The starter switch on my three-year-old Tecumseh lawn mower broke down this spring, prompting me to pay a hasty visit to our local lawn and garden centre for necessary repairs. With my grass growing by leaps and bounds, I was greatly relieved to receive a call the next day from the resident small engine repair guy telling me that the mower was ready for pick up.
When I arrived at the shop, I was greeted at the counter by a rather gruff, slender, no nonsense type of man about my same age. The tell-tale grease on his hands indicated to me that he was "the guy".
"When you were in yesterday you said that you were having starter problems, but I found a number of other things that needed attention too. For one thing there was old gas and oil in the engine, so it would not have started even if the starter was working properly. The blade was also completely worn out...I just couldn't let it go out of the shop that way," he explained with demonstrative concern and nobility.
"You really don't like that mower very much do you?" he continued, thinking perhaps to catch me off guard.. I readily agreed, with tongue-in-cheek, that "yes, the only thing I hate more than the mower itself is having to use the damn thing."
"Well, if you don't take better care of it, you won't have it for very long," he snapped back, ignoring the humor in my remark.
Feeling suddenly very negligent, I sheepishly left the shop taking the mower and scolding with me, leaving behind a cheque for $85.40 in repairs.
I didn't ask for an itemized invoice, but I assumed the scolding was free of charge.