August 26, 2005

Another reason to hate mowing.

For those of you that don’t follow the weather in Illinois, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t, we’ve been in an extreme drought. Of course the first time I heard that I thought the media was trying to get hip and was saying “X-Treme Drought” (Not only is it not raining here, but the government is putting up giant awnings to keep the rain away!) I mean c’mon everything is X-treme now. Even my deodorant offers an X-treme line. But I’m getting off point, that’s another post for another time.

Since we are not getting the rain, most of our lawns look like the dry plains of the Serengeti, all brown and withered. The grass just isn’t growing and I’m not one of those water the lawn type of guys. If you water it, it grows. If it grows, then you have to mow it. If you don’t want to mow your lawn and don’t care that your grass looks like some plagued wasteland, then you don’t water it. Once the local governments started putting a watering ban or limitation in effect, most people lost the option to water and their yards started to die slowly off anyway.

Just to make sure, and to appease my wife, I would check the lawn about once a week to see if it needed mowing. Right up until I went on vacation, I checked it weekly front and back to make sure. Even my wife didn’t feel it needed mowing. Then something happened.

When we returned from our vacation, I checked the back yard. There seemed to be enough growth to warrant mowing, unfortunately I was busy that week with a re-enactment and various appointments for me and the boys. I figured it could wait one more week. As I was loading up for my re-enactment I noticed the weeds seem to have flourished and where getting to a respectable height. Even the grass had started to grow pretty rampant. I figured we must have had quite a bit of rain while I was in Kansas.

While unloading from our event, I noticed the weeds where even taller and the grass grew some more. I knew it was time to mow the lawn. Looking at my calendar on Monday I noticed my only free night was Thursday. Promptly I informed my wife that I was indeed going to mow the lawn on Thursday. Operation Agent Orange was marked on the calendar.

Thursday comes, I send Boopie out into the yard with a trash bag, and a yard waste bag to pick up sticks and trash that has blown into my yard. Proceeding to my shed, I prepare my lawn mower for its duty. Having not mown the lawn since early June, some maintenance was required. I run down the list: Gas, check; Oil, check; Blade, Sharp enough to split atoms, check. Everything was ready to go.

As soon as I started mowing, I knew I was in for a fight. The grass, mainly weeds, had grown even more in that dry 4 days. Some of the weeds were almost hip high on me. The grass had started weaving itself together in some kind protective mat. Hitting one of these dense patches, I heard my 6.5 horsepower push mower engine start to struggle. What the hell?!?! We are in a draught. Nay, strike that… an extreme draught.

I fought my way through the front yard. Along my porch, some kind of funky vine had started to build up along it. Some of the weeds appeared to be small trees. TREES! When I tried planting a tree, I couldn’t get it to grow. Now that we are in a draught, the damn things are sprouting up on their own! Unbelievable!

After finishing the front yard, I headed into the back. Now the trouble began. Taking a close look at the grass, I notice that it is much taller then I had previously believed. I had the distinct feeling that something was stalking me through it. Maybe it was my imagination that a patch of weeds and grass moved in a wave as if a large predatory cat was silently stalking up to me. It was when I started my mower and a herd of deer jumped out of it and ran across my driveway I knew I was in trouble. Okay, maybe that was a little exaggerated… but the grass had grown a hell of a lot in the last 2 weeks!

My mower is really bogging down in the foliage that has overtaken my yard. I started contemplating buying gasoline to burn away the annoying vegetation. Then I realized that it was just too damn expensive to buy that much gas. No, I wasn’t worried about burning the house down… It’s insured.

Working my way through the yard, I started noticing the mower was becoming more difficult to push. When I stopped to check out why, I made a horrid discovery. The lawn was fighting back! A different kind of vine was attacking my mower, wrapping up in the wheels and entangling the blade. To make matters worse, it was attacking me! I kid you not, while I was working on the mower, vines started to entangle my feet and ankles. It was as if it knew who had caused the vegetation pain and was fighting back.

Hurriedly I finished working on the mower and went back to work. My feet kept pushing the mower on, quickly wiping out the vile plants. Boopie was following behind me raking up the clippings that didn’t make it into the bag. He kept complaining that the piles where pulsating like a heart that had been ripped out of someone’s chest, yet didn’t realize it was dead yet. Watching the pile pulsate, I told him it was his imagination.

After about an hour and a half and 2.5 times the number of lawn bags I normally use, I finished mowing the lawn. Both Boopie and I showed signs of our battle, small cuts and scratches on our arms and legs. It was at this point as we put the last of the yard bags into the alley Boopie asked me, “Dad, why didn’t you just burn it all away.”

Posted by Contagion in Family Life at August 26, 2005 04:48 PM | TrackBack

This could be a movie script... Attack of the Killer Lawn.

Posted by: Teresa at August 26, 2005 03:39 PM

I could so see it too! "Attack of the Killer Lawn Vines. . . Attack of the Killer Weeds" *song in my best Attack of the killer tomatos impersonation!*

Posted by: Oddybobo at August 26, 2005 03:43 PM

LOL! I loved the 'stalking' to 'deer' to 'a little exaggeration'. ;-)

Posted by: VW Bug at August 26, 2005 04:40 PM

Ahhh... I love our John Deere riding lawn mower... ;-)

Posted by: Bou at August 26, 2005 05:59 PM

Heheh... remember my recycle post? This was precisely why I mowed that week. I had my window open, and I heard the weeds trying to coax the grass into growing so that they could attack me.

I cut that plan short.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at August 27, 2005 08:19 AM