The Lawn Ranger Rides

Hi furends…It’s me, Dori, *wavy paws* welcoming you to another episode of Stories from The Whiner. I wasn’t borned yet when my pawrents lived on five acres in The Middle of Nowhere, Kentucky, so you will be devastated to know I will not be in these stories. I thought about suing, but Hwermie suggested I host this series. So for now, I’ve called off my lawyers.

The Story Behind the Story from The Whiner

Awhile back my pawrents left Florida because Dad got a job that actually paid enough for them to not only survive, but thrive. And by thriving…to Dad that meant going overboard on buying a house. Up until then they had been living inside a closet. So you might understand why he totally fweaked out and bought way more house than he and Mom needed. They only had 3 indoor kitties (Genny, Holly and Buddy) plus a six outdoor cats that they didn’t want to leave behind. It’s not like they needed a huge house like they do now with the feline explosion known world wide as The Wonderpurr Gang—-starring me, Dori. *wavy paws*

Anyway! Living in the country was fun at first. But then Mom realized that fun always came at a high price. Since she didn’t have a job or neighbors and had no one to vent to… she wrote a newsletter called The Whiner and sent it to anyone and everyone she’d ever known.

In this episode, you will remember my mom from the Sauerkraut Scandal in Adult Defiance. This time she’s been left unsupervised with heavy machinery. If you suspect wackiness will ensue…you’re right.

And now…The Lawn Ranger Rides.

Guilt is a powerful motivator.

At least it is for me.

We had been in our Kentucky home atop a steep hill since late March when there was still snow on the ground. But now it was early June, and with my husband, Ray, unable to mow because he was working ungodly hours and me still unemployed, I found myself revving up the brand new expensive! tractor mower one Friday morning.

I’d straddled the monster on only one other occasion under Ray’s control dictatorship  supervision. But I could do it.

No big deal!

The grass grows really fast in Kentucky. Clearly!

I figured the most hazardous part would be mowing the front lawn with it’s sharp incline toward a snake-infested forest. But keeping that in mind — and mowing up and down the hill instead of across it like Ray repeatedly stressed like it was one of the Ten Commandments…

Thou Shalt Not Mow Horizontal On A Steep Incline

…I was sure I could whip that front lawn into shape without tipping over.

Tipping over was not an option.

Ray expected me to tip over.

He even told me so!

“Don’t try to mow without me being there to control dictate supervise you,” he’d told me repeatedly. “You’ll tip over.”

So, naturally I intended to do just that.

Um. Mow without his supervision.

Not tip over.

But first I had to dress properly.

I was sure I could mow the lawn into shape without tipping over. Tipping over was not an option. Click To Tweet

Every woman knows clothes and accessories are vital, even if you live on five acres in The Middle of Nowhere, Kentucky with no neighbors.

I chose a pink tee shirt with a white angora kitty on the front, and Calvin Klein jeans. I also exchanged my adorable pink bunny slippers for Lands End hiking boots.

After tracking down my tabby, Buddy, to steal back one of my hair bands so I could add a pony tail to my look—I went to confront my nemesis in the garage.

Buddy, from city kitty to farm cat in one move.

There it sat. A formative piece of machinery.

“Gort!” I said in a firm, no-nonsense tone. “Klaatu! Barrada! Nikto!”

Hey, it worked for Patricia Neal in The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Confidant my Gort had been sufficiently mellowed, I unhooked the pull cart. Then, after sliding the gear shift into neutral, I steered it onto the driveway.

And since the driveway slopes toward the snake-infested forest, I then had to hurry along side it in order to slam the gear into park, thus stopping its momentum and saving me from explaining to Ray why his beloved brand new expensive! mower was hugging a tree one hundred feet down the incline.

Of all the extra curricular activities required of owning a huge house on five acres in the country, Ray loved mowing the best.

Next I walked the property to pick up tree debris and wing them into the rough. Wood-winging is a necessity since Ray frowns on running over tree limbs, saying the chunks of flying wood tends to dull the mower blade.


Trouble is…if you don’t get the right spin on the wood when you wing, it falls short of the rough. Which means you get to wing it again and again…and again until you actually hit your mark.

Okay, so it took me a bit longer than I’d anticipated.

“Gort!” I said in a firm, no-nonsense tone. “Klaatu! Barrada! Nikto!” Click To Tweet

But now I was ready to mow.

