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In pursuit of a lawnmower

Last night I got serious, after looking at push mowers at Sears and Quaglino's and after looking once at sears.com. I went back to sears.com and ordered one. I had two choices for pickup: 3-5 day wait at the SLO store, or I could get one from the Santa Maria store immediately. I wanted it NOW. So I said Santa Maria. The info page said to wait until I got an email from the store, confirming that they had found the item and put my name on it.

When I had not gotten an email by noon today I went back to the website and checked the status of the order. It said it had been cancelled. Well, I didn't cancel it. How annoying. I figured, though, that if the Santa Maria store had the item I'd just go get it.

So finally that's what I started out to do. I got there, found the pickup area, verified that there was no order waiting for me, and went to lawn & garden. There a nice woman said she'd check the stock, taking my papers with her (the order papers). She came back several minutes later, not sure which one I wanted. So I pointed out the one in the display. She went back, discovered that they did not, in fact, have it in stock, even though their inventory said they did. They could order it, she said. What's the point in that? I thoughts. So I thanked her and left.

It occurred to me, as I sat at the pretzel place with my fresh pretzel (the real reason I went to Santa Maria), that I could go farther south to Home Depot and they'd probably have some kind of push mower. So I went.

And yes, they did. They had two standard push mowers, neither on display but they were on the shelves, and they had one odd one that apparently pushes the yard cuttings in front of the mower. I am not sure what the meaning of that is. I was glad I looked inside the box, though, to see it, because I could tell nothing from the box itself. I ended up getting a different one, similar in specs to the one at Sears that I wanted. I also threw in a flat hose, "as seen on tv", and still got out of that store with twenty bucks to spare, which is to say I spent twenty bucks less on these two items than I would have to buy the mower at sears. I am sure the Craftsman mower would be better quality but for my lawn it probably isn't a big deal. I feel good enough about my choice. I am about to put the baby together, of course, so maybe I'll change my mind.

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Judith Lautner
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