I'm just a lawn machine

25 August 2006
3:48 PM

After torrential winter rains, our normally barren backyard turned green. When our neighbor Gina saw the yard she remarked, “What a pain!” I told her, to the contrary, that I thought it was kind of fun to have a green backyard. “Nope,” she said, “all the tall grass and weeds provide a haven for mice and rats.” OK, so it’s agreed then: a pain. If only I knew….

Last week I decided it was time to cut the grass. I began by surveying the yard. Take a look for yourself:

Lawn overview

Grass and weeds throughout. About knee high towards the back wall. Though our yard isn’t large, it’s seemed quite large in relation to my cutting tool:

Hedge shears

We don’t have a lawn mower, and it turns out that nobody around here seems to have one either. It’s typical to use hedge shears to cut the grass. So I borrowed a pair and got started. I don’t want to start an in-depth discussion about the body mechanics of using hedge shears to cut grass. Let’s just say that it does a number on your spinal column.

As I was clipping the grass, I was struck by the sheer ridiculousness of the whole endeavour and I decided to shot a tiny movie. It only took about sixty seconds because I had to attend to more pressing matters (i.e. the lawn), but I think it captures the moment. Remember: I’m not an actor, and you can’t make this stuff up.

Laugh all you want. In the end, I got the grass cut. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon undoing the damage to my back.

Update: Only after the fact did I hear about some other options for cutting the lawn. A couple people asked me why I didn’t borrow a sheep or goat from a neighbor instead and have it hang out eating the grass for awhile. One of our parish priests, Fr. Barmasse, told me that he even heard about an entrepreneur who trained his geese to get in the back of a pickup truck and went house-to-house eating grass. Now that’s lawn service.