Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stupid mower tricks

About 80,000 people suffer lawn mower-related injuries annually in the United States. The most common types are objects being flung out by the blades and stiking somebody, serious cuts, sliced off toes, etc.

A buddy of mine, back about 15 years ago, while maintaining an apartment complex, backed a riding mower over his two-year-old son. I read a nice article about the kid a few years ago when he was a high schooler, how he had discarded his prosthetic leg and become a pretty good interscholastic swimmer. No kidding. Bet he would have been a lot better swimmer had his dad been more careful.

I can't tell you how often I see dads mowing their lawns with a tiny junior or sis on their laps. Makes me shiver to think about what could happen. Also reminds me when I allowed my three-year-old son to climb aboard the new pony my dad, his grandfather, had just gotten him. Whammo, off it went, right into a busy street with my son clinging to its back.

What was I thinking?

That's the point — I wasn't thinking. This brings me to a recent article in the local newspaper about another braniac on a mower. It seems a guy in small Vermilion, OH, after having a few too many beers, hopped aboard his landlord's riding mower and headed to the drugstore about a mile away. When the police nabbed him and charged him with OVI, operating a vehicle under the influence, he responded: "If I knew that was the law, I would have walked."

Judges in Ohio interpret the word "vehicle" to mean just about anything with wheels on it, including roller blades and skateboards.

But even if you didn't have a beer buzz on, isn't a riding mower a strange way to get to a drug store? The pros know that a mower is a money-making tool and not a toy or a vehicle, but even they sometimes get careless. When they do, sometimes they pay dearly. — Ron Hall

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