I contemplated mowing my lawn a number of times this past weekend.

Bruce Wallace

Bruce Wallace

That is, to say, I thought about it – but the closest I got to the Lawn Boy was to walk past it in the garage and say, “Haha! Not this weekend, buddy.”

Yep, mowing my yard so much this summer has me to the point where I’m actually at odds with the *#%* machine and telling him off every chance I get.

The first time I contemplated mowing my lawn this past weekend was on Friday afternoon….as it began to rain again.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to be mowing my lawn the day before I take Halloween photos for the Journal’s annual “Scare Us” promotion,” I said to a co-worker.

The next time I contemplated mowing my lawn last weekend was when I was standing on a wet, but not soggy artificial surface at the School of the Osage football field.

“How long does it take to mow this stuff?” I asked the photographer from a lake area newspaper.

He chuckled and immediately knew where I was going with the conversation.

“I’ve worn out my old mower this summer,” the photographer said. We talked lawns and Lawn Boys. You would be amazed at the topics covered by photographers on the sideline at a football game. More often than not – few, if zero, conversations about football.

The artificial surface at Osage High School is as good as any high school surface I’ve seen. Not only was it cushy, yet firm, it drained Friday’s rain – and more rain during the game – in minutes.

It, and similar surfaces in Boonville, California and Blair Oaks High Schools, are the most recent versions of the old AstroTurf invented by Monsanto.

Astroturf’s original name, for those who can’t wait to find out, was Chemgrass – which makes no sense whatsoever. It was re-named AstroTurf when it was installed in the Astrodome in Houston.

When I was in college, I had a friend who lived in a duplex at which the owner had installed AstroTurf in the front yard. The backyard was asphalt.

The duplex’s owner had installed the fake grass in response to the 1980 drought which basically killed all of the grass from Harrison, Ark., to the state line. Tumble weeds were blowing through the Boston Mountains and the lawns dried up and blew away. The fake yard was a lot more like what you would buy for you back patio at Lowe’s than the artificial surfaces on athletic fields today.

Didn’t matter. We had putt-putt contests on that yard, sold parking spots to football fans and, on dry mornings, walking barefoot on it could emit enough of a static charge that it would give your croquet opponent a shock. We vacuumed the lawn, we swept the lawn and we painted the lawn – we were 21 and obnoxious…you can imagine. Obviously, alcohol was sometimes involved.

But the ultimate best part of that faux front yard was that it was never — never – mowed. Artificial, superficial. A synthetic imitation fake. Those were the days.

Third time I contemplated mowing my lawn this weekend was as I hiked through the woods at Lake of the Ozarks State Park on Saturday afternoon.

“I don’t remember the grass this green or this high last September when we camped, do you?” My wife asked.

“No,” I groaned.

I could here my mower, in my garage, 90-minutes away……laughing.

By Bruce Wallace