It’s time for an important discussion about lawns.
There’s nothing that defines the suburban lifestyle quite like a front lawn. Most people who live in big cities have to visit public parks to have allergy attacks or get stung by bees.
We can do that right at home.
It also occurred to me that our lawns do more than preserve property value or give our cats something to eat.They tell our neighbors who we are and what’s going on in our lives. As such, there’s a few small points to consider regarding our lawns:
1. If you fail to maintain your lawn, it’ll be assumed that you’ve lost your job, you’re going through a divorce, or you have a drinking problem: Peer pressure rules when it comes to yard maintenance.
Of course, there will always be the one neighbor who has his yard in perfect order way before anyone else. Don’t worry about him. Most neighbors know that his drive to get out there in February and edge his frozen lawn is simply to make up for the fact that he still hasn’t been promoted from vice president to senior vice president. The neighbors you should pay attention to are the one or two whom you know set the tone for your block or court. If one of them waves to you from his yard as you drive by, you must cut your lawn within two weeks, or this Fourth of July, the bottle rockets will be pointed towards your house.
Remember, a lawn is a direct reflection of your life. Make sure your lawn tells the neighbors that you’re in complete control, and that everything is going great (even if you’ve got to dope it with chemical fertilizers).
2. If you mow your neighbor’s lawn more than five times in any calendar year, his lawn is now yours: This law was created to prevent anyone who wants to keep his lawn nice and neat from being exploited by the neighbor with whom he shares a yard. Now that person who holds off mowing, because he knows his perfectionist neighbor will do it for him, has something to lose. It’s highly recommended that should you acquire your neighbor’s lawn, you promptly pave over it and create an RV port.
3. Dandelions are a gateway weed to suburban blight: You may think having a dandelion or two in your yard won’t hurt anyone. But all it takes is a gust of wind for dandelion spores to spread all over the neighborhood.
Before you know it, your neighbor has dandelions. Then his neighbor has them, and before you know it, your subdivision is a mess of weeds, boarded-up windows, crack houses and meth labs. It all starts with dandelions. Therefore, if your neighbor has dandelions, you can legally douse his lawn in gasoline.
Now get out there in the yard and compete with your neighbors! (Of course, if my lawn doesn’t look mowed this month, it’s because my wife gave birth to our twin sons, Benjamin and Seth!)
Jeremy Greenberg is a writer, comedian and resident of Kirkland. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Relative Discomfort: The Family Survival Guide (Andrews McMeel). Learn more at www.jeremygreenberg.com