Sunday, August 07, 2005

Mower Guy

I just watched a guy drive past my house. I live in a typical subdivision, you know – houses side by side, neatly kept lawns, trimmed driveways and sidewalks, kids playing in sprinklers in the front yards. People drive by all the time. So what?

The guy was on a riding lawnmower on the sidewalk! Really. I’ve seen him several times before and have no clue (a) why he is riding around the neighborhood on a mower, and (b) why he is on the sidewalk.

He was wearing cool sunglasses, a muscle shirt, shorts and sandals. He’s mid- to late thirtyish and does not appear to be handicapped. He has a nonchalant attitude, sort of laid back, driving with one hand, and lips pursed as if he’s whistling. As he cruised by, he was scoping out the yards and houses. (Yard envy?) Perhaps he imagines himself in a Miata negotiating the roads of Monte Carlo at breakneck speeds of two miles an hour.

Okay, maybe he is on the sidewalk because riding mowers are not street legal. Are they sidewalk legal? I can see him now at the tag agency. “Uh, yeah. Need a license for muh mower. I run that baby through the hood. Corners real gud.”

Oh, you know what, maybe he’s a voyeur, but too lazy to walk. Sort of a mobile perv. The fresh air, the open road, uh, sidewalk, and the vibration of that 20 hp engine despite the “turfsaver” tires.

It’s a pretty sharp looking mower, all clean and shinny, nice polish job. Bet it’s one of them jobbies with automatic transmission and zero turning radius. Maybe the little woman at home said, “Hell, no, you ain’t gettin’ no Harley!” and this is his way of showing her who is boss.

Maybe he’s just a civic-minded citizen doing his part to keep that long strip of concrete sidewalk free of grass. You know how fast it takes over, especially those little runners that hide down in the expansion strips between the driveways and sidewalks. Those babies will get a way from you and in five or six years will completely cover a sidewalk if not scalped out right away.

One of my friends suggested it was a new pizza delivery gimmick. Cut your lawn and deliver a pepperoni special. I wonder if you would have to tip for both the pizza and the lawn trim or only for the pizza.

Whatever the reason is that this guy rides around the block on his mower, he seems to be happy doing it, despite the stares of astounded neighbors. Maybe next time he zooms, oops, what was I thinking, putt-putts past, I’ll dash outside and ask him if I can take ‘er out for a spin. Who knows, I might bring home a pizza, too!

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