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Travels With An Airhead

The Neighborhood Goat

— by Notch Miyake

After almost 30 years of suburban home ownership, I have become an expert in grass growing.

I can grow grass almost anywhere. I have grown grass in the gutters as well as the flower garden and the mulch around the shrubs.

I must admit that I have never grown grass on the roof but I have seen pictures of houses with grass roofs. I am sure that if I decided to grow a grass roof, it would be a simple matter.

Not only can I grow grass where most people have failed; I can grow grass faster than almost anybody. This, of course, is the downside of a highly developed skill like mine.

Grass ordinarily grows fastest during peak riding season, wasting a lot of time mowing the lawn instead of riding. In addition, lawn mowing uses a lot of gas and is highly polluting. To my knowledge, nobody makes a high-mileage, low-emissions lawnmower.

BMW might consider entering this market since they already have a clean one-cylinder motorcycle that can be easily converted into a lawnmower. In fact, if you painted an F650 green it would look a lot like a John Deere.

I have tried simply letting the lawn grow. We once went on a three-week trip and came back to find the grass waving in the breeze. It was like being at the beach on a sunny summer day.

Our neighbors had uninspiring green carpets, clipped six inches or so shorter than our lawn.

Unfortunately, they were unimaginative people and complained bitterly about our lawn, saying things like, "You better cut your lawn or I'll call the cops," and "You are destroying the property values around here," and "Asshole."

Clearly, these people were highly sensitive about the length of their grass.

So I went in search of an ecologically sound lawnmower. A natural solution. Something that eats grass.

Horses and cows were out because they leave big turds (cowpies) on the lawn. Cowpies are even bigger than golden retriever shit.

Sheep droppings are a lot smaller and hardly noticeable on the lawn. However, sheep fart a lot of methane gas (hydrocarbons) which causes smog.

Goats have small turds and don?t fart much. They eat pretty fast. They also eat almost anything, so to avoid having all your flowers and shrubs eaten, they need to be moved regularly to new grazing.

We need a neighborhood goat. Buy it in the spring, cut grass with it all summer and barbecue it in the fall. Save a lot of time and gas for motorcycling.

They didn't go for it, even after I pointed out that the goat was smaller than most of the dogs in the neighborhood. I also said we would keep it tied up in compliance with the leash law. Their big objection had something to do with my mental health, like, "Are you nuts?"

It came down to a choice between having a life or having a lawn. So we sold the house. Next month I'll tell you about our move to a new condominium in the city.

— Copyright © 2000 by Notch Miyake.

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