The doorbell rang, making all of us run through the list of what it might be: a neighborhood friend, someone dropping off folded laundry (awesome), an Amazon delivery. This time it was a lawn-chemical company. They wanted to talk to the homeowner, which worked out well because that’s who answered. I walked outside to hear the pitch and enjoy the sunlight, fresh back from its vacation away from Michigan.
The peddlers, lawn-chem, wanted to help me achieve the front lawn of my dreams. “Have you ever treated your lawn?” Obviously not. I mean… look at it. Lawn-chem wanted to give it a spring chem-ing, to help it achieve maximal lawniness. Thankfully I had just produced proof that I didn’t care one bit about having a chem-lawn: the shrubbery.
I led the lawn-chem door to door team over to our front yard monstrosity, a 70’s shrub that has slowly been returning to the wild form whence it came. I showed them the broken tow strap tied loosely around the base of the shrub, saying “see that tow strap? I tried to rip this thing out of the ground last year and it snapped — 3,000 pound tensile rating and POP!” Lawn-chem was impressed. Then I said “see these branches here? They used to be brown. See, when I tried to rip the shrubbery out, some kind of tree vein must’ve snapped, so these branches atrophied and turned the color of desert.” Team lawn-chem looked puzzled. I pointed and said “look closer: they’re spray painted.” That’s right. I spray painted some of the branches of our shrub so that the dead brown stuff wouldn’t look so bad. This is like spray-on hair, or at least a bad combover, and no one is fooled.
To tell you the truth, it’s not even a good paint job. It’s a totally different shade of green. Even if you squint, it still looks fake. It mocks any sense of outdoor suburban aesthetic.
Using my visual aid, an unhealthy horticultural specimen propped up by Hollywood effect, I asked them the obvious question: “Do I seem like the kind of guy who wants to have his lawn treated?” The lawn-chem duo, already scoping out their next doorbell, agreed that our conversation was moot, which was very kind of them. I, too, wanted to be kind, so I added “listen, I’m not your guy, plus, I’ve got little kids that play out here, so I’m not huge into toxins and such… but look over there: his lawn is stunning… there’s your target customer.”
Lawn-chems thanked me. I wished them well. And sure, tell the neighbors: it’s spray paint.