We owned our riding lawn mower a good month or so before I noticed its best feature: the beverage cup holder. I couldn’t believe Cooter didn’t point it out when he sold the mower to me. This being Texas, there’s only one beverage that belongs on a riding lawn mower. So in honor of Hank Hill, I popped open an Alamo Ale and mowed the lawn.
I can now impart words of wisdom for mowing and drinking:
1. Drink really fast. Mowing means warm weather which means . . . warm beer. To prime yourself, drink one while you fill up the gas tank. An alternative would be to invest in a koozie. Better yet, get a koozie and drink fast.
2. Don’t forget, safety first. Remember, you’re riding for two now. Beware of bushes and low hanging branches which could knock your beer off the mower.
3. Buy a cooler attachment. When shopping for a mower, look for a model that has a cooler attachment or extra space for you to attach one. The only thing worse than actually mowing the lawn is having to go back inside for more beer while mowing the lawn. The Germans have probably already dealt with this mowing/beer issue, so a German mower may be your best bet.
4. Carry a cell phone. In case you accidentally cut off your foot, you’ll need to dial 911. More importantly, if you haven’t attached a cooler, you can call your wife inside to get off her lazy butt and bring you another round.
5. Get the right size for the job. I’m not talking about horse-power, I’m talking about number of beers. For example, my two-acre yard is a 6-pack. (Half of you probably think I have a big yard, while the other half think I just drink too slow. And everyone might be right.) We all have our limits, so know yours and keep enough beer chilled for the job. Also, size matters. Obviously if you’re drinking 40’s, cut back on the number.
6. Drink what you like. Some of my mowing buddies have argued that the perfect beer pairing for mowing is a lite American lager. Not true. Remember, a riding lawn mower doesn’t require much effort. Feel free to drink a heavier beer like Guinness. (Note: Check local laws before making your purchase. In Texas, for example, the law requires that you drink only Shiner, Pearl, Lone Star or Alamo while doing yard work.)
7. Watch for back blasts. Be careful when mowing against walls, fences, trees and shrubbery. The back blast may blow dirt, leaves, grass or even locusts into your beer. Protect your beer by planning your route carefully. Or, just avoid those areas.
8. Be neighborly. If you see your neighbor mowing while you’re mowing, raise your beer and toast him. (In Texas, make sure the Pearl, Shiner, Lone Star or Alamo label is visible, to avoid legal issues.) Hopefully, he has also planned well and you don’t have to offer him one.
9. Pay attention. Just because you’re drinking fast doesn’t mean you should drive fast. If you notice that you’ve had to re-mow a few spots, slow down. If you notice that you re-mowed the same spot five times, head on in: you may have over/under estimated how many beers it takes to mow your yard.