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"Man Fear" riles the roost

I admit it. I can stir up trouble. The particular variety I have been engaging in is “Man Fear.”

It begins when I say things like:

“We need a weed trimmer.”

“We need a riding lawn mower and I want one with a Z-turn.”

“I need a hedge trimmer so the azalea bushes can be cut by July.”

“I would like to have one of those small handheld cordless drill/screwdrivers to hang things around the house.”

These things probably cause The Carnivore to have a flashback to when we lived on a sailboat and I oversaw repairs, or actually did them, because the military was always sending him out of town.

There was the time when the 30 amp power plug burned out. I called The Carnivore for a consultation on hiring a repair person and what work he wanted done. He wanted to go up on amperage and we had the second higher connection at the dock.

So I bought the parts and power cords. I hired the man to do the work. Problem was the repair guy needed a bigger hole cutter saw than what he had on hand. I had bought a snazzier 50 amp model plug with telephone and cable TV connections on the plate. Repair guy said to ask my husband about cutting a bigger hole in the cockpit.

Nah! I knew what he wanted. I went into the cabin and came out with the right hole saw and hubby's powerful drill. I was pretty proud that I actually knew what was needed. You could tell the repair guy was raised right as he was suddenly respectful to a woman with a drill already plugged in to a power source.

Later that evening I proudly told my husband about my new adventure in drilling holes in boats.

He was apoplectic. This had to be his first case of “Man Fear” and, as he was overseas at the time, I think it left permanent scarring. To calm things I took photos and mailed them.

He was not consoled. I had cut a hole in his boat. I was barred from the tool box. Never mind that I bought the dang thing for him at Christmas.

Now we live on land and the azalea bushes have run amok, leaves by the ton fall from sycamores and oaks, needles and cones from pines decorate the landscape and I am planting things that need trimming. There's also 10-acres to be mowed.

That calls for power tools in my hands to “get 'er done.”

We shopped for the mower together. He is always happy to let me do the mowing, bless his soul. But prior to this home purchase it was always behind a “push it real good” machine.

I remember the first time he instructed me on how to operate the riding lawn mower that is my toy. Right after I put it in gear, he ran to the man cave to watch from a place where I could not run over him or the cats.

Then, I pulled a fast one a couple of years ago when I bought a weed whacker without permission. I have yet to find where it is hidden.

Next, I spotted a hedge trimmer on sale and bought it. I looked for that dang thing for a year before I found it in the sauna. Go figure. I never use the sauna because Florida weather makes me sweat out the toxins in my body rather regularly.

So this year I took Man Fear to a new level. “Where's the leaf blower?”

It's broke, said The Carnivore. I let the question linger. Didn't pull out the ACE Hardware sales flyer. Didn't price 'em elsewhere. Just mentioned a battery-powered one I saw.

I also saw the “Man Fear” in his eyes.

It did not last long.

When I got home from work that evening there was a new heavy duty leaf blower in the man cave. One way too powerful for me to operate.

The Carnivore let me know that.