THE DANDELION KING
by Robert Wright
As I’ve told my neighbors, I feel bad about lowering the value of their property. I mean, it isn’t my goal to have a front yard that, by standard reckoning, is unattractive. The unkept look of my lawn is just a byproduct of a conclusion I reached a few years ago: the war on weeds, though not unwinnable, isn’t winnable at a morally acceptable cost… (click the headline for the whole column).
I need to clip this and shove a copy in all my neighbors’ doors. Several years back, the old farts next door approached David, my yokel gardener, while he was running the mower. (This is the household where the wife, eighty-something, occupies her dotage by carefully watching the curbs for any unfamiliar car and leaving nastygrams on the windshields of those parked without the local zone sticker.) Could he, they wondered, do something about the dandelions on my lawn? David told me about the encounter but reminded me that, of course, he din’ like to put anything on the lawn that i’n’t organic, which suits me down to the ground, even without taking into account the three rows of organic vegetables he sharecrops on the sunny side of the house. (This is how someone whose car is old enough to drink whisky can have something as grand as a “gardener.”)
I remember coming indoors from that conversation and throwing things at the walls. Who the fuck do those old toads think they are, the lawn police? I kept toying with the idea of erecting a poncey little sign in front, you know how suburban people do, christening the house “Dandelion Lodge.” After years of my Albino Ex — who liked to call me Butt Woman — referring to the house as “Buttarama,” I was looking for something with a little more cachet. Somehow I just never found time for the project.
Mr. Wright’s article puts heart back into me. I need to find a sign painter.