David Lee Nelson is...Mowing The Lawn


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Growing up I had a huge back yard. This was awesome… until I turned 11 years old and had to start mowing it.I'm not sure how letting an 11 year old cut the grass is even legal. It is a harrowing job not the faint of heart. First off, it’s done during the middle of the day before your father got home. Heaven forbid it wasn't done before 5 o’clock; he might actually have to help you. My dad always made me wear jeans and a long sleeve shirt because one the charms of cutting the grass is that it turns rocks into flying shrapnel. So it's 100 degrees and I’m wearing a Hazmat suit. I'm not sure if this is still the custom but everyone had a little red jug full of gasoline. And while filling up the lawn mower the gasoline would get all over you hands, you would then of course sniff, and get ready to mow the lawn, high off of gasoline fumes. So, the gas tank is full, you’re high as a kite, and now it is time to prime the death machine. You stand there for 15 minutes pressing the button on the handle. While I have absolutely no idea what this does, it says you're supposed to do it- so you do it. Now it's time to start the mower. Mind you, this isn't done by a handy little switch, or a key perhaps, it is done by a string. You have to pull this string with so much force your shoulder almost rips out of the socket. When this doesn’t work, you stand on the side of a hill to get a running start. That sounds safe. At this point one of two things happens: you start the lawn mower or you lose a finger. Either way progress is being made.Let’s recap: you in jeans and a long sleeve shirt, dying of heat stroke, high off gas fumes, with either a separated shoulder or a missing a digit. You are cutting the grass which means your hearing is now at risk. There is nothing louder then a lawn mower. You could be mowing the grass in James Island and the good people of Ladsen would know about it. Whenever I hear parents say their kids don’t listen to them, it’s not because they’re rude it’s because they’re deaf from the freaking lawn mower. So once again: you're 11 years old, high off gas fumes, shoulder separated, on the verge of heat stoke, rock shrapnel spewing in every direction, your body shaking like a tuning fork, and you are on the verge of becoming deaf. And you have to stay in this state for at least an hour, anything less will cause your mother to tell you there is no way you could have finished in such a short time. Mercifully the hour is over and you can let go of the handle. AHHHHH…that is the greatest sound on the planet earth, the second that mower turns off… the sound of silence is what I can only imagine heaven sounds like. You look out over your yard like a Duke looking over his kingdom, you pop open an RC Cola and life is amazing. Your dad gets home, pats you on the head, asks if you can see the value of a good day's work. No, no I don’t. I see the value in having sons.


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