The battle of the lawn

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It is the first of March and my grass is just sitting there looking benign. It looks so innocent, but already I can tell it's got something on its mind. It's going to start growing, that's what it's going to do.

Already there are splotches of dark green showing. A novice might think that were a good sign. A seasoned homeowner knows that's the first indication of the dreaded wild onion. The dandelions will come next. Everyone will say how cute they are, but to anyone intimately connected with the lawn, they aren't cute. They're weeds that should be wiped out just as certainly as the spring allergies.

After the grass starts to grow, some bleeding hearts will say it looks hungry. They'll say you have to go to the garden center and spend a lot of money on grass food. There are millions of people starving in the world and we're all getting ready to feed our lawns.

I'm not going to feed the lawn myself this year. I'm going to pay someone to come and feed it for me. These lawn experts with muscle trucks and trailers and bags of fertilizer and chemicals will give the grass an intravenous shot in the roots.

There are several places where the grass in my lawn always dies. I wouldn't be surprised if these people come up with an idea for a root transplant or an artificial root for our grass. Any sensible person with a home would pay grass not to grow if it would take the money. But, instead, most of us encourage it to grow.

Just when it reaches a nice height, we cut it off so it looks like a man's 1950s flat-top haircut. This year, I'd like to pass the word among my neighbors that I'm one of those nutty nature persons who thinks it's a crime against plantkind to cut grass, or maybe I'll tell them I've taken up a new religion from the Far East and my religion teaches that it's a sin to cut grass. I'll kneel and pray in the high grass every evening.

If my neighbors complain, I'll take my case to the highest court in the land, claiming that if they make me cut my grass they're infringing on my religious freedom. If God had meant grass to be an inch tall, he would have had it grow to that height and stop. If everyone in America decided not to take care of his grass for one year, not to feed it, not to cut it, not to pamper it, we could start to pay off the national debt with the money we'd save.

Elroy Riggs