The Summer of Lunch

Two years after the Summer of Love I ran away from home to be a hippie in Haight-Ashbury. As a hippie, I rejected the money-driven, materialist lifestyle that … Hey, you kids! I just seeded that lawn! What do you think you’re doing? Get out of there!

Where were we?

Ah, yes: Like all hippies I (got old and pretend to) still cling to my ideals. I believe that … Goddamnit! Foul ball, my ass! You hit it over here on purpose! All right, all right. Yeah, you can leave your dog here.

On May Day this week, Tuesday, I hefted half a ton of Clay Buster and topsoil onto my puny back, one heavy bag at a time, and shook it onto my tiny lawn. Then I seeded it with Kentucky bluegrass and dumped more topsoil on … top.

I did it because … I don’t know why I did it.

I must be out of my mind.

I’ve gone over to the enemy.

I did yard work for summer jobs in high school and college. I hated it. I hate it to this day. I especially hate pulling weeds. Hate it hate it hate it.

Why, then, would I spend hours of hard labor in the middle of the week doing things I do not enjoy, knowing that it may result in my having to do even more hard labor, doing other things I do not enjoy, if, miracle of miracles, the grass grows?

I did it because I agree with the immortal Dave Barry, who wrote that if an Average American Homeowner were asked if he’d rather live next door to a serial killer or to a guy who doesn’t take care of his lawn, the Average American Homeowner would say, “Hmm. … What kind of people does he kill?”

That’s why I seeded my lawn.

Because I’m new on the block and don’t want my neighbors to think I’m a serial killer. Or a guy who doesn’t take care of his lawn.

It could be that I’m just bourgeois, though I don’t think that’s it.

Everyone would be bourgeois if he could, as the Communist Parties have proved.

(I think someone else said that first, but I’ve Googled and Googled and can’t find it. If you do, please send it to me at:

The truth is, I got off my big fat and seeded the lawn Tuesday because the weatherman said two days of rain were coming. And it did drizzle Wednesday morning, and cooled off real quick. I fell asleep gratefully, thunderstorms moving in.

It rained harder Thursday, with lightning and snow, then cleared up before dusk.

The question remains: Why would an old hippie yell at children for playing softball on his lawn?

The answer is: It never happened.

I made it up. I threw in the dog so you wouldn’t hate me.

The rest of the story is true. Everything except the cranky old columnist calling out the kids, and the dog.

But I’ll be watching those kids every day this summer, while I eat my lunch.

Et tu, Lawn?

Then fall, Caesar!

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