Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In the defense of grass

John Deere
Spring has sprung, daffodils are blooming, the grass is growing like weeds, and my poor misguided neighbors are once again out in their yards, beating their lawns back into shape with rake, hoe and John Deere.

But not me. I refuse. Cutting grass is a useless endeavor that never did anyone good. Besides, my yard has never done me harm. I can think of no quarrel I have had with it to make me want to abuse it while working up a sweat. Therefore, I choose to sit here in the shade, drink my sweet iced tea, and pray that one day my good neighbors will follow my example and leave their defenseless yards alone.

Did the Pilgrims come over on the Mayflower hauling lawnmowers, weed eaters and leaf blowers? Of course not. Does the constitution guarantee us the right to freedom of speech, religion and healthy Bermuda grass? I don’t think so. Did the Indians put sprinklers around their teepees in order to make their lawns lush and green? I shudder at the thought.

Our founding fathers did not bring forth to us a new nation all trimmed, manicured and brimming with microwavable Mexican food in pre-packaged portions. They brought us to a land that was hostile, overgrown, and filled with the promise of adventure.

So, what’s wrong with letting the grass grow until it covers the lawn chairs, charcoal grills and automobiles? Isn’t the act of keeping the yard spiffy just another way of keeping up with the Joneses? And if that's so, aren’t we doing it for all the wrong reasons?

Tall grass makes a great home for rodents, snakes and other vile creatures. When our yards are brimming with such life, our children learn to explore, be adventurous, call 911 and suck venom out of fresh bite wounds while they wait for an ambulance. Our children learn to trap those poor creatures, put them in jars, and take them to school for show and tell.

What do children with manicured lawns learn? You know exactly what they learn. And is that the kind of attitude we want in our children? Heaven forbid.

If the taming of our nation’s grass has led our children away from the joys of scientific exploration and adventure, and led them into the arms of video games and satellite TV, then I say let the grass grow and the devil with what our neighbors think.

If we must live in a nation of trimmed lawns and sculptured hedges, then we should at least banish the gas-guzzling, noise-making lawnmower in favor of a few quiet sheep or a couple of goats. Let these grass-eating animals munch on the backyard until they get fat and happy -- then let’s eat THEM. A leg of lamb or goat can be a mighty tasty meal.

You can’t eat a John Deere no matter how long you cook it.

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