Wednesday, April 23, 2014

not the lawn you're looking for

You get a tremendous amount of spam in your physical mailbox as a new homeowner. Among the predatory attempts to get involved in my mortgage payments and the "no really this is economical" brochures from companies that want to sell me oil for the furnace I'm replacing, the one that has bemused me most was one from a lawn service company, which might be the most impressive piece of scare fluff I've seen outside of Faux News.

Your lawn isn't the only thing growing right now, it warns on the outside. (I should hope not, given the amount I've spent this year in both money and time to establish new species.) Inside the envelope, the contents get more explicit, but only slightly: Weeds are a serious threat to your lawn right now. That's in bold and set off like a headline, so obviously it's important. Right? The text beneath talks about weeds "such as dandelions" doing their best to "stake a claim" on my yard, and exhorting me to "fight back." It doesn't go into details about what the dandelions will do with their seized territory, but presumably it's something nefarious. Maybe they're in league with the terrorists.

But fear not! With the help of this noble-spirited lawn company and their Science, my lawn can be saved! And it'll only cost $29.95 for the lawn's "first application." No details on the application, either, but if it has an essay question I have doubts about my lawn's ability to get accepted.

In case I haven't been swayed yet, the flyer attempts peer pressure. Over 30 of your neighbors already have [our product]. What are you waiting for? Apart from the fact that if 30 of my neighbors jumped off a bridge that would not, in fact, be a good reason for me to jump.... Either these guys are very creative in their definition of "neighbor" or their SCIENCE isn't as effective at promoting monoculture as they insist it is: all the yards I can see from my own are playing host to The Fluff-Seeded Menace right now. Good gods, the whole street is in league with the forces of evil!

I think of the company every time I hack up another square foot of grass to make room for herbs or berries or something. Not only am I failing to properly secure my borders against the evils of WEEDS, I'm sabotaging the grass itself. Suddenly I'm not just planting things that I want to grow, I'm attacking the very foundation of Proper Lawns, vandalizing the great symbol of homeownership. Nothing like a little illicit activity to get the blood pumping and the energy up!

So thanks, lawn guys. You've added a lot to my yard-tending experience, without any applications at all.

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