When it comes to household jobs, cutting the grass is my favorite. I get to fly around the yard, write, and get paid for it. Sweet!
I'm quite a sight when I cut the grass. Today I am wearing a blaze orange shirt, not quite matching the orange of my tractor, and brown shorts with black Chacos (I'm looking to enhance the Zorro-like tanlines on my feet). To top it off, I'm wearing my notorious cowboy hat, I have a blue Off! fan latched to my shorts, and my iPod is strapped to my thigh using the elastic band intended for a runner's arm. Yeah, really pretty.
I'm lost deep in thought, memories, and stories that may someday be blog-worthy when all of the sudden I hear this nasty noise. It kind of sounds like I ran over something, but I haven't. I keep going and there is a second noise, not as loud as the first. At the third noise, I stop the tractor. I see Mom inside the house walking towards me as I turn it off.
"Did you hear that?" I ask.
She assures me she has and asks what it was. Like I know. Then she tells me the tractor was smoking.
I hop off the tractor. "It's on fire," I say. "Yes, I see a flame." Keep in mind, I hate fire. Been there; done that. Lived to tell the tale; have the scars to prove it.
Mom runs to get the fire extinguisher, her trademark move. From a reasonable distance, I watch the grass burn. There is only one flame, but it is bigger than you would see on a candle.
"Do I even know how to work this?" She asks as she pulled the pin out of the fire extinguisher. She pushes the levers together and it blows a fog-like gas. Well, the wind take it and it showers me with fire extinguisher fluid.
The flame goes out, our tractor needs to be serviced, our fire extinguisher needs to be inspected, and the grass still needs to be cut. Oh, and I smell like Off!, grease, freshly cut grass, forget me nots, smoke, and fire extinguisher.
When we tell Dad what happened, he just laughs. And laughs. And laughs. He's now outside trying to fix the poor piece of flaming machinery. I told him to scream if he needs me to call 911. All quiet in the front.
I'm fine, by the way. A little traumatized and just as pyro-phobic as ever, but it's just another day in the life...