An English In Kentucky


















Saturday August11th 2018Tim Candler9


      I think the First World War started in August, so best not to pretend that everyone heads for the book shops or swimming pools, deck chairs, beach outfitters and summer holidays, and that nothing happens in August. Here where I live there's immense tension around a bad tempered and cantankerous small engine that cannot be removed from its mowing blade. The machine has been sitting around for far too long and the cause of tension revolves around the extent to which the engine is worth repairing or whether it joins that thunder cloud of contraptions in the barn that comprise the 99% chance of being dragged off to the twice annual county's amnesty for old bits of metal, appliances, everything else except rusted out fence wire. In the good old days of course citizens would just throw stuff off the cliff, watch it splash into the Green River, and then with a job well done wander on home to bathe in the suavity of their well appointed and entirely functional barn, with plenty of room to maybe play ping-pong, or tenniquoites, or possibly beach bowling or corn-hole without risking tetanus shots or a trip to the emergency room. 



    The engine is a 6hp Briggs and Stratton which soon after emerging from its cardboard box somehow in the summer of 1997 or 1998 became permanently bonded to a mowing blade. The machine itself has since been modified so as to enhance its capacity to serve and basically it needs a new pretty much everything. The question is the cost of new parts for an engine, never easy or peaceful staring at the price list, and more often than not following those sort of major tickling experiences an engine is still in a deep sulk and has no intention of doing anything useful, like at least pretending to start. So after long discussion my side of the engine/gardener relationship has offered a new genuine head gasket from the mail order, about $5, none of this stuff that comes in a tube from Big Lots and is impossible to get off but which only cost about a $1.50. As well as all those none metal bits that make up a carburetor will be new from mail order, they all cost about $4.00. And I'm going to go nuts by spending $9.00 on a brand new breather with gasket so the plug doesn't keep fouling and the exhaust doesn't blow black smoke. With slow magazine rate shipping we're talking something like $28.00, which I reminded the engine is dozens and dozens of those Raspberry filled doughnuts!

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