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The Kansas City Gut Slinger

The Kansas City Gut Slinger

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Published by Charles Dowdy

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Published by: Charles Dowdy on Mar 04, 2010
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06/02/2010

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THE KANSAS CITY GUT SLINGER 
 My brother in law is from Scotland where there is apparently no grass and they mowrocks. Now we were neighbors. While we may compete for the placement of our children withthe frequently out of town grandparents, I did not foresee any conflict of interest when heapproached me about purchasing a lawnmower together.He fancies himself a negotiator so my brother in law handled the details of our purchase.He gave me a blow by blow accounting of the process, telling me at great length about the HI-VAC system that would pick up pine straw, some super, easy to use bag that would catcheverything and the drink holder mounted on the steering column. He also informed me he wasgoing to procure our decked out mower at a super low interest rate, which somehow came toeighty-four affordable payments of three hundred dollars each.Only someone with little or no mowing experience could care so much about the purchase of a lawnmower.Even so, I also got a little caught up in the low interest rate moment and it was with someexcitement that I met the delivery truck.This is when I realized he’d bought the Yugo of riding lawn mowers.
 
Sure, it had all those gadgets, but this thing was Lilliputian sized. At first I was confused.Due to our large financial investment I thought they were unloading some kind of special toy for the kids, then they would roll out our man-sized mowing monster that would cause blades of grass to cower in sheer terror.I could not believe I would have to ride this little thing in front of my neighbors. Haveyou ever really watched the facial expressions of a man riding a lawn mower? Parking your rear end on top of two spinning blades with a Go-Cart engine behind you is not the most comfortableexperience. And on the tiny Yugo mower it would be impossible not to feel self-conscious whenyou’re bouncing and bumping through your yard with your knees jammed up under your chin.One way the manufacturers of this diminutive dream mower cut cost was by combiningthe clutch and brake into the same pedal. Then they really spread confusion by putting the pedalon the wrong side. So I can honestly say I did not mean to blaze a path through the Boothefamily as they walked down the street. This extended family gets together on the weekends andtrolls our block in color coordinated, very expensive exercise outfits. They try to make exercisinglook glamorous. (Yes, this family refused to sign my motion to amend the neighborhoodConstitution a year or two before, but that does not mean I bear them any ill will.)As a gesture of good faith, I told them I was more than willing to pay my fair share of theyoung Boothe’s medical bills. This was before I knew the parents were insane. They expectedme to pay the whole thing plus damages for lost education and potential earnings!? Have theylost their minds? Don’t they rightly deserve some of the burden? Isn’t there some kind of assumed risk in walking down the middle of the street? Especially such a big family walking tenabreast, taking up the whole road like the Cleavers headed to the OK Corral.
 
As soon as my brother in law left town I returned the Yugo mower and purchased theKansas City Gut Slinger, so named because this monstrosity generates so much blade speed it’lltoss the guts of any unsuspecting frog clear to Kansas City.Sure, it cost a good bit more, but at least you can feel like a man while you ride it.My wife tossed in her usual, “I don’t know why you are always going on about size.Obviously size doesn’t mean a thing to me.”Women are so crazy. She ALWAYS says this!Of course there were some complaints about the signs I put in the yard before I got on themower. Apparently these were also in violation of the neighborhood Constitution, but I thought itwas only prudent to warn anyone without a protective suit to comply with the Gut Slinger’ssuggested 300-yard safety radius.The nutty Boothe family refused to acknowledge that suggestion. At first I waited patiently for them to pass. And waited. And waited. As part of her rehab the little girl was on awalker and good gracious was she playing up the drama. Obviously, that one had a future intheater.With the Gut Slinger guzzling gas, no reasonable person could be expected to wait allday, so I had to go on with my mowing.I saw the monstrous frog at the last second.If the Boothes expect me to pay to get those stains out, they got another thing coming.

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