High on the Plains: The drone of an engine


Chad Christensen

People love their F-N grass. And I’m not talking about the high grade stuff you can get in Colorado. I’m talking about lawns here, people. The obsession with cultivating the immaculate lawn.

So let’s get down to it and ask the awful question. Why do they do it? And more so—why do college students refuse to do it? I have a couple of terrible theories.

First, let’s look at history. I’m quoting the website History of Lawns in American which is pretty much an unreliable source. It states, “It wasn’t until The American Garden Club stepped in. Through contests and other forms of publicity, they convinced home owners that it was their civic duty to maintain a beautiful and healthy lawn.”

Now isn’t that just awful? Marketing turned it into a tradition. You can thank your grandparents, people.

Okay, let’s have a look at my second terrible theory which also deals with your grandpa. He mows his yard three times a week basically to get away from the wife. (Forgive me women— I’m looking at this from the male perspective. I realize there are wonderful women out there who love their lawns and occasionally their husbands). This too has become a kind of tradition within families. Nothing quite like the drone of an engine to keep out thoughts of responsibilities and your own mortality. It also gives the wife 45 minutes to be free of the man-beast that resides in front of the TV. This, people, is how marriages work.

My last terrible theory is that we mow grass so we don’t kill people.

It’s a Buddhist Zen kind of thing. We must perfect the color and length of our lawns so that we don’t bury people under them. I firmly believe if Hitler would have taken care of his lawn properly, we could have bypassed the whole tragedy of World War II.

Now please understand, my country boy perspective is a bit skewed. I grew up with a lawn that was fairly wild. Our priorities were the farm work (the real lawn care, in my opinion) intermingled with things like boating and travel.

My general philosophy on lawns had always been this: I wasn’t put on this earth to cut grass. I see this same attitude among college students as well. Why mow the lawn when there is a perfectly full cooler of cervezas in the garage?

My suggestion is this: do both. Let us blend these two lovable pastimes together.

Think of it as saving the world. Even as I’m writing this now, I can see my neighbor starting up his lawnmower for the third time this week.

He seems happy.