Public Eye

(printed 8/27/2021) 

It’s 4:03 a.m., my deadline is noon and I’m struggling. What to write about? How I hate to cut the grass or crazy people taking animal worming medication as a covid-19 treatment?

Such are the great debates I have with myself around this time each week, as I scour the mental countryside for subjects that might resonate with the deep-thinking crowd. Lawn Care or Intestinal Parasites? It’s a difficult choice.

So, I ask myself, would the world be a better place if we all were saved from the threat of covid-19 and, as a happy side effect, were rendered worm-free? Or should I go with the woes of grass-cutting, and how Briggs & Stratton conspired to put otherwise normal human beings to work on their days off?

I wonder.

If, say, the agendas of global summits included a breakout session of lawn-scooting for opposing leaders who have yet to be de-wormed, would our great societies benefit?

Perhaps, and yet, the thought of people actually swallowing their pets’ meds as a covid treatment because they heard it through the grapevine is so insane that people will think I made it up.

It’s just nuts to write, for instance: 

“Hey, Junior, heard you came down with the covids? Didja get the vaccine?”

“Nah, I don’t believe in ‘em. Besides, me and my horse Old Bob here are headin’ over to Southern States for the free tubeworming clinic.”

By way of clarification, tubeworming is one way to administer anti-worm medication to horses. It involves shooting stuff up a horse’s nose via a hose that ...

In other words, if Ray and Old Bob do run over to the clinic for treatment, there’s a distinct possibility that they will be hosed.

Now that I’ve covered that possible column subject, I’m moving on to the other one I’ve been considering — how much I hate cutting grass.

You’re probably asking yourself at this point, “How in the world is he going to transition from that livestock medication rant to the issue of lawncare?”

It’s simple when you’ve been up for a couple of hours and it’s still dark. Here it is: if I had a choice between cutting the grass or being tubewormed, I might still be undecided. Pretty smooth segue, right?

Anyway, I have hated cutting the grass all my life, going back to that first time one parent or the other placed my little hands on the handle and said, “See? They do fit, don’t they?”

Years of protest and excuses ensued, including, “I pulled a hammy on my first turn around the yard,” “I inadvertently ran over a cinder block and the mower’s shot,” and, “It won’t start,” at which point my mother would pull the cord with her little finger and the deceased engine would rise like a zombie and join the ranks of the mowing dead.

I don’t know exactly why I hate mowing, except that it’s hot, boring and pointless, anti-nature, hot, boring and pointless. So why, one might ask, do I insist on doing it myself instead of hiring a service? Because it’s thoughtless exercise, and thoughtless exercise is better for you than thoughtless medication, like worm pills.

See? It is now 6:17 a.m. and I tied it all altogether. Bless you, early morning random thoughts and 14 cups of coffee. It always works somehow.

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