Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lawn Care

When my sister and I were in elementary school, my dad decided that he was done dealing with the lawn.

Now for my parents,'dealing' with the lawn meant mowing it three times a year and praying for rainfall so they didn't have to drag the hose out from the garage. Our yard was dry in some parts, overgrown in others. At one point my little sister fell asleep in a patch of grass about two feet high, and we had to call the police because we thought she was abducted. Four hours later she stumbled sleepy-eyed into the house, and Dad goes, "Damn, I should really cut that grass."

There was also the issue with the animal graveyard. Half the lawn was covered in graves from our long dead friends, like Stephen King's Pet Cemetery. The tombstones were laid out side by side, the names of our former animals listed on them- Goldie, Muffin, Felicia, Pinky- god, did we always name our pets after prostitutes? It was like looking at a porn star lineup.

My parents claimed that they were going to just cover the entire yard in bark and forget about it, and two weeks later the trucks came in and dropped enough bark in our backyard to fill about eighteen dumpsters. It covered everything- the pet cemetery, the grass, the half-dead bushes. Our backyard was basically bark with a fence around it.

We had the red bark, so when it rained, the color would leak into the front of the house, staining the entire sidewalk with what resembled blood. It was like something out of The Shining. The bark was real soft, too- my sister and I could jump in it, play in it, roll around in it- honestly, it was like living in a gerbil cage. My parents would leave bottles of water and pellets of food next to the bark so that we wouldn't come into the house. For anything.
"Just cover your poo up with the bark," my mom said, after explaining to us to just shit in the bark and than cover it up with- more bark. There was so much bark that you could hide anything in it- excrement, toys, dead bodies, whatever.

I don't think the neighbors liked it very much, but really- would you want to look at a pile of pencil shavings everyday on your way to work? I didn't blame them, really. I mean, can you image if somebody had accidentally thrown a cigarette butt on my parent's lawn? The entire neighborhood would have gone up like it had been firebombed. Our house had more kindling than the Boy Scouts.

My parents still live in that house and the bark is still there- a little weathered, yes- but still there. Along with the carcass of my dead cat, Felicia, of course.


  1. Oh, funny!


    p.s. Love your pic at the top there. :-)

  2. Um. How many pets DID you kill off in your youth, exactly?

  3. So many Stephen King references in one post...

    I need to suggest this to my husband so that he stops suggesting that I help mow the lawn.

  4. Good thing your sister didn't fall asleep in the yard before the bark was delivered. She coulda ended up turning into the little boy named Tony that lives inside your mouth that makes you chant REDRUM.

  5. Huh. I thought I was the only kid who had one of those water bottles strapped to the side of the house.

  6. I am surprised the ghosts of all your dead pets didn't rise and just pester the hell out of you guys. Imagine that. Yeah. Huh. Pretty Cool.

  7. I will never mow a lawn. Never. Don't blame your parents one bit. Genius, I say.

  8. Upside, it was probably much easier to bury all the pets you killed moving forward. I think the inhabitants of Jersey could learn a thing or two from your rents.

  9. I must say I actually enjoy the yard work and mowing of the now mostly dried up dead lawn because the the cavedweller who works from home and have much of a social life besides W.O.W...barely watered it. (We work up north and are away 10 days at a time) Claims he did but hah..funny...we are in the burbs and the house next to us, grass is greener. Generally their yard looks like shit.

    We also utilize the bark but not to that extent. Mind's seeming like a good idea at this time.

  10. file this under random and mark me down as totally cracked up. God, you are funny.

  11. Wow, I'm wiping tears off my face, could that be true? Your rents leave their lawn alone for months at a time? How do they get away with that in the burbs? All that lawn care, ignored? What else do they do?