I HAD a serendipity moment the other day at the local shopping centre that got me pondering the cosmic nature of the universe and how lazy guys can be if boxed into a corner.
It all tied back to my mower, may it rest in peace. It hasn’t been put in the grave yet, but like all of us, its time will come. And mine’s redundo was written the moment I went shopping.
I’d been perusing the aisles of a ubiquitous European supermarket when the seed was sown.
Right next to the mitre saw, just up from the car winch, down from the folding bikes and across from the mangoes and household cleaners, a new mower.
Boxes of them actually. Pretty good price too. Four stroke, whatever that meant, and a catcher that probably worked.
So the question was put: How long you had the old mower?
And it’s true. Me and the old mower went back a long way. We had history. Most of it noisy, dusty and generally reliable. You can’t ask much more of a mower.
In fact the previous owner had had a similar history before offloading to me at his upgrade moment.
That mower was sturdy, but after taking possession of that mower, I ran it into the ground. And not just how short I cut the grass either.
I mean mechanically, I did nothing to enhance its existence over 10 years.
And eventually it looked like it was gone and I’d reached what I thought was my upgrade moment.
But the world hadn’t yet been flooded with cheap Chinese mass-produced items like the golden era we live in now.
Where our manufacturing industry is shot to shit and we’re poised to become a third world banana republic.
So on a tip I took it to a shop run by, I think, bikies, or at least tattooed guys with an interest in mechanics and drinking beer, at the same time.
And for a $100 and a few sniggers, which I never really caught the drift of, they recycled/resurrected my old mower, and it didn’t skip a beat for another 10 years.
And I warmed more to that mower that started every time and continued to roll even after I fixed up a wheel that fell off with a wire coat hanger.
We should have been unseperable, but man is fickle.
Faced with a shiny substitute with sharp blades last Saturday, issues of abandonment were ignored in an instant.
There’s no room for sentiment in business. Nor impulse shopping.
The upshot was the transaction was made with a mixture of regret and anticipation.
Regret that I’d betrayed my old mower, which in truth, doesn’t have feelings.
And anticipation, because a new toy gets the heart skipping.
And like a procession of similar smiley-faced blokes I headed out into the car park with a new mower on my shopping trolley hoping like hell it would fit in the back seat of the car.
Back at home all was revealed. A new machine requiring a departure from the past, and in particular, two stroke petrol.
The manual specified oil of a SAE10-30 nature. Right out of my comfort zone when it comes to oils.
Oils ain’t oils, for me, unless they’re olive oils, or sesame oils, or WD40.
But I can follow a label as good as the next guy, which isn’t really that great.
So I headed down to the local shopping centre for the serendipity moment referred to at the start.
Moving into the motoring section I noticed a guy holding the exact same manual I’d been trying to memorise in the car park.
And I knew immediately that he’d come to the mower crossroad too.
I must have been feeling a little lightheaded from watching Australia capitulate to the Kiwis in the rugby the night before, so I did what I normally would never do, and that’s be familiar with dudes in the motoring section.
I put it to him that he had a new mower and was after the SAE10-30 too.
By every indication both verbal and physical he seemed to have no idea.
Which I warmed to immediately.
Except they only sold the oil in five-litre drums at a ridiculous price that might require us to go somewhere cheaper, if we could be bothered.
Which I knew I couldn’t and sensed him likewise.
So in what was probably a strange but logical thing to do at that B1, B2 moment, two stranger dudes thought laterally, if not lethargically.
It was decided he would buy the five litres and I would buy a container.
And then we would do a dodgy oil deal in the car park, not unlike crack heads, with accompanying transferal of funds to square things up.
And that’s what me and my new found mower bud Stu did.
And driving home I called into a petrol station and confirmed by checking the price of SAE10-30 in the litre bottles that we’d come out in front.
By at least $10 each. Even factoring in the cost of the container.
So all power to us Stu, and the universe, and more importantly our new mowers.
Mine goes like the clappers and I hope yours does too.