Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My least favorite thing in the entire world


Anonymous said...

For some reason we bought a house (in 2007 no less (so yes we paid more for this house than anyone ever will ever)) and during the following 4 years my partner and I have compiled a quite large list of "Things we hate about our house, specifically, and homeownership, in general" and the lawnmower (and associated tools (I never hated myself more than the day I bought an edger)) holds a high place to this day. Not enough to overtake the moldy basement which gave our son asthma and pneumonia, but still a strong position.

So in conclusion fuck this town that we'll never be able to afford to leave and fuck the ownership society.

(I am bitter I know. I should be more grateful for having a roof over my family's head. I am trying to learn meditation this summer. Perhaps I can get better.)

(word verification: kisseabl, reverse karma?)
(I didn't enter the word correctly the first time. New word verification: lexati)

Ethan said...

I'm so sorry you're stuck with ownership. With any luck the whole thing will fall apart soon. Best for all of us.

My cat is spending yet another day hiding under the bed because my next door neighbor chose this beautiful, peaceful day to spend all morning and a chunk of the afternoon noisily and air-poisoningly destroying what until today had been her beautifully unmowed lawn, with a variety of different plants of different heights, with grass gone to seed, which was a gorgeous sight to see especially when wind blew through it, butterflies flew above it, and squirrels played in it. Now it's a devastated wasteland. But hey--she sure owns it!

She's better than most of my neighbors, who literally mow their lawns at least once a week every week. The sound and the smell (and the damage it's doing to all of us) is non-stop. As my father said the next time he was in my neighborhood after I complained about it, "So, all these tiny little parcels of land have their own internal combustion engines, huh?"

I think it's telling that when you do a google image search for "lawnmower," you do get one non-motorized one on the first page, but it's a cartoon of a modified tricycle that is presented as ridiculous (it's even at Then you don't get another one until the third page--and it's also a novelty item, a modified bicycle (which seems like a terrible idea if you ask me). The first image of just a standard, unremarkable non-motorized lawnmower is on the sixth page of results, and that's an illustration for a stupid joke about Barack Obama and John Boehner.

Meanwhile, the very first row of results on the very first page contains a dehumanized image of a woman, in an advertisement used to make women ashamed enough of their bodies to buy products to fix them. The site hosting this image praises the ad as "mixing relevance with attention-getting imagery."

Richard said...

We rent now, thank god, though for sure "owning" has benefits we're now aware of. Still happy to be not owning. Thankfully, the owners have a non-motorized push-mower. Unfortunately, they just last fall put in new sod, so we can't like grow a garden or anything like that (that would be one of the benefits: being able to do what you want, more or less, including taking steps towards some modicum of self-sufficiency).

But god I hate gas-mowers.

Randal Graves said...

I try and wait until right before I know I'd get cited by the city for the gothic horror of unkempt greenery.

drip said...

I have a political party with many planks that make sense to me. One of them is that all grass cutting must be done with human powered implements. No electric trimmers, no electric/gas mowers, no blowing things (except rakes and mouths. I have a million planks, hammered together with a hammer in my mind.

Anonymous said...

(First Anonymous here)

We also have a push mower. Using it is more difficult than the power mower (perhaps because we bought a cheap POS one), but I am much less worried about killing or maiming myself or my children while using it. In fact, the whole family can be in the yard watching me sweat and we can talk and everything. Or after they have seen enough I can put on headphones and listen to music. And afterwards, I don't smell like small motor exhaust.

My beautiful wife is slowly turning much of the yard to flowers and shrubs. I usually complain about the work involved, but I can't argue with the results. Much less maintenance overall I think.

I do need to convince some of the coyotes that live a mile away to wander into our neighborhood to eat our bunnies. They make it difficult to grow many different types of plants. Maybe while the coyotes are here they could take out the little yippy dog that lives a block over.

Anonymous said...

my step father made me ride one of these at least two hours a week to not be gay.

thebaronette said...

i can sympathize. my parents used this for my latent tendencies:

Ethan said...

Both sensible approaches. Let me know how they turn out when you two are old enough.

Richard: we probably could garden here, but I absolutely don't trust the soil here not to turn anything that grows in it into poison. Sucks.

Randal: Citations be damned! Be a rebel!

drip: I will gladly nail planks with you.

Anonymous: In my experience, if you have a decent push mower it's no more difficult than a motor one, sometimes easier because it's smaller and more maneuverable--but that's just me, might be different for others. And yeah--you can be social while doing it, the air smells like cut grass after instead of exhaust, etc. So nice. I say, if you (the general "you") have to cut your lawn, do it wish a push mower.

And coyotes! I love coyotes!

Justin said...

Wait, back up, the bicycle idea sounds promising to me.

Ethan said...

It was putting the mower bit in place of the front wheel--it just seems like the weight would be all thrown off, not to mention that if the mower gets stuck on something it could be, uh, unfortunate. But dunno, maybe it would work...!

zencomix said...

We dug up all the grass in our front yard when we moved in, put in a cherry tree, a pear tree, raspberry canes, a strawberry patch between the sidewalk and the street, a bunch of herbs and flowers. We dug up quite a bit in the backyard for vegetables, and more strawberries. We do have a patch of grass reserved where we installed a meditation labyrinth and where we practice tai chi, but it is easily maintained with the human powered mower.

We harvested about 30 gallons of strawberries last year, and they're just starting to ripen again this year. I've managed to talk one of my neighbors into replacing some of his grass with strawberries. When my plants start sending out runners, I dig up surplus plants and give them away. I'll give free quarts of berries to the neighbors in an effort to get them thinking about growing their own patch.