It was a relic but he loved it. An old lawn mower, probably made shortly after World War II ended. No fancy motor. No flimsy aluminum. Just a simple lawn mower. His grandfather used it in the 1950s, his father in the 1970s, and now it was his.
The handles, after decades of use, worn smooth of the original varnish that had covered them. They reminded him of two miniature bowling pins attached in opposite directions into a solid 2×4 wooden beam that ran the length of the mower to the rolling, cutting device. Cast iron wheels turned steel blades that needed sharpened each season. Other than sharpening and a little oil on the mechanism, it seemed the relic would operate at peak efficiency forever.
He whistled as the aroma of freshly-hewn lawn tickled his nostrils and a soft, fresh scent drifted upwards. He’d attached a makeshift bag to catch the severed blades of green, and stopped every so often to empty the cuttings onto the compost heap.
Although the small suburban lawn didn’t require a huge time commitment that morning, he still worked up a good sweat in one of the last sticky, humid dog days of summer.
A refreshing shower awaited him. The century-old house had been redone inside, adding a small shower and a toilet next to the master bedroom where a closet had been. He’d done the work himself, though not considered a craftsman.
After stripping off his grubby clothing and dropping them into the dirty clothes hamper, he stepped into the tiny shower area crammed against the toilet.
The water temperature was ice cold and he cursed his lack of plumbing expertise, but knew how to solve the problem.
Stepping out of the shower, dripping wet, he got down on all fours. With his cheek touching the floor and his rear in the air, he groped for the spigot that would switch the warm water into his waiting shower.
Through the open bathroom door, a dog meandered into the room. Dogs can be curious, and this Golden Labrador Retriever sauntered into the bathroom to investigate what task his master might undertake. The cold canine nose found the human area of the master’s buns that now faced it, startling the master and causing him to jerk his head upward, cracking it on the bottom of the toilet tank.
The master howled in pain as the lab, sensing that it had created a faux pas, turned and raced out of the bathroom.
A lump was beginning to rise where skull had met porcelain and pain shot through this head but he was now more determined to turn the sticking valve. Once again, he exposed his most private parts to the door behind him and, certain the dog would not return, stretched, cheek on the floor, head twisted snugly against the tank’s bottom, stretched his arm toward the stubborn valve.
The lab scooted into the kitchen and the water bowl, curled up, and began to nap. The cat took its place in the tiny bathroom.
Cats don’t have cold noses as do dogs. Instead they are attracted to dangly things, seeing them as prey to be clawed and captured.
(Let your imagination flow for a few moments)
And that is the story that he refused to tell the nurse in the Emergency Room at the local hospital when asked how the injuries had occurred.