When you grow up you get to buy things you don’t want. That is the big truth of the week for all of you people out there that can’t wait to grow up. Much of the time you will be researching and figuring out what the best model is what the best deal is, what the perfect one is, of something you don’t actually care about. Tires, hot water heater, shingles, or, as is the case with us this week, a lawn mower. Our old one died. It was a Black and Decker electric mower that had given us four solid years of service. Then one day last week the familiar rrrrrrrrrr lawnmower sound was replaced with a high pitched zzzzzzzzzzz sound and the blade stopped spinning. It seems that something had sheared off inside the gearbox. It was time to get a new one. I have to say though I thought the battery was going to be the first thing to fail. It was still going strong, which was a nice surprise.

Now understand that I don’t want a lawn mower. Sure the lawn will grow and look like hell but from my point of view if I didn’t have a mower I could look out the window, say “I really wish I could do something about that lawn,” and then go back to my computer game. But no, I have a lawn mower so when it gets shaggy I am expected to get up, go outside in the sunshine infested yard, and do something about it. So you see that all things being equal I’d rather not have one. But my wife is funny about how things look to the neighbours. I don’t know the neighbours so I don’t care. My wife doesn’t know them either but she wants to make the place look good for them anyway. I have no idea why.

So we went shopping for another mower. Now I prefer electric mowers. There are two reasons. The reason we tell everyone is that it’s good for the environment. They don’t produce the noxious exhaust fumes that a gas engine does. It’s also safer because we aren’t storing gas inside the house or shed. The real reason I DON’T tell anyone is that when the battery runs out, I’m done too. With a gas mower or other tool you just fill it up and keep going. All day long, far beyond the point where I really should have come in out of the sunshine. But when the battery goes dead, well, that’s about it for me too. I just put it on to charge and go back inside where there are cold drinks, warm computers, and bug screens to keep me safely separate from the outside world.

Now, my wife had done some research online and found the highest rated electric mower was actually available at a local store. We went and took a look at it. It had a removable battery, was self propelled, and had a 21 inch cutting swath. This is important. The wider the cutting swath, the fewer passes you have to make and the quicker you can finish and go back inside. Some professional mowers have multiple blades and can cut 48, 64, even 96 inches in a single pass. We only have a city lot so I can’t justify one of those. Besides they’re gas mowers. Then I checked out the biggest issue; the price. The mower was $700. Hmm, that’s a lot of money. But then I looked over. Right across from the electric was another, name brand, 21 inch cut, self propelled mower, only it ran on gas. It was $600. Well that settled it. Only a hundred dollars differences a fair price for not having to mow for more than twenty minutes a day. We had one loaded onto a cart, paid for it and took it home. Later, as I was inside with a cold glass of something in front of me I looked over the manual for the mower. Right there on the cover was something that caught my eye. Something I had missed when I was in the store.

“Your new mower comes equipped with a Lithium-Ion battery that promises long life and a quick 15 minute recharge.“

Aw crap.