Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Always Knew....

....that lawns were evil. They require vast quantities of fresh water to keep them green in summer, regular applications of insecticides to keep bugs from munching out on them (it's a frackin' monoculture, duh -- pests love a monoculture), and more applications of herbicides to keep Mother Nature from turning it into, well, not a monoculture any more. (You've heard that Nature abhors a vacuum? It's a lie: the universe is pretty much all high-grade vacuum, but biological monocultures don't last long without a lot of effort.) Then there's the mowing, usually with some stinky two-cycle engine that puts out as much smog as a badly-tuned city bus.

And unlike the other grass monocultures we humans go to great trouble to maintain, lawns don't even feed hungry people. Mostly, they feed the status-conciousness of insecure suburbanites, and the bank accounts of the lawncare companies who do the heavy lifting required to keep our homes surrounded by a surface that resembles a billiards table. What the hell use are they? Approximately none.

And now my long-standing contention on the turpitude of turf is confirmed: in Beacon Woods, Florida, you can go to jail for not keeping your lawn green. It seems that retiree Joseph Prudente had the bad luck that his sprinkler system broke and his lawn died. So the local Home-Owners Association invoked a local deed covenant, requiring him to re-sod his property. Which he couldn't afford to do. So they got a court order telling him to do it. Since that didn't magically make him able to afford it, he still didn't. So on Friday he reported to the county jail, apparently to remain there until he sods his lawn. (One hopes that other residents of the county will send the bill for his incarceration to the Beacon Woods Civic Association, as a hint that the justice/penal system has more important issues than brown grass to deal with.)

It has been said that, in America, it is a crime to be poor. In Beacon Woods, FL, it's apparently even a crime to be not quite as solvent as your stuffed-shirt superficial middle-class neighbours. But the real crime here is having a rule like that in the first place. Look, morons: if the grass dies because the sprinkler system broke, then you obviously have completely the wrong conditions to be even trying to grow the stuff. Get a fracking clue, will you? Grow some native Florida vegetation or something.

(For the record: we have been steadily finding other things to fill the yard with besides grass. What lawn remains includes a mix of spring bluebells, feral violets and clover. Much healthier -- and much better-looking, too).

1 comment:

AJM said...

Yep. Grass in our climate, it's not particularly sensible.

I can sorta grow it on my south lawn. And do in the places I haven't replaced. On the north side, on the other hand, forget it. I'm gradually giving up, turning it into garden. Still got a fair bit to do, sadly. But it's going there. It's a measure of the sheer insanity of trying to grow grass here that I find I can keep roses alive and healthy much more easily.