Enter the Determined Wife. Now, the lawn mower has been Don's toy. I've been content to let him have it. But, in light of the jungle lawn and impending rain, I decided to finish the job for him. I waddled out to the shed, pulled the mower out and pulled the starter cord. Nothing. Again I pulled. Again, nothing.
"This is not like the lawn mowers of my day," said I, thinking back with misty-eyed fondness on ancient models that required about 250 lbs. of pull to get started.
After poking and staring and searching for throttles and keys and other such devices, I hit upon the idea of reading the manual. It might not surprise you to hear that the manuals that came with the chainsaw and the snowblower did not offer a solution. Nor did the instruction booklet for the treadmill. At length, I found a stack of water-stained papers that had a line drawing of our lawn mower upon the front cover.
Thing is, I don't speak Spanish.
Well, I know a bit, mostly from when I worked at Carmella's. I've been propositioned, proposed to and been given all sorts of very nice if rather exaggerated compliments. The makers of the Toro Lawnerator 2000 aren't prone to complimenting the operators of their equipment. Not, at least, by calling them thin or beautiful. Between the few words I knew, the illustrations and the "FOLLOW THIS DARK ARROW, STUPID!" diagrams (as well as the little tortoise and the wee hare that indicated which lever made the mower move), I was able to make it work.
After a brief rest to figure out how to detach, and subsequently reattach, the collection bag, I finished the lawn.
Oh, the (eventual) cleverness of me!