Boom and Busted

A couple pf weeks ago, my son-in-law was mowing our lawn when our lawn mower suddenly stopped working, for no discernible reason. I was puzzled, so I sent the attached picture to my brother, who is much more mechanically inclined than I am. (I am a writer and not much good for anything else.)

DSCN6012 (2)

Along with the photo, I sent my brother the following message:

     I don’t know a lot about motors. Since you know more about these things than I do, can you answer some questions:

  1. Is there supposed to be a hole like this in the side of the motor?
  2. Could this be why the mower stopped working?
  3. Can it be fixed?

My brother answered:

  1. Yes.
  2. No.
  3. Yes.
  4. No.

I was still confused. So I wrote my brother again:

     I asked you three questions, but you gave me four answers. Please elucidate.

My brother answered:

  1. Yes, you know very little about motors.
  2. No, there is not supposed to be a hole.
  3. Yes, this is why the motor stopped.
  4. No, this cannot be fixed.

Then he added:

     Many companies have full-time employees who do nothing but answer silly questions like the ones you asked.

I didn’t find these answers very satisfactory. I decided to seek another opinion, one that would at least be less insulting. So, I asked some of my writer friends the same questions. Two of them provided the same answer to the last question:

     Yes. Use duct tape.

Good friends. Good writers. Like me, sadly, not much good for anything else.







About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins grew up in the small town of Waterford, Ontario. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He earned a B.A. (English and History) and M.A. (History) from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., a Diploma in Christian Studies from Regent College in Vancouver, and a Ph.D (History) from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He then served briefly as an editor with the Mennonite Brethren Herald for 19 years. During the first seven of those years, he lived in Winnipeg, a period he remembers as the longest winter of his life. Eventually, he turned to a life of crime writing. The hero of his murder mystery books, John Smyth, is named after the 17th-century English Separatist who was the subject of his doctoral dissertation and is modelled on his own life as an editor – except that, at five-foot-four, he is much taller than John Smyth. He and his wife Jackie live in Abbotsford, B.C., where he ekes out a living as an editor and writer. For more information, check out his website:
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3 Responses to Boom and Busted

  1. Thanks for the laugh!


  2. A jolly good story “cuzin” Jim 😉


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