Well, my brand new power washer was stolen overnight. 3,000 p.s.i. gone; just like that. Briggs and Stratton engine on that bad boy. Just repeating "Briggs and Stratton" makes me grieve. Though not as meaningful as "Braxton-Hicks," the very name "Briggs and Stratton" always gave me the closest thrill a man could feel to the quickening and expectation of effacement. The sheer power of the name was always confirmed when I started that mighty engine up. It was like giving birth to something new ... only without the excruciating pain, pouring sweat, and smeared blood of actual labor. Small details, right?
But those days are gone with the thieves who knocked some of my fence down, prised open the latch on my shed (I had a sheathed lock, so of course there was no cutting through it), and took my Briggs and Stratton along with a Toro lawn mower. I can almost, and I mean "almost," let the mower go. But the loss of my Briggs and Stratton is nearly too much to bear. They even took a small 1 gallon gas can that only had about .10 of a gallon in it; no doubt a sign of the times of ridiculously high gas prices.
I went through four of Kübler-Ross's stages of grief and loss this morning: denial (repairing the fence, as if that were the only problem), bargaining (driving through the neighborhood thinking that I might just be able to locate my property), anger (being snippy and rude to S-townWife, who was just as unhappy), depression (sulking at breakfast). If this blog entry is any indication, I still have not moved on to the fifth stage of acceptance as yet, but I'm sure I shall.
The thieves should get a lot of mileage out of that yard equipment, because I just changed the oil. But they need to be sure and clean the air filter on the mower; it's past due. Also, I always add a fuel stabilizer to the gas to keep the engines performing well; I noticed that they did not bother to take the remaining tube of stabilizer I had left. But dad gummit, if you're going to steal somebody else's equipment, why not take those additives that will keep it running in peak condition? The breakdown of social order should not have to lead to the breakdown of our power products.
Well, I have to go recycle all of that oil I changed out of my stolen machines now. Got to keep doing my part to protect the environment, because even though barbarians are obviously at the back fence, "We still live in a society, you know!," as Seinfeld's George Costanza was often wont to scream. We also have sped up our mission to find a family dog, who will patrol the back yard. Maybe we need two. If they are worthy of the name, maybe I'll call them "Briggs" and "Stratton."