War has been declared.

Owly Images

On a number of fronts. Firstly the entire garden was visibly swaying* in terror as this big boy was unleashed from the back of the car. Stout stemmed weeds – largely impervious to trowel based disruption – cowered as the full majesty of my long shafted weapon**was revealed. It’s has the girth and length of a mid-sized field gun – a proud dynasty from which it is clearly descended.

Indeed the demonstration from my good mate Rex – who knowing my low boredom and high stupidity thresholds kept it brief and to the point – spoke of a legal conversion to a wicked looking blade apparently designed to quarry stone. He tried to engage my interest in important safety and maintenance tasks which was largely pointless as I was lost in the sheer vastness of the thing.

Some important nuance around usage scenarios likely to result in limb amputation may have been missed, but based on my almost unblemished history of strimmer use I fail to see how my natural talent around mechanical objects will not save me here. An excellent example would be the previous incumbent of Al’s favourite gardening tool which lies abandoned, somewhat ironically, under a blanket of weeds. When started, it was a brutal slayer of unwanted green, but the key word here is ‘when‘.

Which became more of an if and then a bugger and then a fuck as an increasingly desperate individual hauled the starting rope around the garden dragging the lifeless machine behind him. And after much priming, jiggling of the choke control and, inevitably, the alternate ‘percussion starting‘ approach, the bloody thing would grudgingly fire up for about 10 seconds before reverting to its base state of mechanical sulkiness. I could feel those weeds laughing at me.

They are not laughing now. No mostly they are drowning frustratingly so delaying the magnificence of my new toy being unleashed on anything above ankle height. It’s a relief of sorts though because once Rex brought the mad bastard to life in a plume of choking smoke, I must admit to being more than a little frightened. The saving grace is the business end being some twenty feet from anything organic and appendage-y. I probably could have strimmed most of the garden from the safety of Rex’s shop in Ross such is the length between engine and cable.

An engine which was rather warm during my careful placement of the smoking end between the front seats of my car. It wasn’t until the smell of burning upholstery began fizzing in my nostrils that the concept of putting the hot end in the boot presented itself as the less incendiary option.

Even if I am unable to pilot it on its maiden voyage this weekend, this matters not. Because it means I can save the entire tank of fuel for a more worthwhile purpose. Namely taking to the office and demanding nay PLEADING someone/anyone make an innocent enquiry re: shredders. At which point I shall demonstrate the awesome shredding capability of the whirling strimmer of certain death.

I think that’ll be fine. Proportional response and all that. If, however, you become aware of an ice cream van shaped vehicle with a bloodied strimmer poking from the sunroof accelerating towards a well known outsourcing provider then please do the right thing.

Get out of the way to make damn sure I get a good run up.

* although this may be the ‘unseasonable’ gale force winds and lashing rain that pass for Summer in the UK.

** Had to be done. Similar mirth was induced during a mud tyre purchasing transaction which included a conversation on the exact width of a Beaver.

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