Who invented the nylon cord strimmer? Was it Nathaniel P. Strimmer, the American gardening entrepreneur? If so, he needs shooting.
In my life I have been the not-so-proud owner of four or five strimmers. You know the sort. Underneath there's a "self-feeding" cartridge containing nylon cord. And the idea is that if your cord snaps, as it is wont to do every three minutes, the strimmer will magically feed out another length so that you can continue merrily strimming.
I need a strimmer in order to tackle the grassy edgings of our lawns and paths - getting in all those awkward places where my Bosch lawnmower won't go. Only, I seem to spend more time dismantling the bottom of my strimmer and then manually feeding through more of the extra-breakable strimmer cord. Take this morning. I must have turned that bloody strimmer upside down at least twenty times till in the end I just gave up and came back inside to write this ranting blogpost.
Once, long ago, when we first moved into this house, our new garden had become a veritable jungle. This had sprouted during the springtime of 1989 - in the months after our bid for the house had been accepted - and it now resembled the deepest forests of Borneo. I hired a petrol-driven strimmer and set off into that jungle telling Shirley and the kids that I might be gone for some time - "It's a jungle out there!" I wore goggles and ear protectors and rather than having nylon cord that beast of a strimmer had a lethal chain underneath that desiccated unwanted greenery and toes like Attila and his Huns ransacking the Balkans.
Now that was a real strimmer. The nylon corded ones I have owned have all been wimpy - like Old Etonians at a Yorkshire beer festival. Perhaps Nathaniel P. Strimmer designed the nylon corded strimmer to drive users towards the brink of insanity. I speak from personal experience for I have stood on that brink with strimmer in the air, waving it like a shillelagh while emitting blood-curdling battle cries.
Maybe I should just have the entire garden concreted - then I'll never have to use a strimmer again. Or perhaps there's somebody out there working on a new, effective strimmer design. I live in hope.