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June 12, 2006
a-z tv sub i


Do you see how this looks a little bit
like a person? You hold its hands with
its head behind yours, as if it were a
lover hugging you from the back. Its feet
cut the grass. Today was a John Henry
re-enactment. I tried out the gas-powered
weed whacker and then went back to
the traditional silent scythe to see which
worked better. The motorized one was
very loud and fumey with such a small
cutting surface that it took just as long
(if not longer) to cover the same area.
It wasn't really built for me so I sort of
had to stoop over the whole time, which
wasn't good for my back. Its one advan-
tage is it's sturdy as hell--can hit hidden
rocks, metal, and dirt piles without any
damage to itself. The scythe is lighter
and cuts more grass with each swipe,
having as it does a longer cutting edge.
It's graceful and quiet. Its drawbacks
are it doesn't cut the grass as close
and if you hit a hidden obstacle, the
blade might bend or wood could crack.
In the end, the scythe won, but as with
John Henry who dies after beating
the mechanized railtie driver, it was a
pyrrhic victory as the handle snapped.