Monday, February 23, 2009

The Tractor Incident

This little house belongs to a much bigger old house in neighboring Gloucester, near the public landing on the Ware River (down the road between Hodges & Bryant and Long Bridge Ordinary). As interesting as the house is the big old tractor. I've always loved tractors, and it's a good thing, because all we do around here is cut grass from March through November. Speaking of cutting grass, let's revisit an episode from last April involving a tractor.

Chesapeake Bay Mother wrote some more posts for me (your applause is deafening), one of which recounts a particularly unfortunate episode on a circa-1975 Cub Cadet riding lawn mower.

Before I share her version of events, here's what I had to say about this incident last April:

Mother, Age 60-something, riding a "fixer upper" that my Father had re-engineered (using Legos and Tinker Toy parts), loses complete control when mower does not respond to brake, clutch, gas, emergency brake, or prayers to God. Mother decides to ram tractor into huge cedar tree to get it to stop. Tractor decides the fun is not even close to over and, upon slamming into tree, goes into REVERSE and even more out of control. Mother sees impending death when tractor, now going 35 miles per hour in reverse, picks up speed and begins heading towards clothes line AND car. Mother dives off tractor. Tractor runs over top of her. Mother gets up bruised, battered and shaken but thankfully ALIVE to tell the story...regrettably to her gynecologist the next day at her regularly scheduled appointment. Because the mower deck managed to impart a bruise the size of Texas right near where the doctor was checking.

I think it is important to emphasize that every bit of what I said above actually happened.

CB Mother's version of events follows.

Runaway Lawn Mower: Part I

by Chesapeake Bay Mother

"Under the heading of Things You Should Never Do comes frightening cats into the basement by loud noise emitted by a speeding Cub Cadet, which you are riding. While this requires considerable explanation, for our purposes I will just condense it down to: you should never herd cats with a lawnmower even if the blades are off, because it will become deranged and try to kill you. When the aforementioned lawnmower has a defect involving a component of the transmission called a "governor," you have hit the disaster trifecta. So it was with me.

Every evening I would make sure the young cats next door* spent the night inside to avoid contact with wild animals and other things that go bump in the night. I accomplished this by opening a basement window and shooing them in by driving by on the lawnmower, dismounting and shutting the window. On this occasion I got back on, shifted into 3rd and sailed home....."

...To Be Continued Tomorrow, and *Rest Assured* It's Good

Chesapeake Bay Woman's One Point of Clarification
* Those young cats? They were her cats I volunteered to watch while she and Daddy went out of town one weekend. We put them in my basement, and 3 years later she's never come to retrieve them--although she would come over to "herd" them back inside (my house) at night on her riding lawn mower.

She does not trust any animal to sleep outside, except her water fowl, which she zips up in a nylon tent. There were no errors made in that last sentence, up to and including the words "nylon tent."

This happens in your family, too, right? Mothers herding cats on riding lawn mowers? Zipping up ducks and geese in tents? Ramming lawn mowers directly into cedar trees--on purpose?

I thought so.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the conclusion of Cub Cadets Gone Wild.


Annie said...

Oh no..leaving us in mid-air like that!

Love the zip up tent for the ducks etc...must tell my sister..she might be interested for her newly acquired (as in daughter and friend got it then weren't allowed to keep it in rented guess who has the duck now) duck...if you can follow that sentence. Not sure that it had all the required parts of speech...but then I am not sure that all my sentences do!

I better go now before I do any more damage to the english language!


Ps did u notice that I seem to like ending my sentences with an exclamation mark! I wonder why I do that?

Unknown said...

I don't know how I missed your original post last April, but I about lost a gasket when you mentioned your mother's bruise the size of Texas right where her gynecologist was checking. This explains why she had no problem spitting out three girls one-two-three.
I can't wait for the next episode in her own words.

Mental P Mama said...

Is your mother's name Lucy?

mmm said...

Does CBM have an ark?

Anonymous said...

OK. So, you are providing boat rides at Blog Fest, and CBMother is providing Cub Cadet rides?

I'll make a note to make sure we copy the insurance card of all attendees upon arrival.

Anonymous said...

I remember this story, but had no idea she was "herding cats" at the time! It's even more bizarre than I thought!

Middle Sis

Keeper Of All Things said...

Note to self: If I even hear a mower firing up at Blog for basement widow!!!

Anonymous said...

My Daddy used to herd the cows on his IH. We never used the Cub Cadet for herding (except the swing set, when I was learning to drive).

On another note: I am so impressed that y'all have an actual basement.


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie- Just one duck? I thought that was like "just one mouse." I didn't think there was such a thing. Anyway, I recommend leaving the duck to do what is natural. Tent camping is not natural for a duck, but I can't seem to convince my mother of this.

GJ - I got to witness the damage that tractor did and it was not pretty. (I didn't have a choice in the matter. One minute she was explaining what happened, the next she was dropping trou showing me what was what. I think I'll need therapy for the rest of my life.)

MPM - It's Lucy meets Jane Goodall.

MMM - She could indeed have an ark, but she'd make the animals wear life jackets and she'd conduct emergency evacuation drills on a daily basis. BTW - she'd have those animals trained to depart in an orderly fashion, too.

BHE - Yes, please check medical insurance coverage at the door. Not only can we give tractor rides, but we can give John Deere Gator rides. And CB Children have a minibike and ATV. (Do we need to take out some liability insurance for this event? It's starting to sound like a good idea.)

Middle Sis: You got NO idea.

Keeper - You're liable to hear most anything being fired up around here, but as long as it isn't one of my father's re-engineered tractors it should be fine. Of course one time I drove my friend Iris halfway up a tree in the ATV, so maybe we should stand by your original logic: RUN.

AMN - Very interesting about your herding the swing set. Do I hear another story brewing? I think I do. I'm sure the IH was more intimidating to a big old cow, but the Cub Cadet might have done the trick - they're quick little things, even in reverse.

foolery said...

You can't herd cats, but please don't tell CBMother this.