Supertool

Lawn therapy

As a boy, The Husband liked to mow. He’d gladly push and pull the family Victa across the family’s sprawling corner block and trim the surrounds with a rotary edger. He loved lawn.

Nothing much has changed since then. Here at The Farm, he loves to crank up the tractor and slash the top paddock. He trades his suit for khaki trousers and shirt, dons ear muffs, and drags six-foot blades across month-long grass. Back and forth. Back and forth. It keeps him happy for hours.

So imagine his distress today when the slasher went kaput. The drive train stopped rotating so the slasher’s blades stopped spinning. The Husband jumped down, had a good look, lifted the slasher off the tractor then put it back on (I think that’s the equivalent of turning a computer off then on again. A reasonable strategy). But no go. So he drove the offending machinery back to his shed, sprayed it with lubricant, and came back to the house to think.

I let him be, distracted by my own battle with spiders webs and gecko poop. Thirty minutes later the slashing resumed for a spell, then a smug, khaki-clad mug reappeared in the kitchen.

“I fixed it,” he said.

“Of course you did,” I replied, as I unplugged the vacuum cleaner. “How?”

He reached into a small leather pouch attached to his belt and pulled out a pocket knife, flipping open a tool which looked like an industrial nail file.

“With this,” he said, launching into a detailed retelling.

Upon closer inspection, The Husband had found a defect in the steel where the slasher and tractor connected. It’s a tongue and groove relationship and one of the grooves had become bent out of shape. So the clever boy from the city jimmied it back into place with the rasp implement on his Leatherman Supertool, applying the same intelligence and finesse he employs when stenting defected bile ducts. Then he gave it a few bangs with a hammer, a skill he’s picked up watching more experienced land owners around these parts when they fix things.

It’s been a productive day.

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Angela Bensted is Brisbane-based freelance writer who likes to listen first and struggle with syntax later. She pitches stories to magazines and helps businesses produce compelling copy for print and online.

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