Please welcome our funny friend, Slim Randles as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. This piece resonates with me as I have often wondered the “why” of lawns and lawn care. Enjoy. And if you like what Slim shares here, you might enjoy his book, Home Country, which is a collection of his essays. Great gift for Father’s Day.
It’s idolatry, pure and simple. Why else would millions of men spend billions of dollars each year on something that simply takes work and means time away from having fun with friends and family?
It’s worship. Worship of tiny little plants invading our yards. It’s lawn-o-mania.
Since man first invented the yard, he’s wanted it to look just like everyone else’s, and has donated years of his life and portions of his fortune to accomplish this. He’s polluted the air with power-mower fumes, used up enough fresh water in his devotion to enable us to grow vegetables in Saudi Arabia, and has neglected his family enough to warrant locking him away.
Let’s face it; the plague of locusts in ancient Egypt couldn’t bring him to his knees in prayer, but a plague of nut grass or dandelions will leave him nearly prostrate on a hot summer’s day.
If it isn’t a religion, why else would people spend money to buy stuff in a bag to put on a lawn to make it grow faster so it has to be mowed more often?
Now if this were a practical lawn, it would make some sense. We’d fertilize it, encourage it to grow quickly and thickly, turn water on it to help in the process, turn cattle on it to mow it, and then barbecue the cows.
But to grow grass just to cut it down? Try telling that to a class in logic down at Jerry Hat Trick Junior College and see how far you get.
So this time of year, take a look at your neighbor out there whacking down healthy grass that is simply trying to do what he tells it to. Try to appreciate the sweat and work it takes to keep millions of tiny plants from realizing their potential. But forgive him, as he is a faithful follower of green expanses and garages full of gear. He is, in his way, lighting candles to Saint Briggs and Saint Stratton and praying against the onset of cutworms.
Faith is a powerful force.