Welcome the first installment of our 107-part series focused on providing in-depth reviews of the inane things you spend your life doing.
Up first: Mowing your lawn.
Note: This is specifically about mowing your own lawn. Mowing someone else’s lawn is a completely different affair. Likely you are doing that because they are paying you to do it, so kudos to you on being a productive member of our economy. Keep it up.
This review was also conducted using a standard “push” or “walk-behind” gas-powered lawnmower. Again, if you are using different equipment like a riding mower then this will be less useful for you.
Mowing your lawn is… ok. It gets you out in the sun and it gets you moving, both of which you need to do because you’re older and softer now. If you consider this exercise though and find yourself short of breath and/or sweating afterwards… well then you are in pretty rough shape.
Lawnmowing is not particularly thrilling at the best of times. You’re basically just walking behind a machine and trying not to step in dog poop or pull a Mad Men moment.
Mowing can also be a great time to get caught up on podcasts or audiobooks. Don’t be a schlub, spend some time improving your mind while you’re performing menial tasks. Maybe a language lesson or two. Don’t give up on your dreams just because they’re pointless and life has bound you in a chocking, constricting web of obligations and responsibilities.
You do have to devote some measure of focus to the task at hand, but not all that much. You’ll have to make sure that you’re lining up your pattern as you mow so that you don’t miss any patches, which would make your lawn look awful. You have to be sure you get all the grass. Watch as the mower passes over it and turns the shaggy, verdant carpet of thriving plant-life into a uniform mat of closely-cropped and neat order. Take pride in this moment of triumph over nature. You have subjected that cruel bitch Mother Nature to your humanistic demands for order, pattern, and easy answers to complex questions.
Try not to think about how temporary a solution this is. Do not dwell on the thought that withing 2-3 days you will look out on this very same lawn and see all your work crumbling as the grass grows asymmetrically across the plot of land that foolishly think belongs to you. In a week it is all completely undone, nature has destroyed the order you sought to bring to it. Your work is meaningless.
Nothing you can do will ever hold back the tides of entropy that inevitably creep in. Pour all your energy into this endeavor and still it will not buy you more than a week or two of calm respite. The stars go out as their nuclear fury is exhausted and they spray inchoate particles across a pitiless void. The centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world! Life is born of dust and to dust it shall return before the wind blows it scatteringly across the face of a world where men tread no more and no grass shall ever again be cut. Look on your works, ye mighty, and despair!
Lawnmowing: 3 out of 5 stars.