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Front Porch: You can’t make stories like this one up!

Tom J Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

September 7, 2022

3 Min Read
man riding all-electric riding lawnmower
TRUSTY MOWER? This person has an all-electric riding lawnmower. Will it be trouble-free? Time will tell — but wouldn’t that be boring if it is? No good stories to tell! Tom J. Bechman

An Indianapolis-area radio personality promotes “the popcorn moment.” He says, “It’s the story you must hear to believe. So, grab your popcorn.”

This story is funny. It’s 98% true, and it didn’t happen to me! So, grab your favorite snack.

Joe and Betty Lou Park, Trafalgar, Ind., mow enough acreage to justify owning a heavy-duty riding lawn mower. Joe’s trusty lawn mower developed issues as the 2021 mowing season ended. He hauled it to his local dealer.

“Well, it needs about $1,000 in parts and repairs,” the mechanic said.

“Yes, I’m not surprised,” Joe replied.

“And it needs a new motor, too.”

“My engine is toast? Are you sure?”

“It’s kaput,” the mechanic insisted. A new engine was costly, if they could find one — COVID-19, you know.

Back home, someone told Joe and Betty Lou about a wholesale engine warehouse. He discovered he could buy an engine from there considerably cheaper than any other options. It could be shipped to the repair shop. Joe agreed, hoping the engine would appear before the Easter Bunny.

Chapter 2

Unfortunately, it never showed. Joe got the runaround from the warehouse. To this day, the engine hasn’t shown up!

On a warm spring day, Joe browsed for new lawn mowers like his. He liked a model with new features. Just one problem: The only dealer with one was two hours away.

“Let’s go get it. The grass is growing,” Joe said.

Off they went, truck and trailer, down I-65 into Kentucky. Back home, Joe was like a kid in Toyland —except his “toy” was pricier than any child’s.

Two weeks later, Joe’s phone rang.

“Mr. Park, your mower will be ready this week,” said the service manager for the local dealership.

“Did the new engine come in?” Joe asked.

Silence. Finally, he responded, “It didn’t need a new engine. For $1,000, it’s ready to mow.”

“But the mechanic said …” Joe began.

“That mechanic doesn’t work here anymore,” the manager deadpanned.


End of story, right? Not quite. The good news? Joe and Betty Lou sold their old mower to recoup some costs. The bad news?

Barely into mowing season, the new mower wouldn’t start. Joe charged the battery. A couple of weeks later, the same thing happened. Since it was under warranty, he got a new battery for free, only he had to install it.

Two weeks later, he turned the switch — nothing! He charged the battery. Two weeks later, turned the switch, nothing again.

“Our local dealer said he couldn’t work on the mower because it was under warranty and we bought it somewhere else,” Betty Lou explained. “That’s a two-hour trip on expensive gas — not happening.”

A third dealer — yes, grab a scorecard — 30 minutes away said, “Bring it over.” But after they unloaded the mower, the service manager said, “Oh, it’s a warranty issue? We can’t fix it.”

Back at the truck, Joe gave Betty Lou the bad news.

“Let’s just head to Kentucky,” Joe said.

“Not happening,” Betty Lou insisted.

While they chatted, the service manager reappeared. “Good news,” he said. “It’s not a warranty issue. Someone didn’t install the new battery correctly. Give us 30 minutes and $35, and you’re good to go.”

On their way home, Betty Lou called me.

“Tom, we have a story for your Front Porch,” she said, and told me the tale. “Is it good enough?”

“Oh, yes, it’s good enough,” I replied, still laughing.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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