Friday, May 27, 2005

The Green Death

As soon as I arrived home this afternoon, I grabbed the weed whacker and proceeded to mutilate the lawn until it's own mother wouldn't recognize it. When my chore was near to completion, I started thinking about Mitch Berg's post on Wanderlust that was inspired by a Bleat about moving to Arizona the other day. And the comments at that particular post of Mitch's has led me to an interesting conclusion:

My two favorite kinds of weather are snow and drought.

It isn't that I particularly enjoy being outside in temperatures that could, at one extreme, cause frostbite, and at the other lead to heatstroke. Ever since I was a teenager, when I first mowed the lawn, I have been allergic to grass. The allergy is not severe enough to prevent me from accepting the responsibility for some yard work every now and then. Normally I just use a non-electric push mower, which not only saves on the energy bills but also doesn't shoot grass clippings right up in my face. I also have some kind of hacking tool to use for tall grass areas. That thing is just fun. It makes me feel like I'm practicing for a lethal game of golf. Winner take all 'cause the loser must fall.

The fun stops, though, when the grass experiences a sudden growth spurt (as it has from recent rainfall) and the push mower just won't cut it. Literally. I didn't have a sneezing fit until I was putting the weed whacker away, and it has already stopped. But I still am not fond of grass.

Grass is nature's WMD stockpile. It lies there until it gets agitated and then initiates a campaign of biological warfare against my nose. The war continues until Autumn, and once the first frost sets in, I begin to regain my health. Which is nice until you consider that I can't go running around in shorts and enjoying the outdoors in a Summer kind of way like everyone else. I could live with a lot of snow, but it limits my outdoor recreation options. What am I to do?

There is an alternative. Several years ago, I attended my wife's ten-year high school reunion. It was an all-girl's school, so every husband there felt rather awkward. One guy seemed remarkably happy. He loved boasting about his yard. It seems that he and his wife were living in one of the hot southwestern states, either Arizona or New Mexico, and they were experiencing a typical scorching Summer season. The man never had to cut his grass. The whole thing was dead and brown; or, to use his description, the lawn was all hay.

Now there was a vision of paradise! As much as I hate hot weather, I think I could learn to tolerate it if I never had to mow my lawn. But I need some kind of balance. If I could have a lawn that dries out during the Summer and gets snowed over all Winter, I would be a much happier man. Alas, I fear that such a place does not exist in the real world.

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