Whacking Weeds

I detest using a weed whacker. I call these monstrosities instruments of the devil, and have always waged a losing battle with them when trying to encourage them to perform, as they ought to perform. I resent the way they do not run properly for me, the frustration they cause, and the job they often do not do very well. I think these evil creations feel the same way about me; they seem to work efficiently when others handle them, but I place my hands on them and they rebel. These contrivances behave erratically, they quit for no reason whatsoever, and invariably run out of twine. You name it, it happens when I decide to try using one of these devil’s instruments.

When I still lived in Crane, I had a neighbor who very patiently showed me how to use his trusty weed eater, he demonstrated its powers for five minutes at my house while clearing an admirable number of weeds in the process. He handed the machine to me, I started whacking weeds with a vengeance, and the instrument quit within ten seconds. My neighbor started it, used it for another several minutes with no troubles at all, handed it back to me, and the untrustworthy piece of junk abruptly quit. I thrust the whacker back at him, told him to never mind, that I would just pull the weeds by hand, and I did.

When I married my husband, it was understood that he would do the weed whacking at our place. He knew my dislike of these finicky beasts, so he operated these unreliable instruments, maintained them, and took care of all the objectionable weeds around the property that I could not mow down with the lawn mower.

For years, my husband upheld this unspoken agreement regarding who operated the weed eater. Until this year, that is. I told my husband in May that we needed the weed whacker up and operating as the pesky plants were threatening to take over in a few areas. He procrastinated for a week before he finally retrieved the weed eater from our storage shed. He cleaned it, fueled it, put in a new bundle of twine, and tried the machine out on a few, a very few, weeds around the house. He possibly spent an entire two minutes whacking weeds. He shut off the machine, laid it in the grass, and walked away to return to his more exciting YouTube activities.

That whacker laid on the grass for a week. I pointed out to my husband in that time period several spots where he could put the instrument to good use. Those conversations went in one of his ears and straight out the other.

I finally picked up the cursed contraption, took it up to his shop, and laid it in the middle of the floor when he could not possibly fail to see it and had to step over it to get in and out of the shop. Unfortunately, a large object lying in the middle of the floor obstructing passage did not provide the motivation nor the hint that I had hoped it would produce.

Meanwhile I polished up my trusty clippers and started clipping by hand. I did the entire interior perimeter of the garden fence with those clippers, mentioning to my husband on several occasions what activity I was up to. I then started on the outside perimeter but I wanted it done as quickly as possible since some of the weeds were going to seed and I wanted them out of the way before they matured. I mentioned this little fact to my husband, and continued to clip weeds by hand with the clippers while the weeds continued to grow and mature.

I retrieved an old push mower and used it in a few spots I ought not to have used it as I had about a foot of space to drag the mower between the outside garden fence and a rather steep bank, but that mower did a good job and helped me clean up a tangle of unwanted plants.

Shaming didn’t seem to motivate my husband to do his job, so I finally asked him if the whacker was difficult to start and if it was giving him any problems. He leaped off his chair where he was sitting watching exciting YouTube garbage, assured me the whacker was easy to start, it worked well, it was a pleasure to use, and he then proceeded to give me an elaborate, detailed fifteen-minute tutorial on how to start the appalling piece of tin and plastic, run it, and change the string.

I stared at him aghast through the entire demonstration. Here I stood, wasting fifteen minutes listening to a lecture on how to use a machine I had no intentions of ever operating.

Questions that ran through my mind: If it is so easy to use, why is he not using it? If it runs so well, why is he not running it? If he likes the machine as much as he claims, why is he not putting it to good use? If it is such a good little instrument, why does he not run it more often? I do most all other yard work around here, so in my opinion he can run the weed whacker and get the job done.

I returned to my clippers and mower. A few days later my husband saw me clipping by hand, he announced that the weed eater would get the job done a lot faster, so I snarled at him, ‘Well then use it.’ He took one look at my face, marched to the shop, picked up the weed eater, and finished the job for me. About time, in my opinion, but I now realize he may not like weed whacking as much as he claims. Actually, I think it just takes up too much of his valuable screen watching time.

I have an old mower I use in tough spots, and if I wreck it, so be it. I do have a trusty pair of lawn clippers, and if worse comes to worst, I will rent a goat to help me eliminate unwanted plants and shrubs, but I will not weed whack. I will not use that particular instrument of the devil to help me in my yard work. I truly believe I would tear out weeds with my teeth before I consented to operate a weed whacker machine.


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