About this time every year, I get a request to rerun this story. Well, here it is, and by the way, I’m still havin’ residual effects from it.

Have you ever dropped a lawnmower on your head? I know I have. Let me stop here and say that last week was not what you would call one of the best weeks of my life. I caught one skunk in my skunk trap. Shot another one in my garage, and, like I said, I dropped a lawnmower on my head.

Any of y’all out there who’ve been readin’ this junk I write for very long, know I have had my share of troubles with skunks and lawnmowers. Both of them have it in for me, and I’m pretty sure one or the other or both will probably appear in my obituary one day.

I really wasn’t goin’ to write about this lawnmower incident because I’m still havin’ nightmares about it. But, as you know, writin’ this junk is my only therapy (It keeps the voices away), so I thought I’d share it with you.

Do you remember Saturday the 7th? The full date was 7/7/07. It was supposed to be the luckiest day of the century, or somethin’ like that. Well, seven is my lucky number, if you believe in that sort of stuff. Oh, I’m not superstitious or nothin’. Well, except for buckeyes. Every time I’ve had a buckeye in my pocket, I’ve run afoul of the law, so I shy away from buckeyes.

Anywho, I was over at my dad’s house on that lucky Saturday. He had asked me to help him sharpen the blades on his lawn tractor. His old knees have been givin’ him trouble for awhile and it is sort of hard for him to do some of the stuff he used to do. But heck, that’s what kids are for, right? Plus, Daddy and I enjoy each other’s company.

Now, my dad has changed and sharpened blades on lawnmowers for so long, he has it down to an art. Right outside his shop, he has a chain hoist specifically for that purpose. He takes a fan belt, puts it under the front axle of a lawn tractor, and clips the two loops of the fan belt onto the hook of the chain hoist, and then hoists the front end up. He gets it up at about a 45 degree angle, sits down under the tractor, and takes the blades off to sharpen, or change. It takes just a few minutes. But, like I said, he can’t get down there like he used to, so he gets me to help him.

Well, I got down under the tractor, pulled the blades off, and handed them to Daddy. He took them into the shop and put them on the grinder, and sharpened them. I stood behind him and watched. I would have sharpened them for him, but he’s better at it than I am. When he finished, he handed them back to me and I went outside to put them back on.

Now, I wasn’t lying down under the mower. I was sitting under it. Since he had it raised up, I was able to sit cross legged, Indian style, under the motor part. I was sort of hunched with both legs under the mower deck. My head was bent down and to the side, so I could see what I was doin’.

I had one blade on when all of a sudden; I heard a pop, followed by a crashin’ sound. Then next thing I knew, I had a bird’s eye view of my crotch.

Now, I’m pretty sharp, so it didn’t take me long to figure out I had a lawnmower on my head. I tried to move my arms, but they were trapped under the mower deck, as were my legs. Have you ever seen that guy on TV that gets in that little glass cube? Well, I have a lot more respect for that guy now. I couldn’t move.

“Hey Daddy!” I hollered. My dad and I share an interestin’ problem. We’re both nearly deaf. “Hey Daddy!” I hollered louder.

“What!” he hollered back.

“Come get this lawnmower off of me!”

“What?” he said, as he walked out of his shop.

“Get this lawnmower off of me!”

“What’d you do?”

“I didn’t do nothin’. The belt broke.”

“It did? Well, it was pretty old. You know, I believe that’s the only belt I’ve ever used. I bet it was rotten.”

“Daddy, you’ve got to get this thing off of me!”

“Well, hold your horses. Let’s see now. Can you hand me that other belt over there?”

Well, my view was pretty much limited and since my arms were trapped, I was not going to be much help.

“No sir,” I said. “I’m trapped.”

Sittin’ cross legged, starin’ at your crotch with a lawnmower on your head is really not as much fun as you would think it would be. You start thinkin’ about stuff; all sorts of stuff. I was thinkin’ about how they were goin’ to straighten me out to get me in my casket.

It was then I noticed that I could move my left shoulder. I raised it up, and the tractor moved. I grunted and raised it some more, and was able to move my head up and onto my right shoulder. I grunted and raised it some more, and then moved my head further back until it popped back and the mower was now on my chest, but my head was stickin’ out. Of course my arms and legs were still trapped, but at least I could see.

In his younger days, my dad could have picked the mower up with his bare hands, but as they say, time takes its toll.

“There you are,” said my dad. “Now, can you hand me that belt?”

I turned my head to look where he was pointin’. The belt was in a place that he was unable to get to, because the lawnmower and I were in the way. I grunted again, and was able to pull my right arm out from under the deck and was able to get the belt. I handed it to Daddy, and he swiftly wrapped it around the axle, and within seconds had the behemoth off of me.

I scooted out from underneath the mower, and slowly stood up. Besides bein’ a lot more limber, I was no worse for the wear. Oh, I had a scratch on the top of my bald head, a scrape on the back of my neck, and what felt like heck of a bruise between my shoulder blades. But heck; if you ain’t squirtin’ blood and you don’t see bones or guts, you ain’t hurt, right?

“Sorry about that?” said Daddy.

“Wudn’t your fault,” I said.

“You alright?”

“I’ll live.”

“Good, now get back down there and get those blades on. I’ve got to mow.”

“Yes sir,” I sighed.

Rusty Mitchum lives in New Harmony, Texas, where he writes a regular column for The Lindale News and Times. He says the only reason he writes is to keep the voices away.