Monday, July 2, 2012

And I Said, "Let there be lawn"...

As some of you know, while I'm not homeless and desitute, I don't have a whole lot of what one might call luxury.  Two things I grew up with as a constant was 1) a dirtpile to play in and 2) an actual yard, with actual grass.  This first picture is actually the neighbor on the other side of the rear walkways "yard", but its pretty much the same as ours once looked.  I didn't think to do a complete "before and after" pictorial until it was already too late.
I figured the company that owns all the apartments, townhomes, etc in this part of town wouldn't allow a big huge dirtpile for me and my boys to drive toy trucks on and play army with the little plastic green army men.  So I figured spending money on just a lot of dirt just to pile it up would be money truly wasted.  And trust me, for the most part, despite a few instances of generosity, I'm pretty much just a cheap old fart.  I also have figured out having lived in my previous apartment for almost 8 years, and this place being owned by the same people, getting them to create a lawn for me was just not going to happen.  Getting anything actually FIXED, no matter how emergency it might be, is almost hopeless.  Most fixes are either something you resign yourself to live with because its almost better than it was before they "fixed" the problem, or you end up putting time, effort, and occasionally money into fixing it on your own anyways.  So, I hauled off to the local Home Depot to grab some top soil, starter fertilizer and some shade grass seed.

I started off a small "test plot".  I figured if things were just so bad that grass was absolutely not going to grow, I'd not waste too much money covering the entire yard in top soil and fertilizer and what would essentially amount to bird seed.  It came up patchy and it was about a week before I saw new grass peeking through the new soil.  Let me tell you, I was quite a giddy little boy.  I just played God with my small chunk of environment and it was a nominal success. Slowly as the first bits grew taller, it began to spread. 

Here, you find the grass a little thicker, taller and even in the barren patches, there are small little shoots of grass beginning to show through.  I am pleased, VERY pleased this is happening, while I can remain in my natural state of laziness.  Those are my knees you see in the photo, as I am sitting in my little camping chair, probably enjoying a high fructose corn syrup laden Pepsi, and most likely a cigarette.  Yes, I know what you're thinking right now.  And YES, I am the epitome of healthy living.  A full picture of me enjoying Pepsi and Marlboros while sitting on my increasingly large rear end really should be put on the front of some fitness magazine to help motivate the "little people" out there who are still looking for the keys to a good long life.  "Soda, Smokes, and Grass- The Mook's Guide to Happy, Healthy Living"  Some years down the road, there will be a follow up article on me on how I achieved diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and obesity- complete with photos of EMTs using a crane to lift my lifeless body out of my meticulously manicured grass lawn.

As the test plot worked out well enough, my girlfriend and I decided to expand.  For the future publicity shots of my upcoming election to the Presidency of the United States in 2016, we faked some shots of me actually doing some form of manual labor.  It may not be Reagan's ranch out in California, but I did avoid the old "Putin with his shirt off" stunt as well.  Afterall, I hadn't spent time at the pool with the kids so much at the time of this picture, so I didn't want to risk the flash glaring off my body and reflecting into the eyes of pilots flying overhead and creating a catastrophic accident that might make the news.  I can't have any implications that I might have been the cause of so many civilian deaths.  That would be bad campaign publicity, and the people I've hired to stuff the ballot boxes to ensure my election as leader of the free world might develop a conscience and not do that for me.  Despite the actions of Congress over the last few decades, somehow I think I'd be the one getting charged with crimes against humanity.
This expansion fared much better than the initial test plot.  Within just 3 days, new grass was shooting up all over.  Again, I became a giddy little boy who enjoyed playing God of my backyard.  Clearly, I am an agricultural genius.  I think maybe the government ought to subsidize me with a little moolah to continue my good work.  It may take some hard labor, but I thought we did a pretty good job.  And unlike some wussies, I didn't take the easy way out and lay down rolls of sod that somebody else carefully cultivated.  Nope, this was all a labor of love on our part.  Just so you don't get the wrong idea- I am NOT some tree hugging, Green Peace loving hippie liberal.  Nope, this is individual private labor, worked through my own personal determination, and through free-market economic practices.  No laws were needed to make this happen.  And even without laws, I managed to increase the bio-diversity or some such stuff, as more birds and more moths and butterflies, and more bugs of all sorts started coming around.  They see vegetation, and of course another water source with my vigilant hydration of the lawn.  Seems like a win-win to me.

As a matter of fact, my efforts paid off well enough to earn me another contract. Secretly I had been hoping to annex the rest of the section I share with one neighbor over to the next walkway he shares with the people on the end unit. As I was out admiring my work, the neighbor showed up and asked what kind of seed we put down along with other questions. He then said the most beautiful thing I think I ever heard out of a man's mouth (that is until I hear someone tell me they are giving me a million bucks or more and actually mean it). He said he wanted to do his section, so that it would look uniform and actually have one large nice lawn. Then he handed me money to go get supplies. And he brought out his own hose for the purpose of watering it, when the project was up and running. The very next day I (I should say "we", since my girlfriend helped out) laid down 22 bags of top soil, and covered the whole thing with fertilizer and seed, including seeding an area of what I dubbed "weed grass" that was growing in a section that got more regular sunlight.

There was one logistical issue that came up. To merely soil and seed around the tree that marked the middle of the two sections that made up the "yard", or to put a nice woodchip mulch bed around it. My girlfriend would have you believe that this was all her idea and that she is the one who convinced me to go with the mulching idea. However, I think we all know how cunning and clever I am. And being knowledgeable enough to already know that mulching around the tree was a perfect idea (after all, I think we can all agree that my 4 weeks of farming grass makes me the leading expert here), I used the kind of psychology to let her think it was all her idea. I did this with the cunning use of the phrase "Okay" right after she mentioned it. Pretty smart if I do say so myself...which I do.

After a bit of watering and three days time... Their side of the grass grew up, and here we are just a week and a day since that part of the project began, as you can see in this last photo below:

Now, the neighbor may think this is his lawn now, but under the Articles of Mookism, given it was my labor and it is essentially a seamless attachment to the property known as the Mookified Compound, it pretty much is the same thing as an annexation, and therefore lawfully and legally declared Mookified Ground. So sayeth the Mook. It has been written, so let it be done!

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