ShareThis Page
That’s one way to Annihilate your tall grass |

That’s one way to Annihilate your tall grass

Mike Seate
| Wednesday, July 1, 2009 12:00 a.m

The image of a row of conformist, look-alike suburban men mowing their pristine lawns on weekend mornings strikes me as silly. Grass, I’ve always thought, is something that just grows, and trying to control it is as futile as herding cats. But with 271 feet of frontage to deal with, I’ve slowly become concerned with, well, whether or not my lawn is green, even and enviable to the neighbors.

Without the time or inclination to mow it myself, I hired a local landscaping team who assured me of the finest quality lawn care. The two men performed an admirable job for the first two summers, showing up without prompting and leaving the long, slanted yard resembling a golf course.

Until technology intervened.

One day, I peered from my home-office window to catch the crew unloading what looked like a cross between a hovercraft and giant circular saw.

“Check this baby out,” one landscaper boasted. “We call this baby the Annihilator, and she can cut your entire lawn in five minutes!”

I don’t know about you, but I desire my lawn to be caressed, sculpted or even trimmed. But Annihilated• Maybe not, but after the smoke had cleared, the lawn looked as if a field test for a new Abrams tank had taken place.

The crew was fired before I could repair the damage caused by a 300-pound standing mower, and it took two consecutive years of planting, feeding and watering before my yard ceased looking like a no-man’s land. My wife, the unrepentant environmentalist, insisted for the planet’s sake that I buy an old-fashioned push mower, but I resented both her inference that I need more exercise and the thought of losing all my Sundays to grass cutting.

In time, I hired another landscaper, this one besotting my heart by arriving with an ordinary gas-powered mower and a set of hedge trimmers. When he left, my lawn had the uniformity and closeness of a Marine Corps haircut, and I recall thinking, “This was a match made in gardener’s heaven.”

Until last week.

My guy was back at work, the buzz of his mower’s engine thrumming through an open window. I headed outside and soon wished I hadn’t. There, cutting broad, muddy swaths through my fragile grass was another Annihilator, steered by a grinning landscaper blissfully unaware of the damage he’d done.

Although he understands less English than your average minor-league baseball team, I managed to communicate that the Transformer with the multiple blades would have to go. He seemed disappointed and even angry, but in my opinion, he got off easy. My wife didn’t hand him a push mower.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.