lawn 2: last hydromulching season at marenbad

Lawn 2

Myself, I was a grassman a long time ago. I got a job in Shreveport with an alcoholic Jehovah’s Witness landscaper, a man with a permanent keg in his kitchen, a warehouse full of fire ant infested sod. However, where my man was really 20th century was the pride and joy of his small business, the hydromulch truck.

Now, I’d done landscaping time before, in Atlanta. Back in the pre-Reagan era, landscaping was the post-hippy job to have. My first day on the crew, I hopped into the pickup, which was loaded up in back with push mowers, blowers, rakes and shovels, and the guy at the wheel casually rolled up a doobie and offered me a hit. A fine way to take in the glories of the unfurling Atlanta morning. Yes, in those days LI would actually spring out of bed at, like, six thirty or something to get to work before eight. Clearly, now, I can see this as a form of abuse, although one alas that has still not been organized and baptized in the DSM-IV. Fuck rosy fingered aurora, give me an extra hour of sleep (so often, nowadays, a compensation for the two hours of bed time in which the mind just doesn’t fucking shut down, like some bar run by a man with no respect for the blue laws). I’m aware that around the country there are many afflicted who have to get up at six thirty or even earlier to drive to work. Brothers and sisters, how often I have wished to take you in my arms as the chick takes her chickens, and urge a more sensible schedule! No economy is worth this somatic perversion! However, such was my dewiness back in those days that I actually welcomed the early morning stuff.

So I had been a grassman of a kind, before I worked under my man in Shreveport, but I’d never been an extreme grassman. To be an extreme grassman, you have to man a hydromulch machine and spray the countryside with the odd combination of seed, fertilizer and dyed fiber mulch, which is the element anchoring our seed and fertilizer combo to the soil. The truck was a cumbersome thing to drive, since the machine was pretty huge. I can’t remember how many hoses we had, We took on a lot of state jobs – one spring we just hudromulched a vast housing project. At other times my man would round up a crew for me to command, for apartment jobs. Your rapid whack the grass, edge the hedges, clip and collect job. I was, of course, a little martinet to my charges. Whenever I get a little authority, it goes right to my head and I make an appalling jackass out of myself. Evidently, the American system isn’t totally fucked, as – by the wisdom of the invisible hand and the power invested in Bushonomics - I am very rarely given any authority.

So these half submerged memories flooded up in me last week as I proposed to my bro that I’d do his lawn.

Which will be continued if I feel like it, And hey, to all LI readers, happy boss day! I will soon be back in Austin, and will cut the throat of these thrilling tales from the burbs.