Wednesday, May 30, 2007

And don't get me started on the diagonal mowing
In our neighborhood, people don't weed-whack exactly. Instead, they pretty much beat stray grass blades to smithereens. If a stray blade pops up, they rush out, fire up the gas-powered fishin'-line trimmer, and obliterate that blade before it has a chance to cop so much as a mild photosynthesis buzz. Along with excessive drinking and sports obsession, it's one of the ways we like to display our European heritage.

Everybody weed whacks the fucking daylights out of their weeds, but some of my neighbors are overachievers. They edge. They edge because a blade or two spilling over onto the sidewalk not only can negatively impact property values, but it can also trip the brain's special symmetry sensors into spasms known as a "lawn convulsion," which prompts the need for special psychiatric counseling at Home Depot's Lawn, Garden, and Family Therapy Center.

Either that or they just increase their drinking dosage, which is known to take the edge off edging.

To prevent that need, my neighbors turn their weed whackers sideways and edge the lawn around the sidewalk until the actual lawn bears no resemblance to anything in nature. Instead, it's a smooth-edged brown root mass, extending out of an unnaturally chemically greened carpet, totally bug free and suspected of causing cancer in small dogs and toddlers.

After years of this edging, the lawn recedes gradually from the sidewalk, creating a system of canals around the boulevard, suitable for carnival-style duck games or perhaps a moderately sized koi nursery.

And, it turns out, also suitable for ankle busting. This morning, on my daily walk to exercise Sugar, I stepped carelessly into one of these sidewalk canals, twisting my often-twisted left ankle, sending pain shooting up my leg and words that can only be typed using the Shift key spilling out of my mouth.

Nonplussed, Sugar took a monster dump on the offending weed-whacker's lawn. While I rubbed my ankle and tried to decide if I could walk, I took some solace in Sugar's response to the situation at hand, but then, in the inevitable Catholic-school guilt that lingers after lo these many years, I got out the handy CJ plastic bag (the one my CJ comes in every day, even though it hasn't rained twice in six weeks, but I'll forgive the delivery person because if he or she actually looked at the CJ's weather map, which he or she probably does not, he or she would be confused about the prospects for rain because the weather map frequently shows little cartoon lightening bolts and rain showers even though it hasn't rained twice in six weeks) and cleaned up the lawn.

Poop in hand, I limped back home, allowing Sugar the luxury of running circles around my suddenly slow pace, searching for stray Cheerios and god knows what other treats that might be lurking in the sidewalk cracks and koi canals of the neighborhood. And now I can't ride my bike for at least a week and I'll probably need to bum rides and burn fuels that come from fossils that the Creation Museum tells me are 6000 years old and wear an ankle wrap and get teased at work and whine and complain. But you know what I won't do?

Weed whack.

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