Thursday, September 12, 2013

String Trimmers Should Not be Used to Bush-Hog - A Redneck Cautionary Tale

Hey, Y'all,

I've decided to try something and see if it flies or not.  Expect one of these little gems about every Thursday.  Yep, I screw up at least that often. goes!  I hope you find my lack of good judgement to be funny.  After all, if we can't laugh at ourselves, it's really mean to laugh at everyone else!

*  *  *  *  *

Redneck Cautionary Tales are just that - cautionary.  Do not try this at home.  Be smarter than me.  It's not really all that hard to do.

It's been a long, rainy summer here, and we just recently got the string trimmer running.  The weeds are tall - some of them as tall as me.  I know string trimmers are really made to trim the tall grass around the base of trees or under fences, but I figured using the trimmer to cut the tall weeds would be OK. 

I was wrong.

First of all, when the trimmer is going full-tilt, it still needs a little time to 'wear away' at those thick, woody stems.  If you're not paying attention, the string will actually get wrapped around one, and it'll come near pulling the trimmer right out of your hands.  Fighting a string trimmer is not fun, and leaves a body really, really sore.

Meanwhile, there is plant matter flotsam everywhere, and I do mean everywhere.  Places we don't mention in polite company.  When you mow, all the flotsam shoots out the shooting-out place on the side of the mower, but with a string trimmer, everywhere is the shooting-out place.  My clothes are green, my shoes are green, my neck is green, and there are chunks of flotsam stuck to my glasses.  It's itchy and unpleasant.

But the unpleasant-est part of all was when I was bush-hogging under the peach tree.  The weeds were a few feet tall, but fairly tender, so they were falling, and falling fast.  It was going well.  I was beginning to think this was actually kinda great.  About that time, that moment when I thought, 'Hey, this is kinda great', something flew up and hit me about 6 inches below my right shoulder. 

It did not subsequently fall to the ground - no.  Rather, it took its eight long spider legs and started crawling UP.  Much as I wanted to drop the trimmer and run, I have a shoulder strap on the trimmer, and couldn't get free of I simply ran, screaming, flailing, (swearing), but mostly screaming and flailing, until there was no more gargantu-spider on me anymore.  At least....I think it's gone.

You know what happens to all those little bits of flotsam after you've flailed yourself free of a spider, don't you?  They all start to feel like little, creepy spider legs, all skittery and oogy.  They don't make showers hot enough or long enough to make that better.  I had to use the shower scrubbie for rather a long time to recover. 

And that, dear friends, is why I cannot recommend using the string trimmer as a Bush-Hog.  It makes you sore and itchy, and when it gets tired, it throws spiders at you.

Aren't you glad you aren't my neighbor?
-Laura at TenThingsFarm

If you have a Redneck Cautionary Tale that you'd like to see written up and shared with the world, send it to me at  I'll write up the ones that hit me upside the head just right, and then credit the person who shared with their first name, state and blog address, if you have one.  Send me some funny, y'all!

Shared at From the Farm Blog H op


momma-lana said...

Actually it might be kind of fun to be your neighbor :) I am spider phobic after being bitten by a brown recluse last summer. I can relate to your screaming and flailing very well! I saw a very large spider on my van yesterday and made hubby come out and kill it. I pictured opening my van door and it dropping on me or being inside my van while I was going 70 down the interstate. Not good. Yup....I am feeling creepy crawly now too....

We had excessive rains all summer too. Interesting thing is that it seemed to have kept things from growing and even killed some of our grass and a lot of weeds.

Sandra Girouard said...

Oh, MY.

And I have to agree with Mama-Lama. If I were your sounds like there might often be something entertaining to watch. :-)

Cathy said...

I pictured your story in my mind and it reminded me of myself! Two weeks ago I was mowing grass on the riding mower. I decided it was too much work to do that mowing, get out the push mower and get the stuff I couldn't get on the riding mower, and then the string trimming. So...I got as close as possible to everything with the riding mower and decided then all I would need to do is string trimming.

Now...imagine riding the mower and getting as close as you can to your porch/deck. The mower has a foot pedal. Pushing forward with the top of your foot makes you go forward. Pushing down with the bottom of your foot makes you go backward. So....getting as close as you can, you come to within an inch or two of the porch/deck. Except as you push your foot down it slips and goes forward instead. You jerk forward and run straight into the porch/deck and hear a loud crash.

What to do? Well, push your foot down and back away. Then look at the porch/deck. Sure enough, the wood was dented but not split. Then sort of keep mowing. Each time you drive in a certain bumpy area, you notice pieces of glass. Get off the mower and look at the front. YEP! Busted the entire headlight system out of the mower.

Not a big deal, right? It can be replaced. Do an internet search that night to find out how much it may cost to repair it. Shouldn't be more than $20 at most...WRONG! $500 to replace the lighting assembly.

Best part? The riding mower is not mine but on loan from my dad. Called dad this week and explained the situation. My wonderful dad says, "Just don't mow grass in the dark!"

Whew! I got lucky on that one.

Laura said...

Sounds like we all have our cautionary tales! :)


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