Sometimes they can be a good thing. At my old place, the size of the “yard” could be acceptably be reported in square inches. The only piece of actual ground to maintain was a piece in the front that measured about 10 paces long and 4 paces deep. And, truthfully, I was only responsible for half of it. Yes, there were side yard issues, but that was mostly weed plucking, since bushes guarded that flank of the property. Needless to say, mowing the lawn was not something I worried about. At one point Amazon.com had a Gold Box Deal with a very good price on some cordless Black and Decker lawn tools – weed whacker, blower (useless), hedge trimmer – and I snapped it up. The weed whacker took care of the grass and the trimmer kept the bushes in respectable shape.

I now have a yard. A real one. The front is small, but still much larger than I had before and the back is quite substantial. Well, it’s a whopping 0.11 acres, which is about 4700 square feet, but that can’t be conquered with a weed whacker. Here’s where the misconceptions come in…

This town is very liberal, which I adore, and very environmentally-conscious, which I’m sorta meh about. No one likes my random lottery genocide idea for helping the environment, so screw them all. But, I do have to maintain the front to get along with neighbors. At least for our mandatory recycling, they give us a huge bin and there’s no separating things like in years past. Anyway, when I decided to get a lawn mower I had a couple of problems. First, I’m poor. Second, I hate engines. They require gasoline, oil, spark plus and all sorts of things that cost money and have to tended to. Did I mention I’m lazy? Perhaps its a good time to do that.

So, I got a “reel” mower. A good old fashioned manual push motor. Just a spinning blade and sweat power and grass gets chopped. Eddie Izzard (genius and his stuff streams of Netflix so bonus) has a great bit about that type of mower and it’s all true. It makes a ridiculous sound and, sometimes, grass just lays down like an exhausted infant, and like that infant, pops back up whenever it feels like it. Usually, just after I’ve put the mower away in the garage.

With my little mower, I am a neighborhood hero. I have had more people stop me when I’m cutting grass to complement me on my “green thinking” than I can count. They even stop in their cars… it’s craziness. Of course, of all the people to stop and ask me how hard it is to push the beast around and where they can get their own, I’ve not noticed any additional pals moving into the hood for my little mower to play with. Also, since I am lazy, I don’t bag my grass clippings. I just donate it back to mother nature. I don’t give a crap what my lawn actually looks like, so left-over grass pieces does not spoil my day. Again, my neighbors are very impressed. I’m naturally mulching my lawn. I’m to be commended for not participating in the lawn competition that plagues half the neighborhoods in America. Do any follow suit? Nope. They bag their clippings and take them to the compost place who, as they say in their information brochure “discourage” grass clippings being brought in. So, I’m also following the compost laws and that nets me another feather in my cap.

So, my poverty and laziness have bought me a completely undeserved reputation as a 5’2″ eco warrior. My dog poop bags are biodegradable (and I have been asked where I got them, surprisingly), not because I care but because they were the cheapest bulk deal I could find online. My weed whacker is battery powered. My car, though not the ubiquitous is small and old. For some reason, old is revered since it means I’m into the mass-consumption mindset and have kept a lot of scrap metal out of the junkyard. I don’t water my lawn, my diet is so simple I generate very little garbage. All of this has been pointed out to me. If there was money attached to this praise, life would be a hell of a lot better than it is, but I guess I’ll take any goodwill I can get. Might beef up the good side of my karmic scale…

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