Spring is finally in the air. Spring has sprung and perhaps this time for good. This year it has falsely sprung about three times already and then fell back into freezing. The flowers are actually on their third attempt at growing through the unexpected frosty mornings. During this time of year in Cincinnati, you turn your heat on at night and the air conditioner in the afternoon. The plants in our yard have that I’m-green-but-a-little-pissed-off look to them.
All the natural signs of Spring are here. I can tell its Spring because there are flyers on my door from companies that want to cut and trim my lawn. There are neighborhood children that think they can do a better job than the professionals using their parent’s mower. There is junk mail filling my mailbox from companies that want to treat my lawn for a “thicker greener look”. And there are signs posted at the end of every street enticing you to invest in their aerating business.
To those neighborhood children that want to cut my lawn: I have two fresh teenage boys (13 and 14) that live in my house. They provide no income and honestly put a serious drain on my financial bottom line. No thank you, but I have my own grass cutters here.
This morning I drove by a sign that stated:
“Aerate your lawn! $60 to $80! Call us at 555-9296.”
I don’t actually remember the phone number, so for this story I went with the Hollywood phone number thing. Three fives are never a real number. Hollywood is so kind like that. “I don’t want to cause the torment of some random dude by accidentally picking his phone number and using it in our script, but I do want to act like it’s a real phone number when I deliver my line. I want to be convincing. Like Hamlet.”
“The number you have reach 5 5 5 (pause) 8 4 8 2 is not a real number. Who do you think you are, Shakespeare?”
So back to the company with the sign for aeration states a range of $60 to $80. How does that pricing work? If they like you and think you’re a nice person, its $60. If not, its $80? Maybe you get to pick your price after they finish.
“You know I was going to be all cheap about it and only pay you $60, but you surprised me by not skipping that area in the back behind my trees and you actually made two passes in the front. I’m paying you $72 dollars today. Good work. Oh wait, that’s $72 dollars after taxes and you have to do the math.”
I’d pay them more, but now my yard looks as though there was a wild geese convention in full swing last night.
My favorite mail flyer comes from the company which calls itself “ChemLawn”. I think they are in the process of trying to change their name to “TruGreen”, but it still says ChemLawn. I think it’s a riot that the company choose its name long before the “green” bandwagon started rolling through town. The name ChemLawn is a made up of two parts. The first part “Chem” is short for Chemical. The second part “Lawn” is short for Lawnical. I think.
Here is a slogan that you won’t see them using: “We treat your lawn organically. We are ChemLawn! Not. Just joking!”
Can you picture back to the original board meetings held when the company was just starting out?
“Yeah, and we’ll dump so much chemical in their yards that there grass will glow green at night time. Dude, people are going to love this!”
Now, in more recent greener times.
“No man, Chem isn’t short for Chemical. It’s short for, um let me think here, oh yeah, it’s short for Chemo. Yeah, like chemotherapy. We are trying to eradicate the dandelion-cancers in your yard.”
“Hey Marcus, an attempt at cancer humor probably is not a funny thing. You’re a bad person”, said everyone.
Good luck ChemLawn, or I mean, TruGreen.
Buy my “green” book. Actually the cover is blue, but the electronic version uses no paper!