I wave as Sidecar Granny vooms out of sight, “Thar’ she Goes,” I quip.”
“Welll,” Honest John speaks up, there is the little matter about renumeration,” John shrugs, “Sidecar Granny said You’d be good for it.”
I check my back pocket, “Seem to have left the billfold back in the Buck-Truck.”
Honest John grins, “Nothing a little sweat-equity can’t handle,” he grins, “Say, I’ve got a little mowing that needs done around here.”
I look at a few patches of grass around the front of the station, “Sounds good to me.”
Honest John grins and points to a push mower, “There you go, the rider is in the shop for repairs.”
I shrug, there was a catch, but what could go wtrong with a few patches of grass
I roll the push mower over to the tree lawn and prepare to pull the cord, “Wait!” Honest John calls out, “I can always get the front this evening, the part that needs mowing is out back!” “Oh Well.” I shrug.
We go back behind the station to find a large five acre lot.
“What do you need with all this yard?” I ask in shock.
“The fella who sold the Station to me said they planned to put a truck stop here whan the Interstate went thru. It’d be a
I frown, “The closest thing this area to an InterState is the State Highway that runs thru the Clover County Seat, and It’s lucky to be two-lanes in places.”
Honest John smiles broadly, “I know, maybe I just like the color green he grins, remember we have a deal.”
I grimace, “but 5 acres? I only owe you $5.15.”
“Comes out to a little over a dollar an acre,” I point out, “That’sd worthless.”
Honest John gives me the look, “I’ve seen your work before, and that’s about right.”
I point to over to the riding mower and say, “How about that?”
“Needs repared,ad I have been devoting my time to the profit center at the pumps,” John taps the side of his head, “Wpork smarter, not harder. Works out well, for most of us.”
Just then a sizeable truck pulls intot he pumps, and a deep horn sounds, “That’s Finchley,” Honest John announces, “He buys a mont6h’ of diesel at a time, this will take a while. Finchley is one of my Best Customers.,” then gives me a look, “You know what to do, get crackin'”
I shrug and pull the cord on the push mower. It stutters and coughs to life.
The push-mower coughs to l;ife than sputters. Then I hear another crash-bang and splutter. I look up to see the Weenerman pull roll the Buck Truck to a stop behind the station.
“Your Truck needs gas,” he remarks, Takes a look at the push mower, “What’s got into You?” the WeenerMan challenges me, “That looks like your fixing to something like,” he pauses in a sense of horror, “like real work, keep it up and I’ll have to report you to the International Brotherhood of Barny Bums.”
“I’m in a hole and can’t figure much other way around it,” I shrug.
The WeenerMan arches his brow profoundly, “A serious matter such of this requires much study and contemplation, he sits on the running board on the BuckTruck, reaches in and pulls out a can of murky green pop.
HM Weenerman grabs another and hands it to me, “Try this,” he announces.
“And murky green pop will help us solve the contemplation?” I ask.
‘No,” the Weenerman arches his brow, “But they’re cold,” he reaches in and turns the radio on, “This afternoon is the weekly country Jammboree on WFHC,” he says.
‘Kid Brother mush have gone to the County Seat Libray,’ I remark, ‘he’s got some different music on this afternoon.’
“Been meaning to get there myself,” the Weenerman decides, “The HicksTown Community Library ran out of crayons.”
The afternoon is warm, the pop cold, and the country music great.
We are glugging pop and singing along to Hank’s ‘Me and My Rpowdy Friend’s Don’t Got a Clue,”
“We sit around listening to Country, and Deinking Mountain,” Then we sort of run out of forget the words.
While Hank finishes the song for us, the Weenerman rubs his brow, “Guess it’s time,” he decides, “Time for a signifigant operation.”
The Weenrman pulls the toolbow out of the bed of the Bucktruck and sorts thru it, “Craftsman,nah. Snap-On, blah, Stanley, nope. Aha!, Beijing Chrome, hust what I need,” the Weener peoceds all the import tools out of the tool-bucket.
“need any help?” I ask.
The Weener-Man gets serios, “Sorry, but this procedure requires specialized training got at good old MBU.”
“From MatchBook University?” I ponder.
I received the top certificate and trading stamps from MBU,” the Weenerman confirms.
I step back to let the master proceed.
The Master climbs up onto the silent rider and turns the key, hears nothing, bounces up and down on the seat a few times, works the throttle back and forth, presses the clutch, shifts the gears in and out of neutral, turns the wjeele straight, bounces on the seat some more, plays with the lights.
I expect him to try and srart the mower again, but the master-Technician hops down form the mower and props the hood up, jiggles the battery terminals, puts an ear to the crankcase, pulls out the dipstick and carefully survetys the color and viscoucity of the motor oil. Then the Weenerman hops ack on the mower to raise and lower the mower deck lever, then leqns forward to visually inspect the belt tension.
As a finale, the Weenerman leqaps off of the mower and grabs a Saipan Instrument rubber mallet and bangs on the tires. mower deck, and other key points on the riding mower.
Sure enough, some clumps of fermenting grass fall to the ground.
I Krinkle my nose, sort of smells like Mountain-”
The Weenerman cuts me off, “More like the murkey green pop, might have just discovered a trade secret.”
