Our first house had a great deal of grass in the front and back (and side) yards. Our first lawn mower was given to us by my father-in-law, who may have been trying to kill me. I had to have a garden hose at the ready when I pulled the starter cord, because more often than not, it would catch fire somewhere. Shutting it off, should I be lucky enough to get it running, was accomplished by separating spark plug wire from spark plug. Oh, and it came with one wheel larger than the other three.
I was never so happy as that day when I could afford a trip to K-Mart to buy their cheapest lawn mower. Oh, the luxury!