Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I learned a thing. After being stupid 100 times.

So, I wrote this post back before the days when BIGHUGETHINGNEWS was out breathing everyone's air, and am only just sharing it with you now.

Because I apparently really like to tell you when I've done something stupid for which you will likely judge me harshly.

I can really be not bright. 


Ever done something a hundred times and then, on the 101st time realized that you'd had it wrong the whole time and not for, like, a really complicated reason but rather a super simple one that makes you feel like a total ass?

Like, say, turning the oven to "BR" and then inserting food into said oven with the intention of BRowning it rather than BRoiling? On the 101st time realizing that OHMYGOD BR means Broil and not Brown? 


I've certainly never done that 100 times in case that's what you're thinking. That is a totally random example that I just thought up in my mind which came from nowhere and certainly not from personal experience.

Anyway, you ever done anything like that? Because I have. 

Today, in fact.

See, I went out to the garden to drink my tea this morning. 

Which went fine until I realized that the garden was a fucking shitshow and needed my attention STAT. 

With everything that's gone on lately what with the BIGHUGETHINGNEWS and all, a few things have been neglected including, ironically, the garden, and suddenly I couldn't neglect it any longer and still withstand the shockwaves of irony.

So, I decided to fix it. 

I watered some things, I reset the garden irrigation, I pruned a few things, I picked some peppers and basil and kumquats, I fertilized a tomato plant and I mowed what's left of our lawn after my whole SUCK LESS campaign.

It was in the mowing of the lawn wherein I had my HOLY SHIT I'M SLOW IN THE BRAINS moment and subsequently learned a thing.

A thing dawned on me.

Any guesses on what that thing was?

I won't wait, I'll just tell you.

Well, after a little lead up. It is my way after all.

 See, we have this gas mower which works like most other infuriating yard machines:

Hello, asshole mower.
  1. It is first forcibly extracted from the garage
  2. Then, in the harsh light of day, you take stock of all of its pull starts and priming bulbs and levers and clutch this and brake that and put fuel in here and what have yous
  3. Then you reach waaaaaaaaay back into the dusty archives of your brains to try piece together the process by which this specific machine comes alive to do its proprietary job
  4. Then you pull all of its starts and prime all of its bulbs and move around all of its leavers and grab the clutch and hit the brake and pour fuel into any open hole and your own shoes in all the possible configurations until such time as the machine comes magically to life 
  5. Then you complete the single job with the proprietary machine, being careful not to let it die mid-job because you don't have 25 minutes to repeat all of those configurations again before happening upon the magical one that makes the machine do its job
  6. Then you survey the job this magical infuriating machine has done, decide it's good enough, do a half assed job at cleaning up and shove it back into the garage at which time blocking many other magic machines and infuriating yard and garage implements that will obviously need to be extracted and used for their proprietary purposes within the hour
  7. You go on with your life forgetting everything you just learned so that you can revisit the fun in a few weeks' time
Sound familiar? I'm just going to pretend that it does because I find solace in solidarity. 

Well, anyway, today I had apparently stared at the lawn mower in just the right way with just enough brain-power enhancing caffeine and adrenaline (I had just gotten home from working out and also tearing through my garden righting the irony and all) pumping through my brains to realize that the answer for HOW DO I START THIS PIECE OF SHIT without going through the many lever moving and pull starting configurations had been there all along.

Right there on the damn start lever with a little cute icon that looks just like the pull start and OH MY GOD WHY DID I NOT REALIZE THIS BEFORE?

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh. Right.


Like, when you want the machine to start, you point the lever toward the THIS LOOKS LIKE A PULL START icon and then you PULL THE PULL START and holy hell it totally roars to life.


Why oh why did I think that a lawnmower was such a complicated and advanced machine that required the fluent speaking of its special lawnmower language to coax it into action? 

Did I think that lawnmowers were made with the target audience of Silicon Valley's highest trained computer science engineers who learn how to speak Lawnmower while pursuing their doctorate at one of the IITs?

And that these huge-brained individuals were the only ones in all of humanity who'd know how to make sense of this grass clipping machine's complicated inner workings?

Because that's just retarded.

Lawnmowers are made for suburban normals like yours truly who have some kind of grass and want to cut it so that the dog won't be lost in its overgrowth.

Oh save me from the horrors of tall grass. I skeered.

Normal people with normal educations or sometimes normal people with no education and also freaks with questionable education, a dark past, inexplicable scars, a tattoo of words written in an unrecognizable alphabet in their bathing suit area and a criminal record. 

You know - just your average everyday person who might cut some grass.

And the common language that all those normal people PLUS the huge-brained folks that emerge from the IITs have in common is HEY I KNOW WHAT THAT PICTURE LOOKS LIKE-ease.

Except that I, apparently, had forgotten how to speak HEY I KNOW WHAT THAT PICTURE LOOKS LIKE until today, but now I remember.

Like how having a couple shots of tequila in Mexico TOTALLY improves your Spanish, I had a couple shots of caffeine and yardwork when suddenly BAM! I spoke Lawnmower again.

Lawnmower: To start this machine, point the lever to the picture of the pull start and then pull the pull start. Done.

Why I thought it was: To start this machine, point the lever toward the rabbit, then the turtle, then the weird propeller looking thing while holding the clutch and the brake and pouring gas into the tank and yanking on the pull start is 100% beyond me.

These are not the magic wands of the lawnmower world. I know this now.

There aren't any pictures that say to do that. 

Yet that's what I was doing.

Because I have to do something stupid 100 times to learn a very simple thing: How to speak Lawnmower.  AKA - HEY I KNOW WHAT THAT PICTURE LOOKS LIKE.

Wow. Feeling smart. 


  1. I hated the push mower so much I got a non-electric one.

    And I do this kind of thing all the damn time. I think of myself as an intelligent person, despite a LOT of evidence to contrary.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.