Thursday, July 21, 2011


Sometimes I amaze me but not in a good way. Did you ever do something that made you wonder how you actually made it this far in life? You suddenly realize that the word “DUH” was created just for you?? Ok, I am not a dunce, I only play one in real life.

What brought on this self flagellation?? Ok, I will tell you though I probably ought to just keep it between me and Mighty Dog but hay, you all pretty much know about my warts all ready. This is just one more wart.

With this brutal heat we have been having, all outdoor work has to be done early or not at all. So yesterday, I decided to mow around 9AM. Per usual, I checked the oil---good. So I cranked her up and proceeded to work on my vitamin D overload.

Now I have a little rear engine Snapper mower. These are amazingly tough little riders. The one I had in Florida was 18 years old when I left her for the new owners to enjoy. It was a sad parting for though she wasn't fast, she was steady.

When I got to Arkansas, I bought the new version of the very same model and it has done a great job on my hilly property.

I try to mow about every 4 or 5 days so I don't put a strain on the motor or leave dead grass trails. Something was amiss yesterday however. The trail I was leaving behind me was odd. One side of the mow path was the proper height, but the other side was totally scalped.

My yard was beginning to look like I was terrace farming with the strange looking paths carved into the hills. Also I was leaving tons of grass clippings on the scalping side.

Here is where DUH comes in. Did I stop to see why it was cutting so weird? Nope, I just kept on by raising the blade higher. That helped some. The scalping was no longer blatantly obvious but I also noticed that when I made a really sharp turn, the front wheels would leave the ground. That was really  unnerving but I kept right on mowing. Hay, I am woman, if it runs it can't be that bad of a problem.

Finally I finished mutilating my yard and went to put her away. I parked her on the porch of the shed and FINALLY looked to see what might be wrong. I adjusted the  lopsided deck drastically but there was still a one inch difference in the clearance on each side.

I had to grocery shop so I decided to work on it later. As I started out my drive away, I took one more look at the wounded machine and then I saw it. My left rear tire was totally flat. I had mowed a little over an acre on a flat tire. SUPER DUH.

It took an hour, a pound of dripping sweat, and a variety of make shift tools to remove the tire with the too tight lug nuts. It took an arsenal of cheaters to get it done. I may not be swift but I am determined.

The best thing about the day is when I took it to the station for a new tube. A darling teenage boy took it from me and started to work on it . These small tires are brutes to change the tubes. I had once watched a grown man mutter the air blue the last time.  I wanted to give the poor lad freedom to curse so I  went inside to wait, leaving him to wrestle the demon. 

Forty minutes later, he comes in the waiting room soaking wet but with a huge grin on his face. He said he was able to patch it and that my bill was only $5.35. I asked where the tire was and he said he had loaded it in my vehicle. Gosh I love this town. They are so kind to us dunces.

From now on, I will not only check the oil but I will also kick the tires before I start it up . See, I can too learn.

You ever have a situation that made you realize -- education  does not make one smart?


  1. Ha! Excellent. My first mow of the season, the rider was a bit of a dog.... Turns out ALL the tires were so low, they may as well have been completely flat. Duh. At least the mower deck stayed level. A few weeks later, something was causing the front end to bounce off the ground in a non-violent manner... Of course I waited to check on it. After I parked it I found a hitch pin had come out of the mower deck wheel support and the arm it used to hold up would jam into the ground on turns and pop up the front end. Duh. And, of course, see my" Feelin' Groovy" post for more absent-mindedness. :)

  2. Ha ha, I've driven a car on a flat tyre so who's the smart one around here?

    Glad your flat was so cheap to sort out! Hope the grass recovers. D

  3. *giggles*

    Kick it, but watch your toes, will you? ;-)

  4. At least you figured it out, AND you were helped by that young man, so there are some good things here. My own "duh" moment was when I parked my car in an unusual place and then when I went looking for it, I thought it had been stolen. I even called the police before remembering... :-)

  5. Those "duh" moments happen to me all the time! All the time! That's life, I guess. Glad you found the problem and got it fixed - a nice service person and a cheap price is definitely a happy ending.

  6. Don't feel bad, it sounds like something I would do!

  7. I cannot get over that you mow your lawn every 4 or 5 days, my dear! You are a Wizard! And as for you being a Dunce....No Way Jose!! LOL! So, you didn't look at the tires and the lawn looks like it has had a "special" Haircut...You might start a new trend!
    Happy that young man was able to fix the tire so well and for such a reasonable price!

  8. Plumlee Tires? The guys there are really good.

    I am glad to know that the problem was not serious. I was thinking you were going to find some pin this, nut that or shaft of some sort broken back there. Yeww... that would have been the pits!

    Keep cool. Have a great day!

  9. Hummmm....ask me about the time i applied the house payment to the truck loan and then insisted it was the banks fault.....sad part was....i was a bookkeeper for 25 years.....

  10. Too many times to list. :) blessings, marlene

  11. Hmmmmmmmm--- And I thought they wrote the word, DUH, just for me... I would have done the same thing probably... You get in the habit of checking certain things --and miss the obvious. Happens to me all of the time... SO--guess we can both be part of the "DUH CLUB"...ha ha


  12. That was funny--an annoying incident that you told with such humor. You have talent aplenty.

  13. I'm still smiling over your Duh! moment and the happy ending -- the kindness of that darling teenage boy who helped you. Patti, I have had so many duh! moments in my life. I can really relate. My favorite duh! moment personally is the time a friend of mine -- who is a prominent M.D. -- noticed that the light wasn't working in his bathroom and started dismantling the switchplate, muttering about the wiring being defective. His wife came in and asked "Wait! Why don't we change the lightbulb and see if that helps?" And that did solve the problem!

  14. Are you kidding? I've had many of them, such as the time I left the oven on all night long (please don't tell mr. kenju).

    Anyway, you can't easily see a flat tire in tall grass, can you?

  15. See, goes to show you the old saying, we're never too old to learn is correct. It's nice to learn something new each day and really nice living in a small town.

  16. Ha! Yep, a walk around CDL inspection is always a great idea. I'm really glad that you are enjoying your new town overall ... even if there is a road-rager at loose.

    Dang, so what will you do now ... let the grass grow for awhile so it evens out before you can mow it again? Patti, I really do admire how you fix your own stuff. You go, girl!

    Take care,

    Kathy M.

  17. We have these two really nice lamps in our living room. But they are not plugged in because we have not yet had an electrician come out and install the outlets. But that doesn't stop me from trying to turn them on every time I sit by them. DOHH!!!

  18. I "hung up" the tv remote in the cordless phone base. My son found it, and will NOT let me hear the end of it. I prefer to have my "DUH" moments with no witnesses.

  19. I am not a mechanical wizard. I am really smart about things that don't affect my immediate life, but when it comes to mechanical things I often drop the ball.

    My coffee maker would not work, so I called the manufacturer and was told I needed to clean the little window that reads the bar codes on the coffee disks. Duh. That would not be so bad, but I did this three times, before I finally rememberd what I was told. Duh. Dianne, who likes lots of coffee early in the day.

  20. I am reminded how dumb I can be.


  21. Barry,
    I really enjoyed your burnt offerings post. You make me feel better that a guy can also mess up.

    LLCool Joe,
    Ok, that may top mine. Thanks, that makes me feel not so alone.

    Ha, you have a point there. I will be careful.

    I have done that also but never to the point of calling the police. Wandering a parking lot is how I get my exercise.

    I do love happy endings. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone out here.

    Having people like you tell me that all ready has me feeling better. Thanks.

    You might be right. If I act like it was intentional, it may catch on. It looks rather like a faux mohawk.

    See, you are already more mechanical than me. Actually it was just a service station that does mechanical and tire work. They are the only ones in town who will work on lawnmower tires.

    Blue Ridge Boomer,
    Ok, that has me laughing, especially the bookkeeper part.

    Thank you, that makes me feel much better.

    Thanks robin.

    You nailed it. It was the hughly obvious thing I totally missed. Somehow I get the feeling our club has a huge membership, thank goodness.

    Thank you. If I couldn't laugh, this could get depressing.

    Dr. Kathy,
    Why is it that we get the biggest kick out of the really intelligent proving they are capable of Duh moments. I loved that story.

    I wish I had tall grass as an excuse. I promise not to tell the Mr. Did he wonder about the increase in the utility bill?

    Sure wish I could learn with out such exaggerated lessons. Oh well, grass will grow again.

    Oregon gifts,
    Guess I could adjust the deck the opposite way next time and trim the high side only. Probably have to mow on a high blade till it evens out. It really is ugly.

    Thanks fellow. Love it when a man slips into Duh mode. Makes me feel so much better.

    Now that is priceless. That is seriously hiding a remote. Sorry you had a witness with a great memory.

    Good to know even someone with all your schooling can be duped by everyday things. Thanks, I am really feeling better that I was this AM.

    Just when we start to feel cocky, a good "Duh" brings us down. Must mean we need it.

  22. Such experiences are what made me an apartment dweller.

  23. Hah! Yes, so totally true; education does NOT make one smart...just educated!
    glad you got the problem fixed though :)

  24. For what it's worth, you seem like a pretty smart cookie to me! :D

  25. My life is full of "Duhs!" However, they never involve a lawn. That whole episode with the tire would have cost a fortune here.

  26. I've never had the pleasure of a riding mower but I've driven a car on a flat..... duh duh me. Your grass will look like nothing happened in a very short time. One thing I've discovered, you can't kill grass. That's what they mean when they talk about " grass roots." I've tried and you just can't kill the stuff.

  27. You are very smart, Patti. You figured it out eventually and solved the problem. I've never mowed the lawn. I wouldn't even know where to start.

