Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Rough Turf

By Conrad Spencer

Everyone who grew up in the rolling green vales of mid-century suburban development knew the grumpy retired guy who mowed his grass everyday and yelled at the kids cutting through his yard.

Take that guy, give him a shotgun, and you have Charles Martin of Union Township, Ohio, who shot 15 year-old Larry Mugrage twice for walking across his yard.

I've never been big on lawns, and I've always failed to understand people who are. Should I ever devote more lazy summer Saturday afternoons to lawn care than to, say, drinking beer and watching baseball, or drinking beer and reading, or drinking beer then napping, or drinking beer and doing anything other than lawn care then my life has gone terribly awry and an intervention is called for at once.

In fact, "lawn care" is a bit of a misnomer here, because while I have a "yard" I don't really have a "lawn." I have assorted grass and weeds that never get fertilized or re-seeded, just mowed occasionally to control the vermin and keep me in compliance with city ordinances. I can give you the social, environmental and aesthetic reasons why I dislike lawns, but mostly I feel I have better ways to spend the coin of my life.

That being said, many in my God-fearing red state suburbia feel differently. Some men treasure their lawns. They obsess. They tend to their lawns with a devotion unseen in most marriages. They go into debt to give their lawns the seed, the water, the fertilizer they crave. Some men, apparently, will even kill for their lawns.

And you just know that silent, impassive lawn will never appreciate it.


At 1:00 PM, Anonymous turtleboi said...

I will never hear King Missile's "Mr. Johnson" the same way again. That story saddened me. Personally, I think Mr. Martin was just looking for an excuse. The envy of youth can be overbearing for some.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Brett said...

"That being said, many in my God-fearing red state suburbia feel differently."
God-fearing red state suburbia, eh? It's gratuitous insertions like that, Mr. Spencer, that lead me to suspect you may be more into lawn care than you claim -- you have, after all, produced a significant amount of fertilizer here using only your computer.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger CGHill said...

I have two rules regarding my own property:

1) Do not have the best lawn on the block.

2) Do not have the worst lawn on the block.

So far, this has worked wonderfully for me.


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