Bad Grass

I’ve got the worst lawn in my neighborhood.

It’s not that I don’t try. I mean I don’t have a ’72 Camaro up on blocks hiding behind four feet of grass. Well, not anymore at least. But I also don’t have what everyone else on my street has – a nice green lawn that looks like a work of art.

People stay off of my neighbors’ lawns because walking on grass like that would be sort of like taking crayons to the Mona Lisa.

People stay off of my lawn because they’re afraid that they might catch a fungus.

So I decided to fix this problem. I went to a home improvement store.

“Can I help you, sir?”

“Yes, I have bad grass in my yard.”

“Oh, so you must be the guy who lives in that house. I think your yard would look better if the grass was four feet tall and you had a ’72 Camaro sitting in it.”

Sometimes the people at these stores can be real jerks.

The worker directed me to a bag of something. The directions looked simple enough.

Step One: Remove ’72 Camaro from yard.

Step Two: Apply granules to yard.

Step Three: Enjoy finally not being made fun of by your neighbors. We were starting to wonder what it was going to take for you to come in and by this stuff, Jay.

Pretty specific directions. But then I read the warning. It was in fine print, of course.

Keep away from children. Do not allow children or pets on grass within 16 years of application. Make sure you register your purchase with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Do not stare at your grass for more than 12 seconds. If grass comes into contact with your skin, quarantine yourself immediately. Do not make your grass angry.

I didn’t buy the bag.

What’s the point of having a piece of art for a front lawn if my kids can’t play on it?

“Boy, that Sanders sure does have a nice lawn.”

“Yeah, but it’s a shame about his kid growing a third arm out of the side of his head.”

Right now there are lines in my grass from where I was teaching my son how to ride his bike yesterday. There’s also a big divot because I forgot to teach him how to use the brakes. It was a nasty fall. Sort of like something one would see on the X Games. But he got back up and rode again. And again. I was proud.

By the time we went inside, half of the grass in my front yard was stuck to my son’s shirtless back. And I think that’s where it belongs. On his back. In his hair. Staining the knees of his pants.

Grass isn’t meant to be looked at.

It’s meant to be walked through, sat in and played on. With your dad.

So if you ever come by my house for a visit, ours is the one with the bad grass.

You won’t find a ’72 Camaro parked on it.

But, most likely, you will see my kids on it. And it on them.

And that’s how it should be.