Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lawn Care Follies

Who knew lawn care had racial politics? (Well, anyone who watched the movie "A Day without a Mexican," but these racial politics didn't make it into that movie.)

Here's the politics of lawn care in my 'hood, racial or otherwise: I hired Junior's dad to do my lawn. As I suspected, I didn't understand the full implications of what I had done because I don't speak Spanish well enough to understand what I got into. So I found out tonight that I hired him for the season to take care of getting my yard and garden together.

But I didn't know I had done this on Sunday, when Mr. Worrisome and his brother showed up with a bunch of rolls of sod and tried to sell me some. They actually succeeded in selling me a few rolls.

"How much?" I asked Mr. W.
"A dollar seventy-five," he said.
"So, three for seven?" I said. (I was just ballparking and I knew it was a low-ball estimate.)
Mr. W's math isn't that great, or he just wanted to unload them. "Sure."

Later, Julian told me I could have gotten them for a dollar apiece from his uncle or cousin or something.

"I'm gonna marry you in two years," Mr. Worrisome informed me, once I had agreed to buy his sod. "We're going to Paris. You speak French?"

"Jai oubliee tout le francais," I told him. "That means, 'I forgot all the French.'"

"Guess I won't marry you, then," he said.

(Whew! I thought. That was easy.)

Mr Worrisome was all pissy about the fact he had tried to sell his crappy-ass, dried-out, yellow-grassed sod to Dawn's family, but they said no. "They have a relative who's in the business," I told him. It sort of shut him up.

Anyway, I spent seven bucks and they gave me four or five rolls, I think (more than I was expecting). We laid them on the bare spot in the front yard. "I'd rather just put down seed," I thought to myself.

"Some water and fertilizer, and they'll be green in no time," said Mr. W. Fat chance, I thought to myself.

So last night around midnight I was out in the yard and Julian and his mom were out. Julian wanted to know why I bought that crappy sod, so I explained as best I could, in Spanish for his and his mom's benefit. They informed me that they heard Mr. W is the child molester in that house. (Remember I said there was a sex offender in that house? I think it's not him, though--I think it's his even creepier brother or cousin or something.) Anyway, they got it that I was basically buying my way out of hassle from Mr. W.

However, tonight I had to explain the whole thing over again to Junior's parents. Rosa came over with Junior and Fernando to tell me that her husband had put out seed in the front yard and the sod on top of it would ruin it. So that's how I found out I have full-service lawn care for the entire season.

I had been hoping for a reason to get rid of that sod, so once Rosa gave it to me, I was ready to go. "Well, I'll throw it out then," I said, gesturing to show taking the sod to the garbage. I started rolling it up and spotted some earthworms on the backside, so I stopped and pulled one off and threw it back in my own grass. Rosa was so grossed out she had to turn her back and walk out of the yard! We were all laughing, even Daya's grandmother, a very serious-looking Mexican lady.

Marisol saved the sod from certain death. She was out with Daya and with her in-laws, who are here for the first time ever from a little town outside Guanajuato. Fernando, Danny and Oscar wanted to help move the sod. So between all of us (mostly me and Marisol) we got it over to her yard and rolled it out. Then her father-in-law got out the hose and started soaking it down. He looked like he was happy to have a project.

So now the sod has a home, my seed will sprout, and Mr. Worrisome got paid. A happy ending all around. Who says we can't all just get along?

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