I was a little too quick on the lawnmower braggadocio a few weeks ago.
Sure, the belt is still in place, but now the starter is gone, so there's no power to even turn the blades.
Montavious Green and his portrait.
I don't know why it surprised me as I sat atop the mass of broken-down metal in the sweltering storage shed last Wednesday: It had already been a long day.
You see, my wife was on her way to Augusta to teach at Laney High Wednesday afternoon when her trusty Acura (which has been through thick and thin for 130,000 or so miles) just stopped.
An hour later, it was sitting on the back of one of Jimmy and Dena's wreckers and headed back to T-town and the garage of Thurmond Newsome.
One turn of the key and he knew the problem: the timing belt was gone, and he doesn't do timing belts anymore. And, oh yeah, they say you should change those things about every 50,000 miles. (Don't say no one ever told you now.)
So it was over to Doug Brown's for a new timing belt, followed by a new radiator and various other parts Thursday.
And the trip to Doug's was beneficial in another way. His encouragement to add a crossword puzzle to The Mirror, pushed me over the edge. So, starting this week, we're going to have a crossword puzzle each week. (It's on Page 2B; the solution is below.) If you like it, let me know. If you don't, go see Doug. It's all his fault.
Speaking of bright spots, Montavious Green provided one for me last week. He was one of dozens of kids who showed up for the Art Factory workshop at the Thomson-McDuffie County Library last Tuesday.
He was supposed to paint a self-portrait, but found his inspiration in a fat guy with grey hair (thanks to a suggestion from Library Director Suzan Harris).
I signed the finished product and it'll hang at the library until it takes a wall spot at The Mirror.
There's only one problem with the painting: Montavious couldn't figure out how to get my hair grey. They say television adds 15 pounds; paintings must add "Just For Men."
Dr. Joseph Greene's book-signing at the library Sunday evening was another bright spot for me last week.
The gathering of folks from across the area - including several of Dr. Greene's former student assistants - was a tribute to one of McDuffie County's true jewels.
His is a journey from the cotton fields of Emmanuel County through the segregated South and to the top of the business world.
He remembers being asked to sit on the back of the bus as he was traveling to Atlanta to fight for his country in Vietnam. But he also remembers his father, a Baptist preacher who never said a harsh word about another human being. And that example set the path for Dr. Greene.
"I was blessed with a loving heart," he said.
And we are blessed to have had his heart grow roots here.
One more thing:
The Mirror is celebrating two years in business next week with a little gathering.
Please allow me to kick off the festivities by thanking the thousands of folks who have joined our subscriber rolls and helped shape one of Georgia's best community newspapers.
Make no mistake, The Mirror would not be what it is today without each of you.
And I'm forever grateful to my hometown for that.