Not Long Tales … September 24th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4177)

7.

The Grass Is…

Having been married for five years and saving up the residue from paychecks, Harry and Sandy Richardson were finally able to muster the down payment, mingled with the gumption and the good fortune, to purchase their first home—not exactly what they wanted, and certainly a little more than they could afford.

Sandy worked the night shift at the local county hospital and Harry was the overnight manager at the local pencil factory.

Now, the little two-bedroom, one-bath cottage sat on 156 Carmel Street in Walakons, Washington. There was no back yard, as the home sat in front of a nearby forest, but there was a quarter acre of beautiful lawn in the front, with the prettiest green grass you’ve ever seen.

Shortly after arriving, the neighbor to the right came over with a special casserole, and the neighbor to the left soon appeared at the front door with two bottles—one of wine and one grape juice, just in case the Richardsons were teetotalers.

So Harry and Sandy settled into domesticated life, and even began to consider having a child, though the idea terrified them. They certainly knew how to make one, but not necessarily what to do once it sprouted.

Speaking of sprouting, their front grass didn’t.

Something went awry. The beautiful lawn they had purchased suddenly began sporting dry patches—ugly brown sections all over, splotching the expanse. Harry quickly ran down to the local self-help store and asked what to do. Several different nutrients, and bags of this and that were suggested, but no matter what he applied, the grass continued to die out.

Harry thought it was a good idea to go over to the neighbor to the right to ask for a suggestion, since his lawn seemed fine. He was happy to help though he had to admit he had never seen such a problem in all his living days. He explained to Harry that the best thing to do was buy a big bag of hog excrement mingled with plenty of nitrogen to enrich the soil. He further expounded that the key was to spread it over his lawn at night, so that the evening mist and dew could perform their magic. Harry was so excited that he almost hugged the man, though it was a bit too soon for familiarity of that sort.

That night, Harry and Sandy, before going to their jobs, went out and sprinkled the magic potion all over the front yard. It took about forty-five minutes. When they arrived back home the following morning and the sun rose, they prepared for a miracle.

But the patches of ever-losing grass remained the same. The only evidence of the treatment was the lingering fragrance of a hog farm in full bloom.

Then the left-hand neighbor, sympathetic to the plight of the Richardsons, stepped in, patting Harry on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, my man,” he said. “I have the answer for you. There is this grass seed you can buy which is derived from a strain from the rain forest in Brazil. You plant this in your yard, and then, just make sure that for the next two days you water the entire area in three-hour intervals.”

It sounded so promising that Harry nearly cried. (Sandy went ahead and did it for both of them.)

Once again, the pair faithfully followed the prescription offered by the left-hand neighbor, but after a week nothing improved, except that the front yard had patches of puddles, resembling a rice paddy in China.

Harry talked to a botanist. He consulted a turf and earth specialist. He listened. He studied. He scanned the Internet.

He began losing some of the sleep he needed during the day, trying to find out what to do with his deteriorating quarter-acre. Because both Harry and Sandy were so invested in the issue, they became snippy and started blaming each other. There was no basis for the attacks—it just felt good to scream at something other than the front yard.

The death of the grass continued. Then Harry and Sandy noticed that the neighbors weren’t coming around anymore. Matter of fact, they had stopped making eye contact. The normal “howdy” or “how are you?” disappeared, as right-hand neighbor and left-hand neighbor quickly turned their backs, busying themselves and avoiding all contact.

There was even the whisper of a rumor which trickled back to the Richardson household. There were those in the surrounding block who believed there might be some sort of curse on the couple, which was manifesting itself through this unnatural occurrence. Of course, most of the sane folk of Carmel Street rejected such superstition but still played it safe by not getting too close to the 156 address.

As the bickering between the Richardsons grew worse, they sought out a counselor who offered little comfort to them, except to suggest that no matter how odd it seemed, perhaps a move to another house might be in order, to salvage their nuptials.

Then one day, neighbor to the right had a knock on his door. It was Harry, informing him that he and his wife were going on a cruise to Bermuda—one of those counseling affairs, where married couples with problems could escape onboard a beautiful ship, sip Mai Tais and solve their painful struggle.

Harry also visited the neighbor to the left. He told both neighbors that while he and Sandy were away, he had hired someone to come in and do a very special treatment to the lawn, blending both right-hand neighbor’s idea and left-hand neighbor’s idea together—to see if the twain could make the lawn one.

Harry outlined to his friends that these experts would be pitching a huge tent over the entire quarter-acre to do their work and to keep the sun from interrupting the treatment. Both neighbors were fascinated and promised to keep an eye on the house but would stay away from the tent area so the blending could be truly miraculous.

So on Tuesday, Harry and Sandy put their bags in their car and headed off to the airport to escape to rediscover their marital bliss. As promised, trucks arrived, workers erected a huge tent, there were the sounds of digging, and people coming and going for the next five days. Matter of fact, the workers had to come to Neighbor Right and Neighbor Left to apologize, because they would be doing some work on the final night, and might make a little noise, which they hoped would not be an intrusion.

