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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: An accidental case of homemade confetti

By JOE DILLARD/MISSOURIAN READER
April 7, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Joe Dillard's confetti-making machine, a.k.a. his lawn mower.

Joe G. Dillard, a longtime Columbia resident, recently published his first book, "A Full Cup of Joe," a autobiography of his funny life experiences thus far.

All this little trick takes is a newspaper and a zero-turn high-performance, gas-powered, GrassHopper lawn mower with three cutting blades.

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I first learned this technique while mowing our front yard.  It was getting late in the afternoon, about time for the evening newspaper to arrive.  And, knowing how much my wife likes to read it, I decided as soon as it got here I would just scoop it up and take it to her (points earned!).

Well, sure enough before long here came the newspaper; plopped right in the middle of our driveway.  I was on it like a big dust.

I went roaring down the drive on the GrassHopper at full speed. I didn’t even turn the blades off.  Being a big lazy bum, I didn’t want to stop and get off of the mower.  No, I thought, I will just pull up good and close and then I can lean over, grab the paper and be off to the house with the prize.

I pulled up as close to the paper as I could, and then it happened.  Those whirling blades create a vacuum to stand the grass up for a cleaner cut.  In this case there was no grass, just a newspaper tightly rolled up on the driveway.  First there was an awful noise and then a big fan of confetti sprayed out from under the mower.  My wife’s evening news was now about a half a bushel of really, really fine paper strips!  No points for old Joe!

Take home lesson: Turn the blades of your lawn mower off before you get too close to paper products unless you intend to make home-made confetti.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.