I Fought The Lawn, and The Lawn Won

A couple of weeks ago it was mostly weeds that I mowed, tall gangly things with weird haircuts, like the neighborhood toughs hanging around after everyone else has gone to bed. Oh, I don’t have a lawn I have a yard. It’s a place for the dogs not the grass. It’s a place where things grow and things are not grown. It’s survival of the fittest for the most part and all I do is keep it from getting knee deep out there.


The only practical reason I have for mowing my yard is it keep the tick population down. Ticks attack from overhanging vegetation and they’re hidden from the view of predators in shaggy conditions. One year, I decided to stop mowing and my neighbors mowed the front yard for me. It embarrassed me into action, and so now I have an impractical reason for mowing.


Art has been a friend of mine since the late eighties. I remember helping his sister and fiancé clean his apartment while he was at work one day. We hauled away four of five bog trash bags of garbage and discovered that his beige curtains were actually white. Incredibly, Art has turned into a Lawn Person, and when he’s over here, he has the same visage as an abolitionist who is touring a uranium mine slave camp. Art sees in my yard thousands of blades of grass yearning to be free and green. They are malnourished and dehydrated. No one has ever checked their PH, or ever so much as de-thatched them.  Art wanders the yard like a man who wants to take all the dogs in the pound home with him. Yet he is unable to safe even one of them, from a fate worse than death.


Art’s yard looks like a golf course on steroids. Once, when his wife and kids were away I helped him clean out his inflatable pool. We moved it closer to the house, and when we slid it across the yard, the spot where it has been for a couple of months was yellowed and browned. It was like watching someone remove a bandage from a gangrenous wound. Had he been able to sell his kidneys to finance a pool that hovered about the ground, not touching the grass, I think he would have.  As the pool was refilled he stared at it, realizing that hundred of blades of grass were being condemned to a slow, black, death.


To see this man in action is to watch a man possessed. He waters with a three rain gauges in the yard, to make sure the correct amount of water is spread evenly. He times himself as he walks across the yard, er, lawn, with the hand cranked fertilizer spreader. He sends soil samples to labs in three different states. He aerates, rakes, de-thatches, bags, levels, and knows each of these blades of grass by their first names.


Then he runs over them with a lawn mower and cuts their heads off.



Art came over one day with a DVD exhorting the virtues of the well kept lawn. It was like watching a training video for a religious cult. An hour of my life that I will never be able to regain drained away while I watched someone make a living conning people into having pet grass. I remained unconverted. Art went away as if he had just reveled to me a film of someone walking on water, yet I remained an atheist. He didn’t speak to me for a week.


At least I didn’t have to worry about hum burning a cross in my yard.


So today I mow the weeds, the leaves, the struggling grass, and a variety of vegetation that has survived being in my yard. The dogs have dug holes in the back, so it’s like mowing a bombing range in some places. Sam trenches when he digs; long straight mole seeking excavations, two feet deep in places. Bert digs bunker complexes that we might use in case of nuclear attack. All of this is my yard, all of this adds personality, character, and keep me from any more work than I have to do. All in all, Art and I have the same take. When it is all said and done, we both cut the grass.


Take Care,


Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/28/2008 4:58:48 PM
Long may he run, Charles!

Charles   Charles wrote
on 4/28/2008 4:54:25 PM
Mike, you nailed it again. Long live the (John) Deere.

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/23/2008 4:59:06 PM
Sweetpea, I have my moments

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/23/2008 4:58:55 PM
Dani, Scary is a good word here,really.

danicpa68   danicpa68 wrote
on 4/21/2008 4:57:06 AM
I can't believe Art didn't speak to you for a week. He IS serious about his lawn. It's almost a little scary. Thanks for the laugh.

Mike Firesmith
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writing Mike Firesmith
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A Man, A Mower, and not much else.
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