Where I come from, there's a place called Edaville Railroad. At Edaville, one could spend the better part of the day viewing, touching, reading about, and playing upon trains of all sorts. It was the place to go on school field trips.
There was even a miniature train that went around the perimeter that you could ride for a couple of bucks--a couple of Mom's bucks.
It's probably for the best that I didn't ever save too much money back in those days. I know what I would have spent a whopping seven dollars on if I had the chance: a giant, over sized, novelty eraser. Yes, you heard me--at least a foot long, seven inches wide, pink, rubber, and ready for action. What kind of action, I wasn't sure at the time. It didn't really matter. All I cared about was that it was completely and utterly nonsensical. That's what I was into.
That's still what I'm into.
But, on any given trip to Edaville Railroad, besides being in awe of the giant coal engines or the boxcars I hoped to someday hop on and inhabit--complete with banjo getaway music in the background, and the trail of smoke billowing from the engine car--I always held a special reverence for the kiddie-train operator.
Now, I was certain that it was a pretty easy thing to operate, that part was plain to see. You had a gas pedal, a clutch, a steering wheel and a brake. It ran on a track, so I don't know what good the steering wheel did the driver, except for being a place to put your hands when you weren't holding a cigarette--it was the seventies, remember. I suppose it would look strange without any smoke coming from the engine car.
But all those levers and pedals were useless without the key--the magical key.
Without this little piece of metal, seven or eight screaming kids would turn into seven or eight screaming maniacal tyrants.
I loved to hear the engine start up.
It meant the fun was about to begin.
I got a special key today.
It is the key to my aunt's lawnmower. I've officially become the garden keeper, the weed whacker, the dandelion slasher.
The Lawnmower Man.
And boy-oh-boy was I psyched to get that thing cookin'.
Candy apple red, manual transmission, a comfy seat with not a speck of room for picking up hitchers, and something I especially was excited about ...
... no Smart Start ignition interlock device.
I have to say, I haven't cheated once. I haven't drank, but I also haven't tried to drive anyone else's car. That would be a recipe for disaster. I think I like not having to wait until 2018 to have my license back.
But, I was given a short tutorial on how to operate the little bugger. I, of course, kept hurrying my aunt along to get to the part where she gives me the key. I knew how to do this. I'm a guy. Guys know how to do stuff like this upon the exit from the womb.
OK, tough-guy here's your key.
I had to give my aunt the camera and have her film my soon-to-be triumphant first drive on the little red riding-mower.
How about this:
Yeah, I thought it was pretty funny too.
Maybe there was something to driving that train that I overlooked.
I think I'll just save up for that giant, oversized, novelty eraser.
Perhaps it will come in handy tied to the front of the lawn mower, just in case.
And F.Y.I., the lawn's half done.
The rest I'll tackle on Memorial Day.
You know this guy won't fall asleep at the switch.
Thanks for reading.