Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hank Hill has it all wrong.
Who can have such a limited view of life that their lawn is such a huge part of their self-image?
I remember long summer evenings, the smell of fresh cut grass, gasoline and WD40 that was such a huge part of my "Dad" image that I still think WD40 should be a men's cologne.

I got my husband to cut the lawn, while I tended the veg and herb gardens. Now that he is suffering terribly from a terminally arthritic hip, I cut the lawn. Today he bravely pulled out the trimmer and had a go at the edging. I really wish he hadn't, not just because he didn't get around to the things I actually asked him to do instead (things that would have hurt him much less). He ended up in quite a lot of pain.. fortunately he got some excellent meds from the doc and managed to stump to the jazz fest with our friends K&C tonight. That was good and therapeutic: they danced and were cute, and this young couple and ourselves have more in common than we have found in a very long time.

I find myself quite against lawns.
It's a British thing, something for the aristocracy to play cricket or croquet on. We ain't aristocracy, we don't plan to be, and we ain't got servants to trim the verfugen grass blade by blade.

I got part of it last night, the rest today, and set the little annoying electric lawnmower as low as possible to shave the hell out of the manic growth portion of the lawn just below the veg garden. Next home, no fucking lawn. Paths, fruit trees, veg garden, berry patches, gravel and cactus (very Tex-Asian), sheep, goats, geese, whatever. No lawn.

The Black&Decker froggie we have is completely useless for anything with grade or relief. I have to wrestle the thing into straight lines and release the back wheels on what would be a normal easy "return cut" on a gas mower. In addition, you need four hands at least to operate an electric mower. Lacking this, I loop the first meter of the cord around my own neck so that I can control the cord on the "cutting side". Years of experience in fly-fishing and martial arts pay off in this endeavour.

I can flip the loops like fly line, sweep them away from the path of the blades with feet accustomed to sweeping human feet off course and into the line of my own intention, and curse in all of my adopted languages to maintain a faintly obscene monologue between myself and this blighted machine I have chosen to keep our home presentable with.

I can't imagine how someone without my years of training and trials could POSSIBLY manage an electric lawnmower. Therefore, I must say that no one without at least four years of judo training should even consider the purchase of an electric lawnmower of any kind.

Meanwhile, I contemplate the meaning of lawns, and I don't like what I find. It demonstrates a certain futility, a certain time span one has to waste. It's the same thing I find when I contemplate personal car ownership (as opposed to efficient public transportation).

We don't get enough out of it, to warrant what we put into it.

Think about it.

Just.. for a minute.. think about it.

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