Boy, would Ray be horrified furious surprised when he saw what a fantastic job I’d done.

Straddling the mower with my water bottle nestled between my knees, I released the clutch and turned the key. Gort roared to life. I eased my foot off the brake…

And sat there, wondering why I was still sitting there.

Then I noticed letters on the gear shift. N was obvious. North!

Oh wait. Neutral.


I pushed it into F, praying it meant Forward and not Fast, and again I released the brake.

Gort lurched forward and proceeded to crawl across the lawn at a snails pace.

Okay, so we were getting to know each other. I was sure he’d pick up speed once he realized I was harmless and more at his mercy than he’d ever guess.

As we ambled along, I glanced over my shoulder to view my accomplishment—except the grass looked just as high as ever.

Oh! Wait—

I lowered the blade, and now Gort really had something to roar about.

Now he was a lean, mean, grass-eating machine.

After a bit, I shifted him from Speed 1 to Speed 2.

We zipped along, spewing grass, weeds, and – unfortunately – any insects that didn’t heed my shout to get out of the way. Gort didn’t come equipped with a  horn, and I’m certain I heard tiny screams of “Armageddon! Armageddon!” as I ran them down. Which didn’t sit well with me. So I stopped often to escort beetles, grasshoppers, and praying mantis safely off the path to certain death.

I felt fearless. Invincible! Even the deer avoided me.

Skipping over the fact that I ran out of gas while mowing horizontally on the front lawn incline, and made the mistake of getting off, thinking I could push Gort safely up onto the driveway, but instead had to run after it as it hurled down the slope toward the tree that beckoned with an evil smile…I think I did okay.

At least I didn’t tip over!

Sadly, the following year, while Ray and I watched, Gort committed suicide by ramming itself head-first into a tree.

R.I.P. Gort.


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  • We give you an A for effort anyway. Those tractor things can be tricky! We also know most of your Twitter pals, since we’ve breen on Twitter since 2008. It’s a fun place!

  • Coffee almost came out my Mum’s nose when she read about Gort’s demise! Barley and The Girls

    • Hi Barley! Yeah, Gort’s suicide didn’t come much as a surprise to my parents. After what they put it through, they were surprised he didn’t off himself sooner.

  • Miss Kimberley, you are a trooper for using that machine. I have never seen one like that before, but I hear that my Grandpa runs one all the time on his property. Mom uses an old style, push mower for the small patch of grass in our backyard – it is probably safest that she doesn’t have a big machine! Mew Mew!

  • We are ecstatic that Jan does not have a Gort or … We don’t even want to imagine what trouble she could get into with one. With her skills, it would probably be run over by a tractor trailer.

    • Hi Miz Jan — after Gort #1 committed suicide, my Dad seriously thought about buying a push lawn mower for Mom to use. Of course that wouldn’t have been as much fun, so they bought a Gort #2 who didn’t threaten to tip over as much as Gort #1 did.

  • I was the mower driver in my family. The slopes were scary too. You get to the top, close your eyes & head down the hill only opening them up in order to say “Oh Sh**” close to the bottom!

    • Hi Miz Peggy — mowing on slopes ain’t for sissies, that’s for sure. My mom thinks your idea of closing your eyes could have been deadly for her as she had to mow around a lot of trees.

  • Molhahahaha,! At least you didn’t mow too close to the house and rip the faucet off the brick wall. Ray would have really been “concerned”. Mom ran for the water main key. No water for 6 hrs. 😭

  • Oh my, Gort sure had some sort of death wish going on, and I can’t quite but help think of that possessed car, called Christine! Maybe Gort was some sort of lemming in another life?
    Purrs, ERin

    • Gosh, Your Majesty — I never thought about Gort being possessed… although if he was, he might have known better than to let my mom ride him. I’m thinking he committed suicide rather than putting up with her nonsense for another mowing season.
      Purrs, Herman

  • MOL MOL that was brilliant!!!! Oh Dad would neffur let the P.A. near anything like Gort fur fear of her falling off and getting mown-down – which she would fur sure! MOL We think mew did a great job and looking aftur 5 acres is hardwork, more power to mew and Gort fur an uber close shave of the mowing kind!

    Big hugs

    Basil & Co xox

    • Hey Basil! My mom sends her love and thanks for the cheering on. She plans to never live on such big property ever again, so her mowing days are thankfully over!

      Purrs! Herman!!!

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