Friday, September 15, 2006

Ray was right, lawnmowing is hazardous

I was all set to write about riding on the new section of the Greenway tonight. But when I got home, the family was still swimming at the Y so I decided to take advantage of the solitude and get some chores done. Specifically, mowing the lawn. I'm not all anal and obsessive about the lawn, and usually only mow when the grass starts to wave in the wind like something out of The Lion King. But the weather forecast over the next week or so will make people start to wonder what exactly a cubit is, so I figured that this was the time to do it.

We had a lovely Honda riding lawn mower for about 2 years, but this summer the transmission decided to shuffle off this mortal coil. So I've been mowing with the mini-mower, a little unit that we bought when we lived in South Dakota nearly 10 years ago. It was cheap as all get out ($79 I think) and has been a workhorse ever since. But the 20" cutting width just isn't cutting it for our half acre lot.

I fired up the mini-mower and started mowing. I usually mow in concentric circles. Again not because I really care about lawn patterns, but because it just seems easier. Our yard has a ton of trees and other things to mow around, but the majority are around the edges. So if I start at the outside and work my way in most of the hard part is over first.

I'd made two laps around the yard. On the second lap I put a pretty good scratch in my shoulder from a tree branch. And then on the third time around I felt something poke me in the leg. That's odd, I thought. I wasn't anywhere near a tree or shrub. Then something else poked me in the back. I looked down and saw a bee on my shirt. Then I felt another poke (or sting, I realized) and figured out what was going on. I shut off the mower and started running like a cartoon character, running while twisting, turning and swatting. As I ran toward the house, I could feel that one was on my back and I started calling to my wife so she could come out and get it off me. But it stung me instead. Nancy came outside just in time to hear me curse and swat some more. I took my clothes off on the patio (what will the neighbors think?!) and went inside. As we watched, two more bees crawled out of my shorts!

I decided my mowing was over for the night, went inside and took a shower. After getting doused with calomine lotion we counted 7 stings. And when I went to look, those two bees were still buzzing around my clothes, trying to find something to sting. I went back up and got the lawnmower, and I think I saw the hole in the ground where the bees are coming from.

Tomorrow, me and my friend the gas can are going to burn those bastards out.

Date: September 15
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
September mileage: 68
Year to date mileage: 2496

8 comments:

Nancy said...

When I went out to the patio about two hours later to retrieve your clothes, the bees were still hanging out around your shorts. They must really like you...

Sparky said...

GAS can, eh? That oughta' work...

Don't give the girls any ideas, though.

Tex69 said...

sounds like yellowjackets to me. they're ground dwellers and mean as hell! last time i got stung- on a bikeride- i ended up in the local immediate care joint with a 2-hour nap and a pint of benedryl or whatev they pumped me with. without that, i would not be blogging, that's for sure!

Pete said...

They were too big to be yellowjackets. Wasps, maybe.

Instead of the gas can I took a shovel full of dirt and covered up their hidey-hole. We'll see what that does. The gas can isn't out just yet though. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.

Tex69 said...

titter, titter. giggle, giggle. good quote. hope everybody else get's it too.

Tim said...

I love the smell of unleaded gasoline in the morning.

Burn 'em in their hootches before they can launch another attack.

Nathan said...

The gas idea would have been more photographically spectacular...

rigtenzin said...

As I read this post, I wondered what the heck the gal in the bee costume had to do with the story. Then I got the end of the story. Very nice build up in the story telling.