Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Grass Cannot Be Greener On The Other Side

I can remember back when I thought people who used lawn treatment services were idiots.  I mean who would actually pay someone to fertilize their yard when it was so easy to do yourself?  Spending gobs of money just to have the best looking yard on the block? What morons!

But then those yearly trip to the hardware store became less enjoyable. This was mainly because the bags of weed-and-feed mysteriously became heavier every year.  Why they decided to start making the bags harder to lift, I’ll never know. 

So a few years ago I actually started employing a service to treat my lawn. This change meant the condition of my lawn suddenly became of supreme importance to me.  I had made an investment in my yard and I could literally watch that investment grow. 

Of course, they put that little flag in your yard after they finish.  They tell you the flag is to warn people your lawn has just been treated, but of course that is not the real reason.  In reality, the flag symbolizes your commitment to a superior lawn.  It states that your lawn is so much better than the surrounding turf, that it deserves its own flag!  As I stand in
my yard, hands on my hips, I am declaring independence for the Kingdom of Donrovia! Long live the king!  Of course as referenced previously, my neighbors are thinking, “What a moron, he’s wasting good money on his stupid lawn”.

But this year something very disturbing transpired.  I noticed in June when I looked out my bedroom window that my lawn did not look any better than the widow Cooper’s next door.  How could this be?  I’m paying hundreds of dollars to have the best lawn on the block and her lawn looks as good as mine?  I speculate that my lawn service has provided substandard treatment.  I am perplexed and upset.

A few days later while walking my dog, I solved the mystery.  At the other end of the widow Cooper’s yard was a flag.  It was a flag from another lawn service. That witch had gotten her lawn treated for the first time since I moved in.  How dare her! This was totally unacceptable. This was an outrage.

Then to make this incredibly bad situation even worse, upon further investigation I discovered something that almost made my head explode.  The widow Cooper’s yard actually looked better than mine.  This pushed me over the edge, so I called my lawn service to complain.

Me: My neighbor uses a competitor’s lawn service and her lawn looks better than mine.

Lawn Guy: How is it better?

Me: Her color is more vibrant

Lawn Guy: So are you actually saying that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

Me: No, what are you talking about?  There is no fence, but yes, her grass is in fact greener.

Lawn Guy: Well it always will be …

Me: That’s what I’m trying to tell you.  Yes, it always is.  Monday, Tuesday, whatever.  On all days that end in “y”. Her grass is greener.  So you agree with me?

Lawn Guy: No, the grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence.

Me: Alright, I told you before, there is no *!#&ing fence! And I am shocked at your lousy attitude.  You are conceding that your competition always does a superior job! Dude, show some pride in your work.  If you’re going be like that, maybe I should use those guys next year!

Lawn Guy: No, it’s an expression.  It is an optical illusion.  Her grass only looks greener because at a distance the colors appear stronger.  I assure you the grass is the same color.  If you looked at it from her yard, your grass would appear greener.

Of course I thought his explanation was pure bull crap.  I considered sneaking through the woods across the back of the property to look across the widow Cooper’s yard into mine to see if what the lawn guy told me was true.  However, I realized I would then be standing in the yard of my neighbor “Hot Carla” with a good view of her bedroom window.  If I got caught trespassing by the police, I would have to convince them I had snuck over there to get a peek at the widow Cooper’s grass and not Hot Carla’s ass.

If it went to trial, not even Perry Mason could save me:

Prosecutor: I now present Hot Carla, and we are going to label this evidence Exhibit A ……. and uh, B.

Perry Mason: Wow! My client confesses your honor.  Tom, you are so guilty.

Me: My name is Don, not Tom!

So instead of sneaking over there, I took a photo on the property line and as you can plainly see the grass is truly greener on the left side of the stick (my neighbor’s side). The
widow Cooper has plainly kicked my grass.  Her lawn company has pumped up the nitrogen and has defeated my kingdom.

I am dejected. I know I should not be this worried about the condition of my grass and I shudder to think what may happen the next time the neighborhood kids venture on to my most cherished investment.


  1. No matter how much you spend to keep it up, your grass cannot ever look better than the seed that was planted, from that day forward the grass has its own summit on how good it can look.

  2. There's a sucker born every minute