Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Hooray For Dandelions!

I saw my first dandelion today, so, despite the virus craziness, nature has not postponed spring (politicians no doubt would try to postpone it along with everything else if they could).  I also received advertisements in the mail from lawn care companies.  Cutting grass is fine, but the companies seem to always want to dump unneeded chemical fertilizer on the lawn as well as herbicides to kill off dandelions and anything else not grass.  The advertising is obnoxious because it often shows kids and pets on this chemically-treated lawn.  You can see an example I clipped from one of the ads today, along with my word balloon addition.  I wouldn't let my kid play on a chemically-treated lawn.  In fact, dandelions are a good guide as to which lawns are good to play on in a neighborhood. The ones without dandelions are the ones to be suspicious of.

Unfortunately, the wealthier the neighborhood, the fewer dandelions one tends to see.  There is something about a certain amount of income that seems to make people dump chemicals on their lawn with all the potential hazardous side effects that come with those chemicals such as them being possible carcinogens.  A few years ago, I read the book Lawn People, which documented this phenomenon well.  You would think that people with higher incomes and good educations would be smart enough not to pay to poison themselves, but you would be wrong.

The Roundup lawsuit has been in the news a lot this past year, so, again, one would think that people would be smart enough to connect the dots and not unnecessarily expose themselves to poisons just to achieve some strange ideal about the perfect lawn, but I bet for a lot of people these ads will be effective and people will still this spring hire someone to kill the dandelions in their lawn (as a sidenote, the ad copy in these ads is also hilarious in a creepy way.  One letter reads, "We have identified your lawn as one that would benefit from our service."  Yes, my lawn, and every other one in the neighborhood, I'm sure).

As for me, I am hoping for a bumper crop of dandelions.  Not only are they pretty, but also you can actually eat them.  I have even drank a coffee substitute made from dandelions before.  It was pretty tasty.  Grass is pretty and one can play football on it, but I'm not a cow, so it's not something I can eat and thus not something I am terribly interested in cultivating at the expense of the other plants such as clover and dandelions.

Or my kid.

Or my pet.

Or me.

My latest novel is available here.

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