Sunday, November 18, 2007

An Irrational Fixation on Lawn Care

So check this out. The last time I mowed the lawn, I didn’t trim because the line on the weed whacker kept jamming and it was pissing me off. Given the on-set of winter, I really didn’t think it was such a big thing to wait to trim until the next time I mowed since the lawn was growing considerably more slowly in the cooler weather.

Well, apparently I was wrong. It IS a big deal to not trim your lawn, at least if you live in the uptight Southern California suburbs where what REALLY matters is the greenness of the lawn that surrounds your identikit, mass produced home and the after-market wheel set you have on your Cadillac Escalade.

I know this because I came home yesterday to find that my lawn had been trimmed……by my neighbor. You might think that this is not that unusual. After all, neighbors often trim or cut lawn that straddles the property line. But here’s the thing. My property line is separated from my neighbor’s property by a wall. And to make it creepier, my neighbor doesn’t even have a lawn. Not in the front yard, not in the backyard and not on the side yard. So why the hell does he need a trimmer?

I don’t know whether I should be offended or thankful, but the boldness of it kind of takes your breath away. Think about just wandering into your neighbor’s yard without saying anything to them and starting to pull weeds, turn soil or plant flowers. Its just plain weird. But then again, that’s life in the whitebread burbs where an irrational fixation on lawn care is the norm.

Next up: I invite my neighbor over to my house to wash my car.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Behind the Zion Curtain: Booze Puts on a Burqa

Just when you thought that the liquor laws in Mormon-dominated Utah could not possibly get any dumber, along comes Bobbie Coray. Coray is a liquor control commissioner with the Utah Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission who, not surprisingly, doesn’t drink. During a recent commission meeting, Coray questioned the effectiveness of the “Zion Curtain,” a glass partition between bartenders and customers which is mandated by Utah law and is intended to “satisfy Mormons whose faith eschews alcohol.” The problem, it seems, is that the Zion Curtain doesn’t actually obscure the Medusa-like beverages from the hyper-sensitive eyes of Mormons who might be turned to stone by the mere sight of a bottle of Don Julio. So, this modern day Perseus has suggested that the Zion Curtain be transformed into a Booze Burqa which will obscure the alcohol from view and save the retinas of countless Mormons.

Comparisons to the heavy-handedness of moralizing, middle-eastern theocracies are too obvious and easy to dwell upon. But it is hard to ignore the fact that the reddest state in the nation, a state which more so than any other supports George Bush’s push for “freedom” in Iraq, is the very same state that, for reasons of religion, continues to restrict the freedom of its residents, particularly those who are not members of the predominant faith. And, the really sad and ironic thing is that while it is becoming increasingly less difficult to get a drink in Iraq, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to get one in the State of Deseret.

DB ☼