Posted by: stillironic | May 29, 2010

Summer in the city. No lawns allowed.

There’s no crying in baseball.

There’s no sunshine when she’s gone.*

There’s no rest for the wicked.

There’s no snorkeling in the Dead Sea.

There are no lawns in the city.** Except in parks. But lawns in a backyard garden? No way.

You want a lawn your kids can play on. That’s why suburbs were invented.

Backyard gardens are one of the only joys of summer city living. Cool, shaded, and private. A sexy oasis of flowers and herbs. An escape from the sun-broiled concrete pavement.

My backyard

My backyard: No herbs and flowers because JJ's fig tree makes it too shady. But still a sexy oasis.

Why plant grass or lay sod in a sanctuary? Because where there’s a lawn growing, a lawn mower is always lurking about, ready to burst into action when least expected.

In my rowhouse neighborhood, neighbors live practically on top of one another. When my next-door neighbor runs his old gas-powered, toxic-waste machine, he may as well be mowing the rug on my living room floor. Put another way, for every half hour he mows his lawn, he may as well be driving around my living room in a 1992 automobile. Till he wracks up 325 miles. I didn’t make these statistics up. They came from Sweden.

Neighbor's backyard

Neighbor's backyard with dumb, unsexy lawn

Just thinking about the lawn next door gives me a headache. It shouldn’t take a whole half hour to cut a lawn the size of a postage stamp. Unless the mower’s blades are dull. So let’s get a little blade-sharpening action going. And a catalytic converter. Better yet, why not resurrect that relic, the hand mower. That would be perfect for the tiny lawn. Or once again does it all boil down to size. Penis size, of course. He who has a small, uh, lawn must compensate by using a big-ass, honkin’, good-ole-boy mower.

Backyard gardens: should be places of quiet and solitude. Except when they’re not. Then let the noise come from a party. Or an orgy. I don’t care. And let the smells come from barbeques. Or dope smoking. Don’t care.

The stinky gas lawn mower belongs in only one place: lawn mower recycling.


* “There ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone” actually means there IS sunshine when she’s gone. It’s a double negative. (Grammar Girl is great, but she’s not the only fount of grammar wisdom out there.)

**I’m talking postage-stamp backyards in row house-type neighborhoods.



  1. I love your little sanctuary. What a perfect place for morning coffee or evening wine — or even morning wine. What the hell!

  2. Our old house had a backyard like that because I agree NO LAWNS IN THE CITY. Row homes are TOO CLOSE TOGETHER for that crap.
    But then my son started pointing to lamppost and saying: TREE! So we moved to a non-row home with a fenced-in backyard (but still TECHNICALLY in the city. because otherwise i would die)

    • Kids do change our lives. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: