This is a Struttin’ Time that almost didn’t happen, and it is about me.
As you regular readers know, I try to make this column about you and me, not just me, but this story needs to be told. I am a retiree who some people think has nothing else to do than hunt, fish, travel, and write Struttin’ Time. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
As a kid growing up in McRoberts, all of us in my age group had chores that had to be done every morning, some not as often, but chores nevertheless. Although I am on the backside of life, I still have chores. I have been babysitting my granddaughter this summer, driving five days a week to Lexington, 40 miles each way. Believe me, that turned into a chore after about the fifth week.
Grass has to be cut, least we start looking like some of our nasty neighbors. Garbage needs taken out and of course picked up from in front of our house where the same nasty neighbors throw it from their car windows. Turkeys need to be fed and watered, and the list goes on.
Well this Struttin’ Time has to do with one of those chores — cutting grass. I had to get my half-acre yard cut, as the grass was about ankle high instead of the “golf course look” I like to have. I knew the rain was on its way and this would be my last chance to get it cut for a few days.
I started up the riding mower — it was humid — after placing a towel on the seat beside me to wipe the sweat. As I mowed, I smelled something burning but didn’t pay much of a mind to it and mowed on. Soon, I felt my lower side getting a little warmer than usual, while my upper body felt just fine. That smell of something burning got stronger, as did my lower side. Then I felt some sharp pain, through my bib overhauls. I looked and I was on fire.
The towel had gotten against the muffler and was burning, which caught me on fire. Wow! That, my friends, hurt!
I was mowing next to the ditch that runs beside the road and marks our property. I jumped into the ditch and thought, man that was close. A lot of my friends have told me that you are suppose to fall to the ground and roll. That probably is good advice, except with my luck I would have probably set the grass on fire.
Here is some good advice: Never put anything flammable on your riding mower next to a hot muffler. Believe me, it will set you on fire!