Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

July 12, 2014

Lawn and order

Today was a perfect day to mow the lawn. Bright and sunny, the birds were singing, the bees were busy. Yes, today was the perfect day to mow the lawn. As was every day for the last three weeks. If only my lawnmower weren’t down at Snuffy’s Small Engine Repair and Produce.

The first week he had it, I only stopped by once to see when he’d be bringing it back. It’s too easy for people to brush you off on the phone. People lie to you on the phone. I know because I do it all the time.

“Can I speak with James?” the caller will ask, and since no one of any character has ever called me James, I say, “Are you calling about his funeral service? It’s tomorrow at 10. Would you like to be one of the speakers?” In person, it’s hard to get away with that.

Thank goodness, I’m not one of those people who thinks his lawn should be a flawless piece of art, because it is now over my ankles. I do have a life outside my front yard, unlike some of my neighbors. The highlight of my day will not be edging my sidewalk. But I’ve come to find riding on the mower for a few hours a week a mini-vacation. I can put on my ear protectors and shut out the noisy world for a while.

“So,” I explained to Snuffy, “it’s not just for the grass, or my snooty neighbors, it’s for me. It’s my ‘me time.’” I don’t think Snuffy was familiar with the term.

“We’re just waiting for a part,” he said. “It should be here tomorrow.” I went home a happy man. You may have noticed, as I did not, that he didn’t say the lawnmower would be back tomorrow, just that the part may be here tomorrow. In my delusional fantasy, that part would be installed the very second it came in, and Snuffy would then deliver the now fully functional tractor back to my house tomorrow, which is no longer tomorrow, but last Thursday.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Close the tax loophole that sends US corporations overseas Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed word. At the same time, the system has become full of inef

    July 29, 2014

  • Israel and the U.S.: Whose survival instinct is stronger? There’s something darkly coincidental in the fact that the latest weapon to be deployed against the survival instinct of both Israel and the United States is an alleged “heartlessness” when it comes to children. The people of Israel are castigated in

    July 29, 2014

  • College cost isn't big problem for poor students To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting mo

    July 29, 2014

  • Ducks, geese a blessing I would like to respond to the “Geese and ducks causing problems in Veterans Park” article that was published in the Mt. Vernon Register-News on July 16, 2014. I must share that I do understand that at times there have been a great number of the Cana

    July 29, 2014

  • Money not always the answer I really have to stop and think sometimes. I challenge my thought processes when I write these columns. I am having a hard time with this one. It appears to me that every time a governmental agency or any of the entities that spend other people’s mon

    July 29, 2014

  • Teachers unions' destructive behavior You can always count on the national teachers unions to behave badly at their annual conventions, and they certainly didn’t let us down this month. In doing so, however, they let down many of their members, along with students who are working hard to

    July 26, 2014

  • Workers of the world, curb your ambitions A group of Democrats introduced legislation this week to protect low-paid shift workers from last-minute changes in their schedules. The idea fits into an intriguing category of economic activism: Not trying to lift low-paid workers out of poverty, n

    July 26, 2014

  • State of the reunion ‘Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fear indifference ‘Perhaps the Catholic church would volunteer to pony up some cash for the illegals’ care then? Hmm?”“Pope should stay out of it. Matter of civil laws, not church laws.”“Thinking that the pope should want the illegals to go to Argentina to get better

    July 25, 2014

  • A push for felon voting rights If advocates have their way, voting rights could be a new reality for the nation’s incarcerated.Full voting rights for felons is as hot a topic in Washington as voting rights in reverse pushed by voter-ID-tickled Republicans. But with new legislation

    July 25, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks