On this beautiful, sunny, fall day when I could have taken a brisk walk through the crimson and gold canopy provided by the trees on the nearby township trail, I instead blew and afternoon removing fallen leaves from my lawn, landscape plantings and driveway.
I’ve long given up bagging the damn things in favor of the much more sensible and environmentally smart option of mulching them with my mower. That not only feeds my lawn with natural fertilizer but saves my back from one of the most useless tasks ever invented by, I’m guess, the people who produce and sell rakes and giant brown leaf bags.
Still, the whole thing is a royal pain and it got me thinking about what’s really going on here. After spitting out my eighth mouthful of airborne maple leaf particles it hit me. Mother Nature is taking advantage of a failure of evolution to scam us into doing stupid stuff our ancestors never bothered with. In fact, I think she’s making a good buck by investing in “stupid job paraphernalia.” Stay with me. Here’s how it’s going down.
Mother Nature, knowing all, as most moms do, saw a trend just as Earthlings started figuring out how to get machines to do work they didn’t want to do. “Hmm…” thought Mom Nature, “what if I plant the seed, since I’m good at planting seeds, as well as bulbs, in people’s minds, that things that happen naturally need to be screwed with. Those who resist will become the bane of their subdivisions and called on the carpet by the condo board for not interfering with an otherwise natural process…like leaves falling in the, duh, fall, or moving snow from here….to there? Those idiots will need to buy all sorts of implements, power tools and supplies to do those jobs. And..and..oh wow! Other people who know that so many people don’t wanna do those jobs will start businesses to do those jobs for those lazy people and I can be a silent partner in all of that and retire to the most Unnatural place in the world…Las Vegas, where no one ever sees the light of day, which means I’m off the hook for good!”
I’m imagining this evil scenario as my arms, shoulders and back send my brain messages to the tune of “you’re a schmuck, a sucker for Mother Nature’s money making scheme so we have to suffer?” Being Jewish, I immediately felt pangs of guilt, made myself a pot of chicken soup and binge watched “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” since her husband is an even bigger schmuck, thereby helping me regain a morsel of self-respect.
A few hours later, as I walked down to my mailbox stuffed with bills and political hate propaganda, I couldn’t help smile as I checked out my immaculate lawn. Crap, it looked great. Not just great, a billion times nicer than any of my neighbors’ lawns. Someone driving down my street would tell right away I foolishly took the whole stupid leaf thing way too seriously. In fact, I distinctly heard a bald guy with a severe mid-life crisis driving his Camaro with the top down nod and cackle as he slowed down in front of my place, “Mother Nature screwed you too?” I’m considering large quantities of Roundup.