As I write, I’ve just finished performing surgery on the Lynnes’ Flymo Strimmer jobby. Not as a favour or anything. No, the Lynnes’ Flymo Strimmer is in my possession, a long-term loan due to the fact that I have a small lawn whereas they have a patio. Upon moving into my current flat last summer the grass was knee high, and one of the Lynne’s immediately set about me, telling me how the Brazilians who’d lived there previously had never tended to the lawn, and it was then that the long term loan deal was mooted. The chap in me who sees the best in people would say this was a nice neighbourly gesture. The cynic in me would suggest this was the first of the continued attempts of the Lynnes to impose their will onto the running of my household.
Either way, it’s been a handy loan; good for, you know, strimming lawns or dispersing unwelcome gatherings of children. But today, as I set to the grass and weeds there was a mighty judder, and instead of purring like a tiger as it should it began growling like a wounded hyena. As it began its shrieks of protest, I realised I had to bustle it indoors quickly: it was a certainty that my decision to strim the lawn had been taken note of next door, and the cacophony currently being emitted would undoubtedly lead to curtain twitching.
Rushing indoors, I swept everything on the dining table aside and established the Flymo’s vitals. Having identified a sizeable piece of metal loose within the strimmer, I realised I’d have to operate. I’m not a hugely technical person, certainly not acquainted with garden machinery maintenance, but this was an emergency. I also had to endure the onlooking Housemate Reggae’s schadenfreude. The fucker.
Having seemingly reattached the loose piece of metal to somewhere that looked as though it could do with it, I pieced the disassembled Flymow back together and took it outside for a test. Still the same screeching sound. I rushed indoors and held my head in my hands. I’d tried everything I could, but the Flymo Stimmer hadn’t made it.
This is bloody typical for me. Things break - it’s a fundamental of our consumer lifestyle - but why is it they always break when I’m using them? I can’t tell the Lynnes about this; I can imagine the woe-begone speech I will have to endure…
“That was my late father’s Flymo, he bought it in 1983. It was my last remaining link to him, and now you’ve severed it!”
But also, I have to bear in mind that any failure on my part not to maintain my lawn satisfactorily won’t go unnoticed either. A dilemma.
4 weeks ago