If you don’t like my opinions this week, you can fly away… into a pile of festive fall leaves.
(Skip the Wet Sucker – by Linus van Pelt.)
In this great melting pot of a nation, people have many ways of handling the leaves. They collect them in a compost heap, bag them and use them as insulation along the foundation of the house, bag them and send them to the landfill, where they work their methane-generating magic. (“Here, pull on my cord.”)
Some of the more cantankerous owners take the winged monkey approach, gazing out at the pristine lawn across the fence and ordering, “Fly, my pretty ones, fly! “
Me? It never really occurred to me to be obsessive-compulsive about leaves. My special rat rump count is still intact. I could chew some leaves with the final mowing of the season, but most of the time I just take a “live and let it decompose” philosophy.
No regrets. I did the math and it’s amazing how much time I’ve saved over the past 30 years by not submitting to the drudgery of sweeping – enough time to practice and become a world famous pianist! Okay, technically I didn’t use that time to sit down at the piano and learn to play, but I’m a world famous lapper.
I know. The landscapers are appalled at my heresy. “But you harbor mold!” You are choking the grass for next year!
Maybe I was lucky or maybe my weed learned self defense, but the closest thing to choking weed was when I was saying things like “Fescue, be sure.” you not to get wet for half an hour after you “I ingested nutrients” and “Clover, say ‘sir’ and ‘madam’ and don’t slouch.” (We adjusted my meds after that.)
I’m prepared to respect everyone’s choices, but I should note that the National Wildlife Federation recommends not to rake at all. They say the leaves provide shelter and food for animals like chipmunks, box turtles and earthworms; butterfly pupae use diapers for protection.
I would consider making a big donation to the National Wildlife Federation if they simply expanded their statements to state that refraining from folding the laundry makes endangered bird eggshells thicker or not cleaning the attic saves a polar bear from running aground on an iceberg with Al Gore.
An online commenter said that sweeping the lawn gives you a good excuse to go out and chat with the neighbors. If you feel the urge to find excuses to chat with people on the street, it might be time to move on. Or at least use smarter excuses to be outside. “My dog ate my homework!” “I swear I’ve never been on the curb before!” “” There has been a narrowing! Narrowing!”
Unless you really have a lot in common with your neighbors, you invite embarrassing situations. (“I see you got deciduous trees too! Yeah, deciduous, damn it. And they’re next to a campaign sign for … the wrong candidate! Damn! I feel like for having broken a few rake teeth while making contact with your skull! ”)
I know most people run on autopilot and think they have to carry on centuries-old fall customs, but again, the virgins who objected to being offered as human sacrifices were sort of outliers once too. (“No, shout louder! Louder! Please drown that damn leaf blower!”)
Danny Tyree is a longtime resident of Marshall County in Middle Tennessee. He appreciates email responses to [email protected] and visits to his “Tyree’s Tyrades” Facebook fan page. Copyright 2021 Danny Tyree, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc newspaper syndicate.