Haylock, Verb

The throttle goes both ways - but only one of them is fun!
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9th September 1997

I Haylock, You Haylock, He Haylocks...

Well, I haven't Haylocked anything for a while, so I thought it was time to catch up. Last week I came within six inches of decapitating myself with a lawn mower, and today I was about a millimetre away from blinding myself with a Scottoiler touring kit. Both the lawn mower and the Scottoiler are now comprehensively Haylocked.

Now, you are wondering how I managed these two spectacular feats, aren't you? Well, the short answer (for those with limited patience, a short attention span or who simply don't give a shit) is 'Gross Stupidity of the most chronic and debilitating kind'.

Now, for those of you who have got this far, here is the long version...

First, self-decapitation with a lawn mower. What you need to do is leave your lawn for about three months, because you simply can't be arsed to mow it, it rains, the battery for the electric drill you need to start the damned thing is flat (don't ask how or why I converted my lawn mower to electric start please) or because there is something good on telly. Then when you do mow it, the grass will be waist high and it will be a real chore, repeatedly stalling the mower which is blessed only with a 3.5hp 2-smoke engine. After much grief, and having finally finished, decide that to make future mowing attempts less stressful, you really need to sharpen the blade. However, being congenitally lazy, you don't want to be arsed taking the blade off, finding somebody with a grinding wheel or an oilstone and doing the job properly, so what you do, you see, is remember that particularly huge lump of flint on the flower bed next to your front door. Excellent! Whirr-whirr-whirr-chunta-chunta-vrooom! Full throttle, then wheel the mower over to the flint and wheel it back and forward across it, accompanied by horrendous noises and huge showers of sparks out of the grass-chute on the right hand side of the device. Keep doing this obsessively for a period of several minutes, then think 'hmm... that should be enough!'. At this point, there will be a horrifying crash as the now razor sharp blade, which is rotating unfeasibly quickly, fractures near the hub. The 8-inch metal blade thus liberated will fly out of the grass-chute at high speed, ricochet off the adjacent wall of the house and then zing in a graceful arc the full length of your garden, until arrested by the front wall some considerable distance away; en-route it will disturb the air around your head as it whistles past a few inches from your jugular. If still alive at this point, remember to keep tight hold of the mower, which is now trying to shake itself to pieces... Easy, huh?

Now, a Scottoiler. Harder this one. Here, you need to wait until the poxy thing plays up and stops oiling the chain, despite being fully replete with fluid. Then, having had to adjust the chain, lose patience with it. When blowing down the various tubes causes you to turn blue, and no oil to emerge, you need to turn to the foot pump. Take your foot pump, and connect it to various parts of the mechanism and blow air through them. When you get as far as the delivery unit, you will discover that the foot pump crushes the hoses feeding the thing, and so it's impossible to get any air pressure into it. Have a brainwave and hook the foot pump directly to the big reservoir to which the delivery unit is connected by a hose. Now, you need to look at this very closely to see if there is any change in the level of the half-litre of oil it contains as you apply pressure to the foot pump. Easy, huh? What _actually_ happens now is that the Perspex window which forms the entire back of the reservoir, and through which you are watching the level, spontaneously explodes under the pressure. Fortunately for me, I had put my glasses on in the absence of anywhere else safe to leave them while I worked, thus putting a millimetre of plastic between my corneas and ground zero. Thus the several tiny slivers of hard plastic restricted themselves to impaling me in the forehead (wherefrom I later spent some while in front of a mirror removing them with a pair of tweezers) rather than the eyes. However, I did receive half a litre of Scotoil full in the face, which then headed for my hair, up my nose, down my chest, across my leather jacket and all over my back tyre. So I spent 70 buying a replacement unit later on, once I'd unlubricated my ears... I'll see if I can manage to fit this one without setting the bike on fire, blowing the house up or starting a new ice-age......

Ken Haylock [VFR750FL]



Copyright 2003 Ken Haylock. All rights reserved.
Last Revised: April 27, 2004 .