I Hate Weed Whacking!
Please God let it rain!
It’s Saturday, and the first rays of the sun are filtering through the blinds of my bedroom window with the promise of a clear sunny day. Yet I stay in bed, tossing and turning, unable to will myself out of bed. The weekly chore has become a nightmare through the years. I have bad dreams every Friday night from this, and they have not ceased even after all the positive talk and motivational conversations I’ve had with myself. I just cannot get past this ingrained hatred of weed whacking every weekend.
Not that I like mowing my lawn either, but if I had to chose, I’d chose to mow. This problem will take more than motivational conversations and positive visualization; this is going to take long and costly psychotherapy sessions to get rid of these negative and destructive feelings towards my trimmer. My dream of living in a condo surrounded by concrete has not yet been fulfilled. Therefore, I continue to struggle to conquer this deep seated hatred of lawn work with no hope or redemption in sight.
I have to literally drag myself out of bed every weekend, push myself to put on my mowing and weed whacking uniform, then head out to tackle my jungle. I grab my electric weed whacker, which I have come to know like the back of my hand, with its 75-foot orange extension cord, swing it over my shoulder, and begin the long arduous dirty task of clearing the fence, corners, and every place the mower does not reach. Two hours later, exhausted, sunburned, and drenched in muddy sweat, I manage to crawl back into the house, open the fridge, and gulp down a gallon of cold, refreshing water without looking for a glass.
It’s time to end the madness. I turned to my two dogs, that by this time are keeping a safe distance after getting a good whiff of me, and say to them “Okayyyy… it’s time to get rid of this electric weed whacker and buy a cordless one.” Seeing that they approved, I made up my mind to buy one. You’d think after fourteen (or is it fifteen years?), I’d have enough sense to get rid of the 200-pound extension cord and plug-in weed whackers, and invest into something less tiring? With what seems like a flicker of hope, I begin to research the internet for the perfect light-weight weed trimmer.
It's Time To Retire The Old Weed Whacker
“Humm, this 20-volt Lithium-ion battery operated cordless trimmer has some good reviews and it’s affordable.” Click, click, take my credit card out and type in the number, enter, a few more clicks and done. A few days later, I have my new cordless trimmer. I read all the instructions, assemble the trimmer, and charge the two batteries that came with it.
Saturday morning comes, and after going through an hour of my self-motivational and positive visualization ritual, trying to convince myself this time the experience will be different, I set out to do the weed whacking with my new trimmer.
The experience was different alright. Twelve minutes into trimming around the fence, the battery dies. No problem, I have the second battery charged. I pulled the battery off, popped in the other one and continued weed whacking, a little faster this time. A few minutes later, the second battery is dead. I look at my gigantic yard and I’ve only done a little over a third of it. Re-charging the battery seems simple, but the instructions on this model say batteries have to be charged for EIGHT hours, and since I only had one charger, it would take nearly 16 hours to charge both. It’s back to the store with this one.
I Just Want Something Easy!
Annoyed and frustrated, I set out to get another trimmer. Gas trimmers seem to be the way to go. I get back on the internet, read a lot of reviews, and ordered my first gas trimmer. I realized I knew nothing about gas trimmers, so I went back online and began to read more information on the trimmer I had just ordered.
I go to the manufacturer’s description and see it needs a 40:1 ratio mix of ethanol-free gas and synthetic oil. What’s a 40:1 ratio? And what’s Ethanol-free gas? 2-cycle engine… what is that??
Ok, I begin to get a little worried. I figure this is going to be a new learning experience for me. A little discouraged but determined, I begin to read up on this. It can’t be any harder than learning how to tune up, change belts and blades, and changing the oil on my riding mower.
I set out to call a few gas stations, “no, we do not have ethanol-free gas. Our gasoline has 10% ethanol in it.” Eight calls later, I learn marinas sell non-ethanol gas but the nearest marina was about 17 miles away.
“I know, I’ll call my brother and ask how to go around this.” “You don’t need ethanol-free gas, use unleaded gas, add the synthetic oil, and a gas additive,” he says. “But…, but the instructions say it will ruin the 2-cycle engine,” I protested. I can hear him sigh at the other end of the phone. By this time, I feel like a helpless female. He begins to explain to me about the benefits of using the additive and what it does to the water in the gas, etc., etc.
