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Appendix 3B, "The Instructive Incident Of The Lawn And Its Necessary Lessons"

Steve Himmer

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Appendix 3B, "The Instructive Incident of the Lawn and its Necessary Lessons" by Steve Himmer

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photo by Ian Bassingthwaighte

In the interest of bringing to their conclusion these weeks of insubordinate disagreement concerning the incident of the lawn, I offer now -- as your father and farmer -- the appropriate interpretation of that avoidable and unfortunate event.


1. The lush American lawn is unrivaled in its unifying, democratic properties. To each man his acre or acres of green, the Founding Fathers may well have written, because clearly their intent was an emerald carpet of backyard enterprise and ownership from one end of our land to the other.


1.1 This does not mean all yards are equal -- some should be larger than others, as some men live larger lives than other men do, and those men need larger lawns to maintain them.


2. Like America itself, the lawn cannot thrive left to its own devices. Someone must pluck undesirables out. Someone must limit and maintain its borders. Someone -- and to be effective this someone must have full authority and support -- must be in charge of deciding when the lawn should lie fallow, and when it should be fed and encouraged to grow. The lawn is only and always one man's domain, a last bastion against a regrettable tide of national weakness in the guise of "fair play." On the lawn, unlike weaker institutions, not everyone gets to contribute.


3. It is unwise and unhelpful for subordinates to take it upon themselves to feed or water the lawn, with no regard as to the intentions or plans of the person in charge. This is precisely how -- as I think we all know well by now -- water damage occurs, nitrate burns compromise floor boards, and a lawn grows too thick for hand-mowing thus requiring the conspicuous purchase, delivery, and application of a gasoline mower. Which is not to mention the strains both financial and auditory this places upon the household.


3.1. Though the problem should not recur, provided these proscriptions for lawn care are observed, I shall nonetheless note that under no circumstances should gasoline be poured in the apartment, only in safety on the roof of the building. This should have gone without saying, but clearly -- and with costly results -- it did not.


4. For these reasons as well as those outlined in Appendix 4F ("Regarding The Fallacious Argument That Discipline And Family Activities Are Mutually Exclusive Enterprises"), daily scissor-trimming of the lawn shall continue for the foreseeable future.The participation and commitment of all hands shall be required until such time as they are able to demonstrate an improved understanding of the high-stakes of careful lawn care, the genius of our American system, and the misguided cultural menaces forever threatening to destroy them both.

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