Exactly nine days later, Harry and Sandy returned, well-tanned and doing a lot of smiling and hugging. They went to Neighbor Right and Neighbor Left and invited them over for the unveiling of the front yard—the result of the two treatments that had been so graciously suggested.

Five workers came, and meticulously removed the tent. After about an hour of labor, they exposed the prettiest green lawn you ever saw in your life.

Neighbor Right gasped and Neighbor Left clapped his hands. The two men walked over, shook hands vigorously and patted Harry on the back. Harry returned their enthusiasm, thanking them profusely for their contributions, and standing back to admire his lawn—the evidence of a community effort.

Well, before you knew it, there were half-a-dozen other folks, who came out and stood back in wonder, peering at the green grass like they had arrived on resurrection morning, witnessing Jesus himself walking out of the grave.

Everyone was so thrilled that a block party was planned for the following Saturday night to celebrate the patch of grass that was once brown and now had “greened” before everyone’s eyes. After all the congratulations were done, the giggles were finished and the back-patting was fulfilled, everyone returned to their homes and Harry and Sandy walked into their front door.

Harry gave Sandy a big, huge, loving hug. “I’m sorry,” he said. “It’s hard for me to believe that I let our front yard control my affection for you.”

Sandy nodded. “Do you think it’s gonna work?” she asked Harry thoughtfully.

Harry Richardson turned and stared out his front window at his amazing lawn. “Yes,” he said. “I think it will. If our neighbors don’t ever find out that we put in really high-quality artificial turf.”

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly donation for this inspirational opportunity

Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2990)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Premise: Six couples on a ship, cruising through the Caribbean, participating in a couple’s retreat…

 

Dear Man: What are you talking about?

 

Dear Woman: Just be patient. Follow the premise. Do you see the six couples?

 

Dear Man: Are they squabbling?

 

Dear Woman: Each one on the verge of divorce. So they have all decided to take this last step in an attempt to save their marriages, even though all six are pretty well convinced it’s over.

 

Dear Man: So why are they on the cruise?

 

Dear Woman: Propriety. Maybe it just sounds fun to go on a cruise. Who knows? But they’ve agreed to do the therapy for three days, mingled with daiquiris and fresh crab.

 

Dear Man: OK. I can see it. So what’s the point?

 

Dear Woman: In the midst of the journey, the ship, although a pretty large yacht, is struck by a tsunami.

 

Dear Man: Wait. There are no tsunamis in the Caribbean.

 

Dear Woman: Work with me here. Let’s say there are. It’s huge. The tsunami, I mean. It destroys the ship and all the crew and counselors are lost except for these six couples, who wash on the shore of a desert island.

 

Dear Man: Is one of them named Gilligan?

 

Dear Woman: No. There’s no Professor or Mary Ann, either. Just six couples who went on a trip in an attempt to save their marriages–kind of.

 

Dear Man: You got my interest. So what happens next?

 

Dear Woman: That’s the point. Suddenly six couples who were fighting and arguing discover that they are marooned and in need of cooperation.

 

Dear Man: Don’t you think they would just keep fighting?

 

Dear Woman: Not if they want to survive. You see, I think that’s what keeps the gender wars alive in America–the luxury of laziness. Because we have so much time on our hands, and we’re not trying to raise crops and fight off Indians, and keep the drought from destroying the cattle, we have all this extra energy that we spend finding reasons to dislike each other.

 

Dear Man: That’s a little weird.

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But think about it. If six quarreling couples suddenly found themselves trapped on a desert island, needing to interact to live, would there even be any discussion about who’s spending too much time at work or who needs more space?

 

Dear Man: Of course not. They wouldn’t even talk about man and woman issues at all.

 

Dear Woman: Here’s where it gets exciting. I think four things would immediately come to play. First, what do we really need? Not “what do we want?” or “what can we complain about?” What do we really need to make it through this day and maybe tomorrow?

 

Dear Man: I get it. Can I do a second one? I would want to know what you can do. After all, we have suddenly gone from being six couples to twelve people. So what can you do?

 

Dear Woman: And you would want to know about yourself–“what can I do?” Which leads to the fourth point: “What can we do together?”

 

Dear Man: So you’re saying, as men and women, we are much better off when we’re in survival mode instead of arguing about Netflix and PTA meetings.

 

Dear Woman: Absolutely. If our lives revolved around “what do we really need, what can you do, what can I do and what can we do together?”–we would embrace compliance.

 

Dear Man: Because on a desert island there is neither male or female. You are either a contributor or you are a drain on resources.

 

Dear Woman: Well said. So what happens if we simulate this in our everyday lives and look at each other as contributors instead of competitors?

 

Dear Man: That could be truly amazing.

 

Dear Woman: And amazing is exactly what we need to survive.

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 
%d bloggers like this: