World’s most futile task


From fence to fence in all directions.

I can leave little holes for a strictly limited number of bushes. Evergreen bushes that don’t drop leaves.

And I can paint flowers on it. Or, more appropriately, grass.

Until someone comes up with a better solution this will have to do. But one thing is certain – mowing lawns is the world’s most futile task, and I am never doing it again.

I am told it only grows to a certain length, and then it stops and falls over, but how can that be?

I cut it yesterday and already there are myriad broad daggers of the stuff spearing up from the underworld.

It’s as if it lies in wait somewhere below the earth’s crust, coiled on an endless, spring‑loaded drum — not unlike the plastic cord in my brushcutter, which is only one small weapon in a vast armoury of equipment I have for cutting grass.

I also have a push mower, a ride-on mower, shears, edge trimmers, cute little gadgets for digging out individual weeds, stuff for repelling next-door’s cat, that digs up our grass or widdles on it, stuff for spraying on, to kill whole weed groups, and even — may God forgive me — stuff to help it grow!

My lawn alone is supporting entire engineering and chemical industries!

The ride-on mower is a recent addition that was supposed to render the whole exercise more palatable, but it’s a crock.

Oh, it works all right, but there is nothing that can make lawn mowing more palatable.

My wife says a mown lawn looks lovely, and anyway, if we don’t mow it, it will harbour spiders, snakes, parasite-infested rodents, fornicating lovers and God knows what other undesirable species.

I don’t have a problem with that. There’s a concrete track between the house and the gate, and I never go on the lawn anyway.

Actually, that’s not true. I’m always on the bloody lawn — but only to mow it.

She says I’m being childish. She says it’s no different to doing the housework, and she doesn’t complain about doing that, which is equally futile.

I offered a deal in which she gave up housework and I gave up mowing the lawn, but she turned me down.

There’s a flaw in the logic here somewhere, that I can’t quite place my finger on….

I mean… if she wants to do the housework, that’s fine. But I don’t want to mow the lawn.

It’s like saying I should go on a diet because she does. Or that I should be forced to bear children because she did.

It’s a matter of choice (or it should be) and I choose the pub.

My wife says I’d soon complain if the housework didn’t get done, and I’ve suggested we give it a go, by way of serious research, but she can’t do it.

I guess it’s a man-woman thing. She reckons women are hard-done by because they have periods once a month. I reckon men are hard-done by because they have to shave every day.

“But they don’t have to! They have a choice,” she crows.

Oh shut up.

I think I’ll give the lawn another go.

At least it doesn’t argue.