The grass needs mowing again. We’ve had a week of alternating rain and sun—perfect for growing grass. You’ll notice I didn’t say ‘lawn’. It took me ages to stop referring to the sort-of-green stuff that we have here as lawn. Lawn goes hand-in-hand with lush and manageable. Lawn is a neatly edged pocket-handkerchief of something verdant. Our home is a 4-acre block covered with grass-like vegetation that is substantially more weedy and bice than lawn.
|Random pic of how the dogs feel about the grass.|
There’s something so civilized and polite about a tidy lawn. A neatly clipped lawn with a pin-line edge shouts, “The people who live here are proud and responsible citizens.” Either that or it mutters something about OCD and anal-retentives. And the raucous Sunday sound of a lawn mower is practically a suburban anthem. Which is probably why it drives me nuts that Dr Dad is so obsessed with keeping our grass cut. At this time of the year, no day is safe from the cowboy accountant on his trusty ride-on steed. He’ll straddle that roaring beast as the sun sets on even the most perfect of days.
On evenings when we should be wallowing in the soul-bolstering calm that surrounds us — the white noise of surf punctuated by the calling birds, nightfall stretching across the horizon, both kids locked away in the bedrooms plugged into their earpods pretending to do homework — Lawnmower Man goes into overdrive. It’s almost annoying enough to put me off my pinot grigio. Almost.
|Lawnmower Man in action.|
Actually that’s another thing about cut lawn. Some people go into raptures about the luxuriant aroma of freshly cut grass. For them, it evokes childhood, or summertime or holiday memories. Not for me. It reminds me of sauvignon banc. I’m not a fan of sauvignon banc.
I don’t think dogs are enraptured by the smell of freshly mown lawn either, because every dog we’ve ever had… hang it, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say… every dog in the history of the universe, finds the smell of cut grass to have a laxative effect. Am I right? The damn dog can’t wait to lay a barker’s egg right there in the middle of the newly neatened plot. Every time. But I digress.
Lawnmower Man’s excuse for his obsession with keeping the grass down is that he spends so much time cooped up in the windowless over-air-conditioned environment of the workplace that he just loves to get out there in the fresh air and do something constructive. Yeah, right. I know better. I know that’s only the Y-chromosome-bearing reason. There are two, interconnected real reasons. The first has to do with the fact that, as you can see from the photos, we have a large dam.
Lawnmower Man has a pathological fear of snakes, and the local copperheads (which only rank seventh, by the way, in the top ten of Australia’s most dangerous snakes) like to live around water. I can confirm this because just last week one took up residence beside the drainage pipe at our letterbox. And even though these reptiles are described as shy and slow to strike, Lawnmower Man is not willing to take any chances. Especially since that day one of the dogs brought us a live hissing plaything, right up to the back door.
So don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining that he wants to keep the property snake free…well, not snake free exactly, that’s impossible, just with grass short enough that we can actually see a snake if it’s sunning itself or making its way somewhere for a drink. I’m just having a whinge about his timing. His timing and the noise.
I’m so used to sitting here at my computer veritably bathed in the sound of nothing man-made, except the occasional crunching on the unmade road of a carload of sight-seers who’ve lost their way down our dead-end street, that the damn lawnmower chopping it all to hell makes me want to throw myself off the nearest cliff.
So that’s truth number one about what why Lawnmower Man’s obsession gets up my nose. Call by tomorrow for truth number two.
Same blog time. Same blog channel.