2018-07-11 / Here's the Scoop

Creature discomfort

I’m out of whack. Or is it that I’m whacked out? Probably both. Or, I guess I could have indicated that I’m: Out of a string trimmer, but that doesn’t have the same ring.

Regardless of the wording, the fact is that my weed whacker (my preferred description) has been out of commission and I’ve fallen dreadfully behind in keep the stray grass at bay. Getting behind on weed control chores has been a combination of things — going on vacation and painting topping the list.

Even though our lawn is pretty good sized, I prefer to “expand the boundaries” a bit by going where no riding mower dares to go. Despite the recent heat wave, the unruly portions of the lawn continue to sprout and the encroaching forest was becoming too much for me to ignore. It was past due time for a whack attack.

Added bonus

As an added incentive, the “wildest” area happens to lie directly below what we have lovingly dubbed Killer Rock — our cat’s preferred venue to scouting/pouncing upon small creatures. The tangle of grass was giving paws to her hunting success.

Spurred on by my need for control and the cat’s need to rip apart small animals, I couldn’t ignore this area any more. I pulled my long ignored trimmer out of hibernation and began to reclaim our yard. Despite the heat, the task at hand was going quite well. Even a brief stop to add more string couldn’t slow me down. Or could it?

There wasn’t much string in the cutting head when I started, so it was no surprise when I had to refill the string after about a half-hour. It was a good excuse for a break, anyhow. I grabbed the needed tools and had the trimmer ready to go in short order. Well, “ready to go,” except for the fact that the large plastic ring that holds the cutting head in place had disappeared.

This was truly a mystery. As is proper protocol whenever something is lost, I decided to retrace my steps. The only problem — there were no steps to retrace — I hadn’t moved since sitting down to add string!

It's around here somewhere

I swore the ring (about 4-5 inches wide) had to be within a three-foot radius of where I sat. Despite this knowledge, after I had exhausted the logical search area, I looked everywhere I had been since The Incident started. I even raked up all the grass I had just chopped, hoping to either spot the ring or hear the rake strike this item. Our cat thought I did a killer job, but my work turned up nothing for my benefit.

I went back and looked over every conceivable place I had been — at least three or four times. My wife eventually came outside to determine the cause of my swearing-fit meltdown and she joined the search.

“And I thought the trimmer whining was annoying,” she commented in response to the fit I was throwing.

If this were a movie, the opening shot would show exactly what happened to the ring. For all I know, this is a movie: “Lord Where Is The Ring?”

I finally broke down and bought a replacement cutting head so I could end this whacky episode. On the bright side, if I find this piece, the movie can have a sequel: “My Hobbit of Losing Things.”

— Brian Sweeney

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