It is with certain dread that I peek through the blinds to see the truck towing a horse float pull up in front of our yard.
This means it’s lawn mowing day.
Most lawnmower men just have a ute with a few gardening tools tossed in the back.
Not “our” lawn mower man.
I don’t know why he needs a truck AND a horse float to carry his lawn equipment but this over sized set up says “I am a serious grass cutter!”
He’s decked out in full neck to ankle “outdoor man” clothes too, complete with safety goggles and hat. Not just a T –shirt and shorts like the average Joe next door.
It looks like action man has arrived to cut the grass.
The reason I am afraid of the lawn mower man is because there’s no escaping him.
When he arrives my husband and I, behind the safety of our closed front door argue in whispered fear. “You go!….”No YOU go, it’s YOUR turn to give him the money!”
He’s a large affable smiley kind of guy with a big round face and belly to match but once he has you in his sights – just a millisecond of eye contact and you are suddenly his captive audience for at LEAST the next thirty minutes.
Now I don’t mind chatting with chatty people. I actually enjoy it, but chatting with our lawn mower man is like being held against your will and forced to take mind altering drugs.
The first time I was mentally abducted by the lawn mower man he took me on a wild ride through a one sided dialogue that switched, flipped, zig zagged and somersaulted over a vast range of topics and situations, sharing personal thoughts, views and experiences that left me feeling…exhausted.
“Did he just tell me THAT?” was something that kept bouncing through my mind for quite some time afterward.
Yes he did and MORE but I think it was all too much to take in so now I have selective memory loss when it comes to these fortnightly trips down action mans weird and whacky rabbit hole.
Memories of these unfortunate encounters have a habit of launching themselves into my consciousness at odd moments.
I call it – “post traumatic lawnmower man disorder.”
Sometimes I just let my mind glaze over as he launches into another flip flopping tirade about his fat and lazy step children, tales of his and his significant others camping trips, fishing trips, all his previous employment details and escapades with ex girlfriends from various other countries.
It’s self preservation, to slip into this almost comatose state simply nodding in appropriate places.
It is necessary however to make some kind of acquiescing noise whenever he raises his eyebrows, opens his eyes REALLY big, blinks and says “Yeah?” Something he does many many times over.
There’s never enough of a break to politely excuse yourself or quickly make up some reason why you “gotta go now!”
One day I’ll just fall over and faint.
It’s conversational torture standing there in the hot sun dizzied by the amount of topic changes he’s covered, holding my breath waiting for HIM to take a breath.
Perhaps I should have a couch waiting for him on the front lawn.
Yeah, hang on…he should be paying ME shouldn’t he, to unload all this mind junk?
My husband has far less tolerance but has developed his own strategy of lawnmower man avoidance. (without actually having to be rude.)
He answers the door pretending to be on a business call and motions “can’t talk now” while shoving the money at the man.
Today lawnmower man told me he used to be a bus driver.
I was almost tempted to ask. “Did the bus ever actually GO anywhere?” because I can’t imagine there would have been too much time left for driving what with all that “chatting”.
Talk about having a captive audience!
I can see the headlines…
“Bus driver abducts 30 passengers and forces them to listen to bizarre life story for eight hours straight before letting them go. Passengers were physically unharmed but all require extensive psychological counseling after the traumatic ordeal.”
Then of course the conversation turned to bull sharks in the lake, blue ringed octopus, diabetes, the educational journeys of one of his daughters, the time he went fishing and….. (then I went brain dead again.)
It was with enormous relief this morning while held up on the front stairs, when I saw my friend pull up in the driveway.
Rescued! Thank YOU God.
The last thing I remember lawnmower man saying cheerfully with that jolly big grin of his was…
“Well….grass is growing quicker so I’ll be coming round much more often now!”
Eyes wide, blink. “Yeah?”