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National Editorials & Columns

The joys of mowing the lawn

If you ask me nothing is more depressing than the first lawn mowing of spring. You could combine the first snow shoveling of winter, the first leaf raking of autumn and the first bee sting of summer, and it wouldn’t even come close to the first lawn mowing of spring.

The first mow has always been especially troublesome for me because my grass is always incredibly tall going into winter. This year I waited until the longest possible time to mow in the spring, so my grass was that much taller as a result.

Mowing the grass is a fruitless endeavor. Personally, I get nothing out of it. I don’t spend any time in my yard, and until I buy an outdoor television it will remain that way. And I say mowing “grass,” but I am certain the majority of my yard consists of weeds.

The only inkling of an obligation I have to mow my grass is to prevent other villagers — people who obviously don’t have any other more pressing issues to be discussing — from whispering rumors about my yard work habits.

I had a guy tell me once I should mow more often. I told him I pay $1,400 in property taxes each year, and if he would foot the bill for me I would mow my grass every week, just for him.

My modus operandi of mowing is to put it off for as long as possible before convincing myself to mow it the next day. Then on the next day, just shrugging off that responsibility and promising myself to do it tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes it always rains, so the obligation gets put off even longer.

One of the reasons I hate mowing is because of the symmetry. I can’t cut along a dotted line now any better than I could in the third grade. So it stands to reason that if you hand me an oil-burning engine attached to a deadly rotating blade and expect me to mow in a straight line then I am going to have some difficulty with that.

Mowing is such a joyless and remedial task.

That wouldn’t bother me so much if I, one, bought a mower of decent quality (but that’ll never happen), or two, the chore wasn’t so physically taxing. My mower is 90 pounds. I weigh just over 120. I know, I’m girly, but it’s impolite to laugh. When I am mowing I am pushing an overwhelming majority of my body weight. That’s a feat of strength that rivals an ant carrying a breadcrumb.

All of this hate, vitriol and anger I espouse about mowing the grass is always directed toward one thing: my lawn mower. I go through mowers like normal people go through tennis shoes. I am rough on lawn mowers, and thus far all my fingers, toes, hands and feet are still attached.

I bully mowers because I have this condition where my brain thinks I can cause pain to inanimate objects, such as small gas-powered engines. There have been occasions where I have gotten into knock-down, drag-out fights with various mowers in my yard in the last decade during bouts of uncontrollable hissy fits. I violently tip mowers over during these episodes of intense rage, and other times I ram my mower into hard objects, such as my propane tank.

My shed is evidence to this fact. Inside are the remains of at least three previous battered and bruised lawn mowers. All of them are overturned, some missing wheels, and all are leaking fluids on the floor. It is the lawn mower equivalent of a Manson family murder scene.

But the first lawn mowing of spring is always the most depressing. In my head I count up the number of times I will have to do it between now and October. I wonder how many times I will run out of gas or mow over an errant piece of gravel and launch it like a bullet toward my truck?

It’s depressing to think about, which is why I consider mowing to be a real pain in my ... grass.

To contact Will E. Sanders email him at To learn more about Will E. Sanders, to read past columns or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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