I have a long uneasy relationship with gas machines around the house. I recently posted on my aversion to the evil leaf blower. (Click here for that blog.) We once had a behemoth snowblower for our 150′ driveway. It proved on unwieldy so now we have Nolan who plows when we get a big storm.
But this is a story about a lawn mower that went down a dark rabbit hole until… Well, let me explain.
After two years of lawn mower neglect, this past spring I take my mower to Eldredge Repair for servicing. Returning home and pulling on the cord, the engine sputters, and then conks out completely after thirty seconds. Really! I just paid a C note for the repair! (i.e. $100)
Checking the gas tank, I find it low, but not unreasonably so. Even so, hoping for a green lawn miracle, I drive down to the Irving Station for some gas, return home, pull the cord – La meme chose! Nothing, as it runs weakly for 30 seconds, then conks out.
When in small engine need, I default to reaching out to my neighbors for support.
Ergo, I text Marco, a thirty-something who lives diagonally across the street. Marco responds, Remove the gas cap and see if the engine runs better. If it does, this signifies a plugged gas cap vent and is quite common. If u need to borrow mine, you sure can.
Unscrewing the gas cap, I pull the cord once more, but it nonetheless sputters and dies. Still, the interaction with Marco brightens my afternoon.
With Bob’s Jeep in the driveway across the road, I walk over, explain my situation, and ask if he has any ideas. Suggesting that I spray the carburetor, he says I can borrow his spray if I want. When he hands me the can, I admit that I have no idea where the carburetor is. Before I can ask for his help, he offers to come over to take a look.
Bob sprays, I pull the cord, but it’s déjà vu all over again; the mower sputters and shuts down.
Ever hopeful and obviously very naïve, thirty minutes later I give my mower one more tug. Pulling in vain, I see Bob behind me wheeling his mower down our driveway; he says, you can use mine until you get yours fixed. How cool is that! I gladly accept and mow our backyard to my heart’s content.
With a non-compliant mower, the very next day I return it to Eldredge’s. Two days later upon my return, the smiling mechanic greets me. He says, when I heard that the mower died after 30 seconds, I knew exactly what the problem was. I took out the biggest mouse nest I have seen all spring. The nest was blocking the flywheel of your engine.
Why the repair guy didn’t notice the mouse house in my mower the first time is another matter. Still, it was a good day thanks to Mickey and Minnie reconnecting me with Marco and Bob.