Friday, April 27, 2007

Me Man

There are times when I feel like a real man. I know that being a real man is to be a man of integrity, purpose, to devote oneself to God and others, to defend what is right and good, to love and provide for one’s family. Those are all good things no doubt…but the things that REALLY make me feel like a man are sometimes less noble than those.

Building things out of wood, sitting around a campfire with buddies and smoking cigars and drinking beer, playing poker with friends, fixing broken things, and other assorted manly things do the trick for me.

This past week I had such an event- something that almost made me pound my chest and say “” One of my favorite scenes in a movie is when Tom Hanks pounds his chest in victory when he gets a roaring fire started in Castaway. That’s how I felt when I fixed my lawn mower this week by myself without having it picked up by Franklin Kubota for servicing (probably saved $200).

To be honest though, I needed my wife to help me, but I’m not really going to dwell much on that part.

The mower broke down as I was bringing it in for a landing after a 3 hour bout with the lawn. Only 10 minutes or so to go and on the outskirts of my land-mass some coil-thingy broke and the mower blades stopped running. Fortunately the engine still worked and I was able to drive it back to the garage. When these types of things happen to complicated mechanical devices I usually whip out the handy cell phone and call for professional service. This time I decided to tackle it on my own.

I called Franklin Kubota and explained what happened. They needed more detail to understand, but I didn’t know how to explain it… “Well, the spring-thingy, like a coil thing, broke. Its under the mower. It kind of stretches and connects to these round move-y things.”

After some time for the mechanic to translate my poor attempt to speak ‘mow-ese,’ he told me the name of the part, confirmed I would be able to repair it myself, and told me the total for the part- $9.02. Yes. I headed out to pick up the part and came back home excited to save the $100 in fees for picking up and dropping off my mower, plus $75+ in labor and parts, and a weeks time.

As I started the repair the problem became evident very quickly. I needed to stretch this amazingly thick and tightly wound metal spring from its current 8 inch length to about 2 feet to connect the two things it connected to (still not quite sure what those thingies are called). After struggling for some time with it, I came up with a solution- connect one end, and string a thick rope through the other, plant my butt on the ground and my feet against the mower tires and pull with all my might. It worked, although the first time I tried it, after exerting all my strength to pull the spring back, I realized I needed another person to reach inside the mower and actually attach the spring to the other connector-thing. That’s where Michelle came in.

It was done. I know it sounds a bit silly, but I felt like a man. A real man. A man that needed his wife to help.

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Karen said...

Good for you. My hubby would have told me how vital having all of his fingers are for his work, and he would have called the mower repair place.
But I'm ok with that. :)

Liza on Maui said...

You're the man,'re the man!

And Michelle is that "behind every successful man is a woman" :)

Hey, that's why God created Eve .. because not good for men to be alone :)