NOTES ON THE OPERATION OF ROTARY LAWN MOWERS
By: Elroy Wilke

This article was first published in The Tinosa Blatt, December 1981

Power driven rotary law, mowers are a great boon to shiftless suburbanites whose lawns are full of dandelions, buck horn and other weeds too tall for the reel type, or conventional, grass cutters. The rotary mower, however, is not an unmixed blessing. Unseen rocks and sticks, to say nothing of unburied bones, will raise hell with the blades. So will nails, bits of wire and other debris.

But these problems pale into insignificance when compared with the unhappy results of running a rotary lawn mower over newly deposited dog dew. Until you had your shoes shined with pulverized dog dew you cannot appreciate the extent of the problem.

Cat duty to be sure, smells worse but cats as everyone knows are more careful to cover their waste.

Moreover, cats do not do as much as dogs, unless you have very small dogs and/or very large cats.

There are a number of approaches to the problem of animal excretion vis-a-vis the rotary lawn mower but unfortunately, no real solution. First, of course, you can try to keep dogs (and cats) away from your lawn. The only effective method for doing this is to buy a dog bigger and ornerier than any other dog in the neighborhood and train him:

  1. to chase other dogs off your grass and
  2. to do his business in the neighbors yards

There are obvious drawbacks to this method of combating the problem.

First, of course, there is always the chance that one of your neighbors will hire a cow and train it to deposit cow flop on your lawn. It has been estimated that a rotary lawn mower operating at 3,450 RPM can hurl a normal deposit of fresh cow flop as high as second story windows and over an area of 500 square feet.

Building a fence is a possible solution, but expensive. It is, in addition, no good unless you can train your wife and children to keep the gate shut And, too, some dogs will jump fences, even when full of

There are various commercial preparations sold mostly to evil minded old women, which are opposed to discouraging dogs from:

  1. getting overly affectionate with lady dogs on your front steps, or
  2. peeing on your shrubs

These items are worthless since it is second nature to do these things, just as it is for most humans. Even if these preparations did work, of course, they would not solve the basic problems created by the rotary lawn mower. This leaves three other possible solutions, i.e.:

  1. Let the weeds grow
  2. 2. Move into an apartment and use the rotary mower as a window fan.
  3. 3. Wear brown shoes when mowing and associate only with people who either do not mind the smell or are too polite to mention it to you.
    Sketch #4 by Wagner
    Art work by Chuck Wagner

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