around this lawn. The school also lacks a strimmer (God bless them), so the grass around the trees was even longer than the surrounding grass. In the end, I cut it by lifting up and slightly tilting the lawn mower in order to create a makeshift strimmer. These trees also have very low branches so I had to kneel on the ground and push the lawn mower through the leaves.
Thirdly, we have this wonderful lawn mower that was probably the pinnacle in Lawn-Mowing Technology, BACK IN 1962 (It was probably John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s model that he would take for a spin while chatting with Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado). This dusty old boy had the wheel guards falling off and a broken attaching device for the black grass-holding bin. It also had the shortest power lead in all of Christendom. To reach the corner of the lawn, I ended up using no less than THREE extension cords to cover the land; one from the plug to the window, one from the window to the outside floor, one from the floor to the second row of trees followed by the mower’s cable. I know now what I will be bringing back from the UK – a 20-metre extension cord.
Fourth of all, WHY THE HECK DO YOU THROW STONES??? The number of times that a guttural sound issued from the mower, and I had to stop to remove a rock ridiculous. In the UK, my father would scour the ground first for rocks. In a school yard, It’s easier to just move them out as you go along. Never again will I throw a rock into a grassy spot of land.
Lastly, there was a slightly more pressing problem. Our school is host to three tortoises that roam the grounds freely. Or at least, they did until I almost squashed one with the lawn mower. At one stage, I had to pick one up and transfer him to the other side of the garden while I covered the area next to the wall. I can honestly say that that is the closest call I have ever had. Still, at least we would know that the blade was working!
When I leave GDQ, you can forget a scholarship fund. I’m setting up the Lawn Mower Fund to make sure that no student ever has to stop every two minutes to change the positioning of a cord in relation to thirteen trees.
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