I receive a visitor.

“It’s very good of you,” says Big A appreciatively.

“It’s no problem,” I reply, and it really isn’t. That is the good thing about living in a small village. People borrow other peoples’ stuff all the time. I start decanting the petrol into his can.

“Are you sure you don’t need this?” he asks.

“Nonono,” I reply. “To be honest, I never use it since I got rid of the petrol mower. The electric one’s a pain in the arse, but at least it starts every time.”

There is a small amount of crud in the mixture. I fetch some kitchen roll to filter it.

“What happened to your petrol mower?”

“Heap of shit,” I reply. “I don’t know whether it was the starter, or the filter, or the carb, or whatever.” I scowl. I had enjoyed having the mower whilst it lasted, but that wasn’t very long, and £150 is a lot of money for what is basically the equivalent of a gardener’s cock extension. Also, even after eighteen months, my arm is still a bit sore from tugging away at the starter cord, punching and kicking it, etc., during my heroic yet vain attempts to get the thing to work.

The final drips emerge from the can; I reach for the lid.

Something nags at me as go to screw it on. I hold the can up to my face.

“It smells a bit odd. Does this smell odd?” I ask.

We both smell the petrol, then smell the petrol again. Neither of us are sure that it smells like petrol. It smells, perhaps, like the can has once had petrol in it, but has been refilled with – say – weedkiller, or a weak lemony drink.

“Are you sure that’s petrol?” he asks.

Big A dips some kitchen roll in the mixture and waves his lighter at it. The flame burns a square inch of paper before fizzling out, wetly.

“Well I thought it was petrol. To be honest, I haven’t used it since I had to dump the mower because it wouldn’t start.”

We look at each other.

“Oh.”

29 Comments

  1. Hang on…if you put weak lemony drink in the lawnmower…

  2. You do realise you could build an entire sitcom episode around this one incident, right?

    Brilliant, just brilliant.

  3. And due to space constraints I dropped the bit when the vicar arrived.

  4. I hope you aren’t expecting us to tell you that you’re NOT a fuckwit, are you?

  5. Muppet!

  6. Yup. Fuckwit. But not an evil fuckwit though, take comfort in that. An evil fuckwit would’ve found a way to blame the LTLP…that’s not tomorrow’s episode is it?

  7. Thank you, its like seeing a train in the distance thundering towards you, still a suprise when it arrives.
    Your posts are like a ray of sunshine on a drab and dreary day.

  8. Is it so very wrong to snigger, recognising all the while that I would probably do exactly the same, I suspect. Brilliant.

  9. So I’m the only one who assumed this whole post was Jonny segueing into his new career as a sex blogger? You know… with the cord tugging… I did wonder what ‘smelling the petrol’ was a euphemism for.

  10. Doing it is fine, but it’s the sharing in public thing that I find puzzling. I try to keep such things quiet…

  11. I hope you didn’t try “at least it wasn’t your car” to mitigate the fuckwittery. Say you are.

  12. You made this one up, you did, just to write a funny post. Because nobody could be that…uh…

    …mistaken…?

  13. Can’t stop there, Jonny – your root cause analysis is barely begun. For a start, I think you should take a nice big swig of your mystery liquid to establish whether it is indeed a weak lemony drink, and if so of what variety. Is it Sprite, cursed abomination of the Coca Cola company, or is it pure, refreshing Mountain Dew, filtered through the kidneys of angels?

    If it’s neither, then of course we can go back to checking for flammability. Have Big Al chuck a few lit matches in your mouth. He should wear goggles for that, tho’. Health & Safety, you see…

  14. What’s the stuff you’ve been feeding Servelan then?

  15. Well if you did put weed killer in the petrol mower it will be well and truly knackered now any way so you’ll have to stick to the electric one which I do hope you use with a circuit breaker.

  16. Short grass is very louche these days anyway. All the best people have more of a savannah thing going on, a bit meadow-like.

  17. More info on the crud in the mixture please.

  18. Was WEEdkiller a clue?

    Someone ought to invent engines that used urine for fuel, so Tigers could lead happy and free lives.

    You’re good at inventions Jonny.

  19. Haha, this post made my day!

    Petrol mixed with weedkiller though, migth interest the police you wannabe terrorist.

  20. “Your posts are like a ray of sunshine on a drab and dreary day.”

    Unfortunate, then, that they don’t appear as often as drab, dreary days!

    Wonderful!

  21. “Around Madrid. With pants.” Why bother turning the comments off when you’re travelling, Jonny? Do you think someone will steal something? You can put your mind at rest there, I’m here to tell you…

    Best keep those pants on, too, knowing those greasy Spaniards, unless you want the next post to be “Back in Norfolk. With crabs.”

  22. Back in Norfolk. With crabs? Really Ivan, what sort of rube due you take Jonny to be? He’s the sort of boulevardier that would get nothing less than lobsters.

  23. *ahem*
    That should be “do” not “due”, obviously.

  24. Tee hee!
    But seriously can anyone explain to me why we have lawns? Masochism?

  25. Live lobsters in his underwear, Kermit? Yes – that would be an acceptable substitute. Especially if it were mating season.

  26. Around Madrid! My neck of the woods! 🙂
    Not all Spaniards are greasy, Ivan and not everyone who lives in Madrid is Spanish, for that matter…
    Hope you have a nice time “around Madrid”, JonnyB!

  27. He could get Lobsterisimus Bummakisimus – then you could have the worst job in the world retrieving them Ivan, according to Derek and Clive, that is.

  28. Retrieving them, Ducky? Why on Earth would I want to do that? Send some angry hornets in to keep them company, maybe, but I’m not pulling anything out of Jonny’s pants, thank you very much…

  29. @ Pat .. Can anyone explain why we have lawns?? Without lawns , they won’t be much to do during summer..lol

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