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Monday, June 20, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Trying to be a Good Samaritan has gotten me in a pickle. We have two lawnmowers. However, the riding lawnmower is not working properly, and walk behind self propelled is one that my wife does not like. Both of these are gasoline powered. Since I am physically unable to do the lawn work, Judy has to do it. She saw my neighbor, working with a lightweight electric lawnmower and asked to borrow it to finish up the back yard. She, also, volunteered for me to sharpen the blade. That was the beginning of the end. The blade was beyond sharpening. It needed replacement. The nut holding the blade in place, was nearly rusted together with the shaft. I sprayed it liberally with penetrating oil, waited about 15 minutes, then tried to loosen the it again. Hooray, it came loose. There was a problem though. Once the nut was loose, it could not be removed because there was no way to hold the motor shaft still to remove it. Conversely, it could not be re tightened. There was no way to grip the motor shaft from underneath the mower. After fighting the problem for 2 1/2 hours, in the summer's heat, on Father's Day, I asked the mower owner to come take a look at it so I could show her what was going on. This lady is an architect and a do-it-yourselfer. I showed her the problem and said that I believed that the there was a way to correct the problem from the opposite end of the motor. However, because the shroud would only lift up about 4 inches, it was impossible to see the end of the motor shaft to determine whether or not there might be a hex key or other kind of fitting at the end of the shaft. She would have none of it. She was going to have Sears come out and take care of it. At that moment, my wife got angry,too. At me. For not having thought of this in advance. Now, I not only had my favorite neighbor angry with me, but I had my wife angry too. What a wonderful way to spend Father's Day!

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