Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vicissitudes of suburban life

If you live in a suburban house, however small, you almost certainly have a lawn, which must be not only mowed but also (especially if you can't quite mow up to the fence or flower beds) trimmed or edged in some way. People used to do this manually, of course, or their gardeners did, but the modern standard suburban "I don't have time for this" approach is to use a string trimmer.
Our current electric trimmer is the latest in a succession of unsatisfactory helpers. Purchased a month or so ago to replace an earlier model that literally went up in smoke after tying itself up in daylily leaves, it initially showed great promise. It had a new feature that fed 2 filaments instead of just one, by some magic we admired without feeling that we needed to understand it. That blissful ignorance ended today, when the self-feeding spool stopped feeding, leaving the trimmer with just a single 2 inch bit of filament and an unhealthy whine in its voice. I got it open and thought I had succeeded in advancing the filament manually, hoping to at least finish the front yard tonight. But moments later the spool exploded out of its housing, leaving me with this:


The only solutions I can think of, short of digging up the lawn, are to buy another spool (because this 2-ended version can't use the spools left from its predecessor) or to buy another trimmer. It all makes a kind of sense when you realize that the manufacturer needs people to keep buying filament, or trimmers, or ideally both.

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