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2000 Personal Accounts
Email a Friend The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next
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Man Versus Mower  
2000 Personal Account

(May 2000) My ex-husband was a drunk. Mostly this was no fun for me, but fate has a twisted sense of humor. One hot summer day I was ready to cut our grass. It was always a hard job because of all the trees and huge shrubs on the property, and the backyard slope doesn't make it any easier.

My ex came home from the bar and gallantly volunteered to cut the grass because "it's too hard for a woman." He apparently forgot that I did it every week. I honestly did try to disuade him. I explained that he was a little intoxicated and the heat might get to him. But he insisted.

As he could barely get a grip on the starter cord, I decided to enjoy the moment. I fetched up a glass of iced tea, and took a seat on a little wall in the shade to watch events unfold.

The first downhill cut was fine, then the trouble began.

A low-hanging tree branch practically ripped his tee-shirt off his back. He turned ferociously and began to battle the offending limb. The lawn mower, left to its own devices, ignored the altercation and proceeded across the yard. My ex realized that his machine was escaping and lurched after it. He caught the mower and regained control.

Everything went along smoothly for several minutes, but it was very hot that day. The combination of heat and alcohol slowed his pace. He went behind a long lilac bush. Only the mower came out the other side. I waited. Then he hove into view and caught the machine. He went back for a second pass. Again the mower came out alone. This time he didn't pursue it.

The lawn mower came to a halt wedged against a tree, and I went down the hill to see what had happened. There he was, sprawled out on his back behind the lilac bush.

I wanted to shut the mower off, but he roused himself and decided that a cold beer would give him the energy he needed to finish the job. I was having too much fun to let it end, so I got him a beer, and he continued to cut the grass, beer and cigarette in hand.

I lost sight of him in the stand of walnut trees, but soon I saw the mangled beer can shoot out of the shadows, spewing beer. I heard an awful cursing, and realized what happened. He had dropped his beer and managed to run it over.

I couldn't stand any more, my sides were aching from laughing! How I longed for a camcorder. I finally convinced him to stop and let me finish the job while he went in the house to rest. When he sobered up, he couldn't recall any of the events.

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