I've never considered myself to be a redneck (not that there's anything wrong with rednecks of course), but how I perceive my actions and myself are two very different things, as proven by my actions over the weekend.
Saturday morning I was cutting the lawn when the engine sputtered for a moment and then poof, the motor cracked. Really, there's engine block shrapnel in the yard, I may want to start checking the oil.
The gears started churning--not in the mower, it was still smoking in the yard. But I remembered the old mower engine in the basement (kinda redneckish), prompting some custom ingenuity. As my son slept peacefully in his crib, I went to work. With tools spread amongst the dark oil dripping onto the driveway (my wife loves me), I affixed the mower engine that works onto the mower frame that wasn’t broken. And it worked! Sorta...
We live by the woods on a dead end street and there’s a home for sale two houses up from ours. Lately cars drive down our street scoping out the neighborhood. Such was the case when I had my wife (or for this post should I say old lady?) hold the funnel in place as I tilted the blown up mower engine, pouring the gas into the Frankenstein mower I had pieced together. (All that was missing was a car sitting on blocks in the front yard.)
On to Sunday morning:
Taking the dogs on an early morning walk, before the runners and other dog walkers crowd the trails near our house, I looked around and then unhooked our husky Mason from his leash because well, I’m stupid. Off he goes into the woods...…way off…..haha so long sucker off.
He'll come back I'm thinking as I continue down the trail. And then I hear it. The bark, the one that means I have something…or I really want something.
He did want something. I spotted him from the other side of the creek, jumping around a rock, home to a beaver or whatever critter was squealing in the dark hole. Shaking my head, I crossed the bridge with Bruce, my loyal lab, and we fought through the overgrowth of tall weeds and bamboo and I prepared for a snake bite to the leg while climbing down the rocks towards my lunatic dog.
Soaking wet and covered in mud, his blue eyes were full of maniacal intensity. Steeled and determined, husky owners know this look. It’s a look that means I will stay here for the rest of my life if that’s what it takes.
My options were limited. Come now! Wasn’t going to get it done. Mason doesn’t so much need a dog whisperer so much as he needs a life coach with a bullhorn and whip.
I slid down the bank towards the tip of his white tail, which is all I could see as his body was fully submerged in the hole. Ready to bolt if something suddenly scampered out, I lunged at my dog, grabbing him by the tail and carrying him back to the trail where I secured him with the leash. My apologies to all of you activist out there but there was no other way.
At that point, it was safe to mention that if there were a film crew following me, the viewing audience at home would be placing bets on how many pairs of camouflage pants I own. (One pair of shorts).
I got Mason home where he promptly upchucks a muddy mixture of dirt and sand before I gave him a much-needed bath in the backyard. After which, he ran laps around the yard before finding a good spot of dirt to roll around in so that he looked as though he had just run the Kentucky Derby. It’s pointless….
So let’s recap. Piecing together a lawn mower in the driveway may not have been such a redneck thing to do, but combined with noodling my dog out of a cubbyhole down at the creek the very next morning, well, I’m only a sleeveless Big Johnson’s t-shirt away from tailgating a Larry the Cable Guy gig.