Like most people these days, I grew up as a small child. I remember when things used to cost a nickel, like bubble gum or an eye-dropper of gasoline. If you were to ask my grandparents, they could go out to dinner with a nickel and have enough left over to buy a Model T. But not anymore. About all you can get for a nickel today is another nickel. Inflation over the years has inflated a number of things including prices, costs, and a surprising amount of giant ugly Christmas lawn ornaments.
Foremost on everybody’s mind, however, is the soaring cost of lawn care. It has gotten so bad that an individual cannot afford quality lawn care unless one’s employer supplies it as part of a compensation package. I have personally gone without lawn care for years at a time and have had to patch things up on my own as best as I could to include invasive cutting and transplants, and I can tell you that by comparison, having professional lawn care is pimptacularly off the heezie fo sheezie.
But unfortunately some people having lawn care and others not having lawn care is inherently unfair and goes against everything that things go against when things go against everything. Therefore, we as a society are in desperate need of lawn care reform.
That is why our neighborhood association got together and elected a special commission to come up with a solution to rising lawn care costs. After all, lawn care is a right completely ignored by our founding fathers and some people not being able to afford quality lawn care in this day and age is a simple reflection of our egocentric desire for freedom.
Why should only the selfish people who work for a living have pristine yards while others look rougher than a warmed-over Kathleen Turner? In response to this question, what our commission came up with after years of siphoning funds was a system so complicated that it will keep them employed for the rest of their lives: The Purple People-Eating Affordable Lawn Care Act or PPALCA.
Sure it may take some tweaking here and there, but once somebody actually makes it through the title and can explain it to the rest of us, I’m sure it will be adopted as a model other neighborhoods will wish they had never heard of. Allow me to offer some highlights:
Most importantly, the act provides lawn care to those who have not had it before. It does this by increasing association dues across the board and setting up a “lawn care exchange” which works similar to the stock exchange but not really. The providers within the exchange must care for all lawns at the same rate despite what condition the yard may be in. Those with yards in poor condition will be placed in a high-risk pool, where they will be forced to swim laps until their yard is finished.
An Independent Payment Advisory Department (iPad) is paid for out of association dues and oversees all aspects of individual lawn care. It determines how lawn care is to be organized, who gets the lawn care, and which lawn care provider delivers the care. Critics have nicknamed this department the dreaded “death paddles” and say that it opens the door to all sorts of corruption and trademark litigation by the Apple company.
Additionally, preventive lawn care must be provided at no cost to the consumer, to include birch control. We have a tremendous amount of birches here in Minnesota and nothing screws up your lawn like an unwanted birch. Many people enjoy gardening with numerous partners and regularly plant trees as a lifestyle choice, and even though they may be careful not to spread their seed too wide, there is always the chance of an unwanted birch, which can be very expensive to maintain.
The problem with this clause is that certain radical environmentalists think that each and every birch is precious and should be allowed to live and grow. If you don’t want a birch, they say, then don’t be out there gardening and spreading seed, to which the promiscuous gardeners often say, “Kiss my ash.” The commission has since backed off the mandated birch control clause saying that environmentalists do not have to comply, due largely to political expediency.
As you can imagine, providing free lawn care to everyone in the neighborhood who then have to pay for it anyway will increase the acreage that must be maintained. In other words, the number of lawns to be cared for increases significantly but the number of lawn care providers remains static. People fear this would tend to limit the quality of lawn care overall. To combat this, the commission intends to hire a team of experts to help collect fees.
Also, with the increased yard coverage required by individual lawn care providers and the poor pre-existing condition of certain lawns that are now suddenly required to be cared for, lawn care rates are bound to increase even further. Therefore, the commission has appointed yet another panel to review ‘unreasonable’ rate increases by the lawn care provider. Should the commission determine that the rate increase is proven to be arbitrarily unreasonable they reserve the right to say, “naughty, naughty.” This is all they can do as any adjustments to such increases are not enforceable, rendering the work of the panel pointless and yet no less expensive.
The most controversial item in the lawn care act is undoubtedly the individual mandate. The mandate states that if someone does not have lawn care, they need to get off their grass and get some or pay a penalty. In short, the poor who cannot afford lawn care must acquire lawn care or they have to pay for it anyway making them so poor they cannot afford lawn care subjecting them to further penalties and so on. In related news, it turns out that newsman Anderson Cooper is in favor of any and all mandates.
It remains to be seen whether or not the commission’s action will work for our neighborhood. Perhaps most telling about the future is that the commission has admitted that even they don’t understand the Affordable Lawn Care Act, which is why they have exempted themselves from it.
If you have any questions, please refer to the 2700-page original document.