I drove to my nearest home improvement store to get some fuel additive. Then I see a can of pre-mix gasoline with synthetic oil in the 40:1 ratio the trimmer requires. I buy the mix but also purchased the additive. Now I feel I’m ready for my new gas trimmer. A week later, my trimmer arrives. I pulled it out of the box, assembled it, and poured the 40:1 gas-oil mix into its tank. I primed it, pulled the string six times, moved the throttle, pull some more, and nothing. No purr, no brum brum, NOTHING! Take out the instructions, flip, flip, find the troubleshooting page.
Hours later, after trying all the trouble shooting suggestions, and with an aching and very sore arm and shoulder, I was still not able to get the weed whacker started. The thing was DOA! “For heaven’s sake, isn’t it enough I have to do the weed trimming, something I hate with a passion, and now I have to deal with trimmers that don’t work?!” To add to my frustration, I found that you cannot send back gasoline items through the postal service, so I emptied the gas tank, disassembled it, and took it back to a local store.
Confused And Frustrated
Suddenly my electric weed trimmer began to look very good to me. I never had to deal with ethanol-free gas, synthetic oil, gas additives, throttles, or starting problems. But then I’m thinking about that 100-ton electrical cord I had to drag all over the yard with my electric trimmer.
Third time is a charm. With trembling fingers, I ordered another trimmer but a different brand and a bit more expensive. However, this time I’m not paying for the shipping and will have it delivered to the store. Fourteen days later and a few e-mails from the store apologizing for the delivery delay, I finally have my new gas trimmer. I say a prayer, opened the box, and was pleasantly surprised I didn’t have to assemble it.
Saturday rolled around, by this time the weeds are 15-feet high and laughing hysterically at me when they see me coming with my new gas trimmer. I could almost hear them talking among themselves “she’ll never get that thing working, and if she does… she’ll never make it. Look at how she can hardly carry it from the weight.”
I set the trimmer on the ground, primed the bulb and pulled. Moved the throttle and pulled. Nothing! Fear begins to creep over me. I start again, then BRUMMM… BRUMMM… BRUMMM… “Yeah!! It works!!” The weeds tremble and I charge at them. Thirty seconds later, the trimmer begins to get very, very heavy and the vibrations were so strong that I thought it was going to dislocate my limbs from my body. Then it happened. I had only done ten feet along the fence and the string was gone. No problem. I was prepared because I had bought line in bulk.
Billy the Goat seems to be the solution here!
Reloaded the trimmer with new string and went back at it. Five minutes later, no string again. Turned off the trimmer, rewound more string, and started again. Six feet later along the fence, no string again. “WHAT THE #@%&&@!,” I thought (no I didn’t say it out loud, that would not be lady-like).
I looked at the yard and I hadn’t even done half of it! Now I know why people run over their weed whackers with their trucks, and back over them over and over. I know now why 85% of the landfills in the US are made of weed trimmers. I had murderous thoughts going through my mind towards this thing and I reached a new level of loathsomeness; I didn’t think that was possible.
What’s next? I have called lawn maintenance services in the past and after one look at my expansive yard, they want to put a lean on my house in case I do not pay their outrageous fees. What then? Do I have to get a goat? Then I thought of my friend, she had horses and goats in her property… why not? Well there is that little city ordinance in my area about livestock, but breaking the law and getting a hefty fine does not seem too important right now. Getting rid of the weeds along my fence is and fast because the weeds are now calling all their friends to come join the party in my yard.
My nightmares have increased on Friday nights, and I am now looking for a psychotherapist to deal with my “little” problem. I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking it's a good workout, but if you love the extra workout of doing lawn maintenance, keep it to yourself. I don’t want to hear about how good it is for your body and mind because I do not share nor have I’ve experienced your healthy outlook on this. My right arm is 5-feet longer than the other from pulling the trimmer string so many times, and the jerking vibrations it endured rendered it useless. So please spare me the benefits of lawn work and of how much you love it, or you’ll have to come over and do it for me every weekend… until you can convince me.
Then again, there may be hope after all. I’ve heard that there are new universal replacement heads for gas trimmers that eliminate the hassle of reloading string. However, I’ve also read their reviews and these new gadgets make up the other 15% of waste in US landfills, but I’m willing to try anything.
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