Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Wayne Brennan--"Green, Green Grass" (mp3)
Ben Folds--"Rockin' The Suburbs" (mp3)

Grass, when you think about it, doesn't make a lot of sense.

Let's see, how about we plant a bunch of tiny, expensive, cultivated seeds over half an acre and worry over those seedlings endlessly and feed them and try to keep the weeds away and jack up our water bills to try to keep them green and then the water makes them grow faster and then we have to do more work to keep them looking good. So good, of course, that we would never dare walk or drive or practice golf on them because that would mess them up.

Left to fend for themselves, these blades would not last 5 years before they were crowded out completely by stronger, tougher weeds. They can only survive with constant oversight from human beings. Like me.

It would be smarter to plant a lawn of chives.

Same tall, firm stalks, slower growth rate. And, anytime I wanted an herb for a recipe or a garnish for a massive baked potato party, I'd have plenty, and after a fresh mowing, the whole yard would give off a gentle, oniony smell. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........

A year or so ago, I got the crazy notion that I wanted to have a nice lawn. Years and years of living in a nice neighborhood have battered at my sensibilities and convinced me that it is important to care what the neighbors might think. I got the even crazier notion that I had a little disposable income and that it would be worth it to pay someone else to create that nice lawn.

All I can say is what has been said many, many times, though still we never learn: careful what you wish for.

In my old world, a drought was the best thing that could possibly happen. Dead grass don't grow. Get outside every week or so and mow down the weeds, commiserate with the neighbors about how dry everything is, and then go on your deck and crack a beer and celebrate the Sahara-like nature of July, August, and September in Tennessee.

In my new world, which began last spring, my lawn care professional, the father of one of my daughter's friends, is very, very good at what he does. His business is called The Grass Is Greener for a reason. He knows what needs to be done to my lawn each month of the year in order to maximize its potential. When he seeded the bare spots of my lawn in late July, with orders to keep those areas evenly moist, I got into the game, too. But the drought started the next day. Each night, I stalked my yard with a hose at half mast (you don't want to blast those seeds away), searching for seeded areas looking for nourishemnt. For as long as I could, I tried to keep those bare spots damp with fertile possibility. I failed. The heat won. Or did it? My grass looks better than ever right now.

In my new world this spring, as part of his evil master plan, my lawn care professional puts some stuff on my grass every month and now it is growing like a bastard. I can't stop it, I can't slow it, and I can't keep up with it. And the local weather has gotten into the act, spacing out its rain so that it always rains the day after I cut the grass every time I cut the grass.

A year or so into it, I have one of the thickest, healthiest lawns in the neighborhood. I've even had a few neighbors ask me about who maintains my lawn. I want to scream, "I do! I'm the poor sucker you see out here every 4 or 5 days trying to hack away at this giant field of grass on steroids!"

Grass, when you think about it, doesn't make a lot of sense, and when you're cutting it all the time, you spend a lot of time thinking about how little sense it makes. I live in a nice neighborhood with plenty of other nice lawns (though few as nice as mine this year!) and almost none of us can ever be seen setting foot on our canvases, our masterpieces, except for that day when our grass has passed that nearly imperceptible point where it's longer than the other showpiece lawns in the neighborhood and we drag ourselves out, tired as dogs, to get our lawns back on top in between the rains.

Global warming, you have let me down!

Wayne Brennan and Ben Folds are both available at Itunes.


Jason said...

Ahh, what I would do right now to have these compliants. I may agree with you in 5 years, but the cement paradise where I am from just makes me realize how I love just simple, steroid driven grass.

troutking said...

I have read this post seven times and used the control-F find feature and I can't find a single mention of or oblique reference to slugocide. Yet it's on the label. I'm now worried I won't be able to handle my summer reader group, as my reading skills have apparently deteriorated so drastically.

Bob said...

Trout, you have not examined the photographs carefully enough.

Daytimerush said...

This made my day. Especially the slug.

troutking said...

Thanks, Bob. You can change thing to make me look foolish and I can't do anything about my old posts. Plus that slug looks like it's going to commit Bobocide not vice versa.

jed said...

mowing the grass is theraputic when you are not pressured.

Bob said...

Jed, I completely agree. If I can every get ahead of it, the therapy will return, I hope.