Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Old Hundred-Pull Hannah

I got the word last Wednesday: my lawnmower couldn’t be saved. “Mr. Schprock,” the voice on the other end of the line said, “we tried everything, but the compression was just too low. I’m sorry.” The mechanic told me they’d take care of her — I think the word he used was “dispose.” I thanked him and hung up.

Her name was Hundred-Pull Hannah, because it took a hundred pulls to start her up and keep her running. 15 years ago, when she first entered my life, so young and full of spirit, she was Half-Pull Hannah. But the years caught up with her. It hurts to look back at all those hours we spent together, all those billions of grass blades shorn, the thousands of dandelions beheaded — they’re only memories now. No longer will I experience the thrill of finally getting her to turn over, my poor arm aching but my heart rejoicing at the sound of her engine’s majestic roar. She’s gone now. I hope she’s in a better place.

Last night I awoke sobbing. I tried to keep it low, but my wife was nevertheless roused from her sleep. She cradled my head in her arms and made gentle shushing sounds. She told me the small engine repair shop must have sent Hundred-Pull Hannah to Lawnmower Town, where all the good lawnmowers go when they can’t cut grass anymore. I asked her if she thought my father’s old Toro was in Lawnmower Town too. She said it probably was. Then I went back to sleep.

16 Comments:

Blogger LL said...

She's in a better place. One where the grass always need cut and the gasoline flows free. One where her oil never needs changed and her blades never get dull. A land where the cut grass never builds up on her mower deck and she can run at any speed...

Truly a better place.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

So, you going to post a picture of Hundred-Pull Hannah's replacement?

What? Too heartless for your time of grief?

6:42 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"Truly a better place."

(sniff) Do you think so?


"So, you going to post a picture of Hundred-Pull Hannah's replacement?"

Hundred-Pull Hannah's replacement is bright green and has a lot to learn. I don't even have a name for her yet. Maybe you can think of one.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I know it's a bit early now, but someday you'll get another lawn mower. Sure, it won't be the same--but different. You will learn that there is room in your heart for another, but you will always love ol' Hundred-Pull just the same.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Flood said...

Maybe the replacement (Green Jeannie?) has some things to teach you. Like, learning to love again and mastering blade height in an unpredictable climate.

9:14 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"You will learn that there is room in your heart for another, but you will always love ol' Hundred-Pull just the same."

There'll be other lawnmowers, but there'll never be another Hundred-Pull Hannah. Never.


"Maybe the replacement (Green Jeannie?) has some things to teach you. Like, learning to love again and mastering blade height in an unpredictable climate."

Well, she does seem spirited, I'll give her that. She really did a nice cutting job last Sunday. But I couldn't tell if she was doing it to impress me, or showing off for that cool-looking red and black Sears Craftsman mowing the neighbor's yard across the street.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Are all your lawnmowers female? Does it have to be a female name?

9:45 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

I almost bought a male lawnmower, but then I heard the female ones are gentler and easier to break in, so I got another female. So, yeah, it has to be a female name.

10:00 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

At least you have closure. My lawn mower was kidnapped and was never found. I can only imagine he's probably being forced to dent his blades on rocks and limbs. They're probably not even changing his oil! *sob*

11:11 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

The kidnappers probably lured him away by flashing a bottle of 30 weight motor oil and telling him tales of endless Kentucky bluegrass fields with high-test gasoline rivers running through them. Lawnmowers believe anything you tell them.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Wordnerd said...

I'm so sorry...take all the time you need to work thru this. But I think II said it best.

Peace, friend.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Reading this first thing in the morning (I mean it's not even 6:00 yet) and I'm laughing. It's bittersweet laughter, of course. Lawnmower Town. I like the sound of that. Thanks for this post!

2:55 AM  
Blogger boo said...

good ole lawnmower withdrawal {{hugs}} i r back, missed u :)

5:29 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I'm kind of partial to the name Kathleen...maybe Green Kathleen, until she develops a cute little idiosyncrasy as modifier.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Farrago said...

How about Smooth Start Sarah?

Or my Word Verification: ikrsvach?

6:17 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"How about Smooth Start Sarah?"

Or maybe I should name her after my high school sweetheart: Easy Sue.

6:44 PM  

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