And then like greased lightning, the WeenerMan plucks a Southern Bonga Tool ratchet and spark plug socket from the buckt, pulls the cap, and has the spark plug out in to time flat.
“Hmmm, just as I thought,” HM WeenerMan shows me the plug, “Sootier than a smokestafck on a trapper shack.”
“Whew,” I whistle, “have to run into Bascom’s for a replacement.”
No time for that,” the WeenerMan decides, Runs the plug up and down his arm hairs, then holds up the plug, “There ,” he says, “Better than steel wool.”
At that point, I declined comment.
With nary a pause, the weenerman ratchets the spark plug back in and climbs back up into the driversseat. HM bounces up and down, tuns the throttle steps on the clutch, shifts to neutral and turns the key.
The refitted mower purrs to life.
“You did it,” I observe.
“Of course!” the Weeneran asserts, at that point he hops up onto the seat and beats his chest, HM WeenerMan triumphs again! Bwahahahahahahah!”
Just then Honest john comes hurrying around the corner,”What?” he starts, “I thought I saw something like this on the late show.”
Just then a couple horseflies attracted by the commotion start buzzing the Weenerman. He absently swats at them while the buzzaround him in elliptical orbits.
Honest John catches his head and starts shaking his head knowingly, “Yep, now I know I saw it on the late movie.”
Late movie? I am interested, “what was on?”
Honest John grins, “An oldie, but goody, ‘Kong Escapes’.”
I like that one, but I never get to see the ending because I fall asleep by then.”
“Well Kong outsmarts them all,” Honest John assures me, “Stows away on a cruise liner back to his native Yucatan Penninsula.”
How did Kong pull that off as a cruise liner?” I ask in wonderment.
“Passed himself off as the Lounge Act.”
“Really?” I ponder,’That’d be hard.”
“Not on some of the cruises I’ve been on,” Honest John confirms.
The WeenerMan hops on the tractor seat, “Got to test the compression in the tires,” he notes.
“Got it running then?” Honest John asks.
“Took a lot of know how then,” John asks.
HM nods agrrement.
“Then why isn’t this here lawn mowed then?” Honest John’s face starts to get red, “It’ll lose its green stage and stsart to grow brown and you’uns got to kow I how much I like ‘Grass’Green!”
“I hought it was ‘Money’ green,” I quip.
‘The same difference,” Honest John scowls, “You agreed to have the backlot mowed by now, not sit out here all afternoon, drink pop, and howl at Country Music,” Honest John starts to turn redder.
“The pop is green,” I point out.
“I don’t care about your knock-off Mountain Radiator Juice,” Honest John is crimson, starting to border on Chartruese, “This here grass even looks longer than when your first started, You’uns are the Most Worthless!” Honest John is doing a good imitation of a volcanic eruption by now, lava and all.
“Ah, but there was a requirement for Technical Expertise.”
“Wh-,TechincalExpertise?” John sputters, “But you were just supposed to mow a yard!”
“But I had to find the Explanation before it could be mown,” the Weenerman explains mysteriously.
Honest John’s innate curiosity diverts his attention to where he forgotr what he was getting red about.
“Secret explanation?” John asks, “Will it make e any money?” he asks.
“A simple adjustment, that will save you time and money,” the Weenerman confirms.
“Well out with it my Worthless Fellow, any bit of Worthless news and tips is welcome around these here parts,” Honest John implores.
The Weenerman takes the time to look both ways before speaking cautiously, “The mower blade is out of synch with the mower blades,” HM WeenerMan says solemnly.
“Mower belt out of synch?” Honest John is baffled.
“You know of those numbers on the mower belt?” HM says knowingly.
“The serial numbers, yeah” Honest John aagrees.
“They are installed pointing forwards,” the Weenerman explains, “Through prolonged use and friction they can be pulled to the back, and get out of proper revolution,”
Honest John smacks the side of the his own head, “And so the mower goes out of synch! Golly the Mower is only two-years old.”
“With a thick lawn that’s enough time,” the Weenerman assures John, “Tested it out at the Estate, and that’s how it works, the off-kilter blade action seems to simulate the grass to grow back thaqt much faster, you can tell.”
Something to do with the coleoptyl tips of the grass. MBU taught us well .”
“Tried and tested,” Honest John thinks, “But I’m too busy to go rotating a belt now,” he objects.
The WeenerMan holds up a hand sanguinely, “I’ve made some temporary adjustments,” he says, “the mower will work fine to the end of the season.”
“Well in that case,” Honest John decides, I ought just go with it like it is and change the belt next spring.”
“Along with a change of the oil and sparkplug, that’s exactly what I’d do,” HM WeenerMan supports John’s conclusion.
Honest John vigorously shakes the WeenerMan’s hand, “Thant’s exactly what I’ll do, Thanks WEeenerman, you sure are a good pal when a guy is in need.”
Weenerman nods, “Amnd if there’s any more difficulty, you know where to call.”
I’ll keep that murky green pop cold in the fridge,” Honesr John agrees, then he looks at me, “See, the Weenerman works hard and is vigilant, but you , you are totally wor4thless, couldn’t even mow a darn lawn!”
Honest John frowns, “Tell you what, why don’t you just Scout yourself a way out the back, and hit the road!”