  28. Does getting married count? just half-way kidding.

    I decline to back a trailer of any kind, and reluctantly only back my SUV when there is no other option. That is why I have backup camera and sensors. I do have a sense of responsibility for small animals and children that may be in my zigzag backing pattern. The sensors really make a terrible noise you cannot ignore.

    All tires and other mechanics belong to husband. We are having SUV thoroughly checked out for long trip in September. It only has 32,000 mi 4 years driving which included one 3000 mi trip to NC.

    By the way what is a person do do when you have tire blow out on the INTERSTATE. Keep going. I have convinced myself that is why trucks ae called 18 wheelers. HA HA

    I know the heat has gotten to me.

  29. One side of my head is flatter than the other. Cause? Slapping myself "up-the-side-of-the-head" while saying "Duh!" Had to grin at your story; been there, done that. I don't have a riding mower, but the same principle can be applied to a lot of things.

    Stay cool!

  30. Sorry Patti honey but I had to laugh when I found the reason for DUH....of course you know I am so much like you in this way that I too would of mowed and mowed. lol
    Girl everyday since the idiot left I have come across some challenge that not even a Master's Degree would of helped me.
    Off to work and gosh I can't wait to see what this challenge will be
    Love ya

  31. Living in a University town I'm reminded daily that "Education doesn't make you smart".

  32. How wonderful to know I'm not the only one!

  33. Oh my gosh, I think that will be worth the drive for me. What a neat young man!

    You're talking to somebody who walked two blocks with her dress inside out. You won't get any criticism from me!

  34. Linda,
    Sometimes I see the marvelous logic of your choice.

    We terrier types will eventually prevail.

    Lynda G.
    Aw, gee thanks.

    Thanks, that makes me feel even better.

    I know. I can't kill Burmuda grass by any means. Next cut should help if I keep the blade high.

    I do believe that is one reason you keep Art around. That and the fact he is a keeper.

    Hay, that is what guys are for. Times like those, I am sorry I am blissfully single.

    Some how I don't feel we are alone Pat. Not a very exclusive club I fear.

    Grandma yellow hair,
    Those idiots were good for something weren't they? Hope you don't get flashed today.

    I guess you do have a front row seat for that.

    Linda Myers,
    Maybe we should start a club. It would have a ton of members. Thanks for making me feel "normal".

    Now that is funny. That I once shopped all day in inside out shorts doesn't seem so bad now. Thanks.

  35. My trouble is I didn't even get the education. At least you have that to bolster those oh yeah... moments. I know I am having a banner day if I make it to morning coffee break without being laughed at.

  36. Gary being a truck driver has a whole list of what he checks before he drives away, some of this must have rubbed off on me because I go around and kick my car tires before I go on a long trip, but I probably wouldn't think to kick the tires of a lawn mower, but maybe that's a good idea, thankfully you have a great town you live in and got it fixed. I admire you being able to get that tire off too.

  37. Sweet Patti, you are plenty smart. You just were determined to get that grass mowed before the heat of the day set in. I would probably have done the same thing unless a wheel came off. :) Glad you were able to get the wheel off and the tire fixed. Maybe now we can get some rain and your grass will grow back nice and even. Hugs

  38. Grayquill,
    Hey, I am a college drop out. Not much learning here. At least we keep those we care about along with some perfect strangers amused. That is important:))

    Linda Starr,
    Trust me, my language wasn't all that lady like.
    From now on, tires will be kicked. Truck drivers set the bar high.

    You are so right. A little rain would work wonders on my mohawk yard.

  39. Hi Patti! Your stories are always very amusing and full of self-mockery. It's a pleasure to read them.
    Thanks for your comment. You are right that the terrorist attack in Oslo is outrageous and that nobody would ever have expected that there would happen such a crime in Norway.

  40. I read this brilliant post yesterday and went away to ponder on your question. I know there have been many times I have thought 'DOH'over some thing I have said or done but some how I have managed to blot out the emaracing

  41. This is too funny b/c this just happened to Corey a day ago - he was bush-hogging the pasture and didn't notice the flat but did adjust all the blades to try to fix the listing tractor...

  42. Living in a tin can on wheels means no lawn mowing, thank goodness. However, it still has the potential for many, many "duh" moments and we have taken advantage of a few of them, unfortunately.

  43. Way too many to comment on. I'm still thinking about you cutting your own grass. That's why I moved into a condo.

  44. Reader Wil,
    The more I read, the more horrifying that situation is. Reminds me of the Oklahoma bombing that was done by one man. Just makes no sense.

    I like that. If I don't remember it, it didn't happen. Think I will try that.

    I wonder wye,
    Now that is strange that it happened to us both. Thanks, that really makes me feel better.

    RV Vagabonds,
    That really is another advantage of your life style. Mowing is someone elses job.

    Tell you what, with this heat, a condo is looking pretty good. You are smart.

  45. Husband does the mowing around here, as he loves to ride on his mower. He just had a flat tire this last week, too. Maybe it is the time of year.

  46. alwaysinthebackrow
    Now that is interesting for one other reader said the same thing happened to them. Maybe the moon is right for flat tires.