Thursday, June 25, 2009

The long and the short of it

The backyard as meadow (or meadow mullet)
Dear ?
We apologize for our recent lapse in lawn maintenance. We know two and a half weeks of moderate spring weather can have an encouraging effect on the various species of flora that make up our lawn. Two and half weeks was the timeframe given us by the small engine repair shop where we took our languishing 10yr old mower to be serviced after it putt-putted to a halt on its first outing of the year. During that time we borrowed a high-end European-made battery-powered electric lawn mower from the neighbours two doors up, but because that mower was itself borrowed, sans recharging apparatus, our mow (but not our lawn), was cut short (ahem). Then, after a trying time of avoiding eye contact with passers by and attempting to appear extremely busy/preoccupied on every dash to the car, we confessed the cause of our furtiveness to our next door neighbour who that very evening mowed all of the yard visible from the sidewalk (short in front and sides, long at the back—a veritable mullet for the lawn). What neighbourly generosity! Front lawn mown, we took to holding our heads high and even greeting people as they walked by.
Imagine our dismay then when emerging from our front door one fine morning and strolling across the lawn to investigate the state of the peonies, we saw, parked accusingly in the middle of the front lawn, an electric lawn mower! What were you thinking, dear neighbour?! Was this intended as a subtle witticism, a gentle reminder, a contemporary art installation, or (since the mower, as it turns out, doesn’t work) a cruel joke? The problem with attempts at humour is that without proper context they so often fail. Maybe we’re giving you too much credit. Perhaps you were just a drunken jokester moving a discarded item from one property to another; perhaps you didn’t know about the secret source of our shame (i.e. the mullet meadow flourishing in the backyard). Perhaps we put too much stock in analysis. Perhaps we’re just a little sensitive.
After the first pass with our newly tuned mower
In any case, our mower has returned, tuned-up and shiny, and our property is well and truly shorn. If you’d like to retrieve your broken little black mower for another lawn installation, it’s at the side of the house.
With heads held high,
Your neighbours
The shiny red 5 hp mower that could, and eventually did

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