On the way to the mailbox, I noticed a large bare spot in our recently re-seeded lawn.
“I must call Frank Black,” I thought, realizing though that I, not he, was at fault for parking the recycle and garbage cans for pick-up at the same spot.
Growing grass is one of America’s primary obsessions. If our statesmen worked as hard at achieving world peace as homeowners do at growing grass, it would be a world without war.
In fact, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul recently suffered several rib fractures and bruised lungs during an altercation with his neighbor over grass.
Time was when our lawn could compete with the best of them in our neighborhood.
I do remember when all the children in the neighborhood congregated on the lawn of our across-the-street neighbors, Georgianne and Julian Lynch.
I once apologized to Julian for what the kids, including ours, were doing to his lawn. He smiled and said, “A.C., don’t worry. I’m more interested in growing children than I am in growing grass.”
Grass has so many enemies, including drought, black spot and gully washers that wash the seed away before it has a chance to germinate.
And then there are the moles. A few years ago, an invasion of moles made great inroads on our lawn.
One morning, a radio talk show host told listeners how to get rid of the moles, advising them to put mothballs in their holes. Shortly thereafter, a listener called and said, “I know you said to put mothballs in their holes. But how do you hold their little legs?”
I am starting Hillary Clinton’s book, “What Happened?”
I seldom read fiction any more, preferring political subjects and biographies. Depression-era film star Marie Dressler once said, “I enjoy reading biographies because I want to know about the people who messed up the world.”
Too many of today’s novels are over-saturated with sex. There’s nothing wrong with a little sex in a novel. But some of today’s novels read like sex manuals themselves.
Many modern novels follow the formula laid out years ago by humorist and author Kurt Vonnegut:
Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back.
If Kurt Vonnegut’s formula for writing a novel were rewritten today, it might go something like this:
Boy meets girl. Boy goes to bed with girl. Boy and girl get married. Boy and girl have baby girl. Boy goes out of town on business trip. While strolling baby in the park, girl meets intriguing university professor seeking to find himself. Prof goes home with girl. Prof and girl go to bed. Nine months later, girl has baby boy. Boy and girl divorce. Boy takes one child, girl takes the other.
The great Southern novelist Flannery O’Connor spoke the truth when she said, “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think that the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”