Archive for Wednesday, August 2, 2000

What’s so convenient about this?

August 2, 2000

In this world of modern conveniences, we are unparalleled. So much so, that some of our modern conveniences we don't even think about much anymore.

Generally, I'm congenial with these conveniences. The car starts, the washing machine spins and the garbage disposal grinds. Even my lawnmower, purchased at a bargain price two years ago still starts with almost every pull of the cord.

But when it comes to its smaller counterpart the weed trimmer that's a different story.

A friend of mine says she buys used weed trimmers at garage sales, pays a dollar or two each and they work. I can only suspect that if I bought one at a garage sale, it'd end up making a make a great doorstop or perhaps a wacky fence post. But a lawn trimmer? Not in my lifetime.

I've gone through three weed trimmers in three years.

What's the deal? I ask, every time it gets to the point where the spool of string the original spool installed at the factory begins to stick and then breaks off inside the machine. Again and again.

Here's when I put on the bifocals and pull out the instruction manual. Oh, wait, that's the book for last year's model. Well the model numbers are the same, maybe it'll help.

But this new one doesn't have a "locking tab." And does "counter-clockwise" mean that you're supposed to be looking at the dial from the top or the bottom? Whatever, by now, that end of the weed trimmer, having cut a swath through at least part of the yard, is plain old dirty. And I'm getting dirtier by the second.

There's got to be a better way. And I hope that someone will clue me in as to what's the best, most reliable, dependable, maintenance-free weed trimmer for someone like me who is less-than-extremely-gifted at fixing things.

Meanwhile, I try not to grumble too much. After all, I love working in the yard. It's nice to see the lawn take shape and the house take on a homey look when grass around flower beds, fences and bushes has been trimmed. But to get it that way, unless I want to go around with heaven forbid hand clippers and do it the old-fashioned way the weed trimmer needs to work.

Is there such a thing as a trimmer where the string seldom gets lost inside the spool and where the guard at the bottom doesn't spiral off in the midst of trimming? Is there one that comes with an instruction manual that actually reads as if it has been written by someone familiar with the English language?

This all seems to me to be so elementary, so basic. After all, I'm not asking for a trip to Hawaii I'm not asking for a mansion in Mission Hills. And I'm certainly not even asking for someone else to mow my yard. But I am asking for a weed eater that works.

Any ideas, anyone?

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