We've had the War on Drugs. The War on Christmas. The War on Women and the War on Terrorism. Some peaceniks even declared a War on War.
And now it looks like we can add one more to the growing list of things we're constantly fighting: The War on Weeds.
In Saturday's newspaper, beneath a headline trumpeting just that -- Utah's "war on weeds" -- Standard-Examiner correspondent Sarah Alban reported that the state Legislature has approved another $1 million in grants to fight invasive weeds. This is in addition to an initial $1 million approved last year to launch the fight spearheaded by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.
According to the story, 25 counties in the state will share the money earmarked for eradicating weeds, through "the renewal of 10 projects that began last year and the approval of 32 new projects."
Ummm, make that 33 new projects.
That's right, I respectfully submit my yard as Exhibit A in the state's latest weed-control efforts. Because if UDAF experts really want to make a difference in the War on Weeds, they know exactly where they can begin that battle.
For the record, we at Casa del Saal have a lush, growing lawn; it just happens to be located in all the wrong areas of the yard. Everywhere we want grass to grow -- you know, like, say, the actual lawn-area proper -- we can't get it to flourish to save our lives. There the grass is stunted, brownish and sickly looking. And everywhere we don't want grass to grow -- the flower beds, the vegetable garden, the cracks in the sidewalk and driveway -- it's like a television commercial for Scotts Lawn Care products.
I have no doubt that neighbors, sick of looking at the dandelion-speckled meadow masquerading as my lawn, have already been plotting a first-strike raid at my house. It will likely involve several waves of specially equipped crop dusters, flying low over the neighborhood and releasing an herbicide -- possibly Agent Orange or some other powerful defoliant.
Look, I didn't set out to be "that guy." You know, the guy whose yard looks like the one from "The Addams Family." It's just that, somehow, in the prioritized list of things to do in my life, lawn care falls somewhere between going back to college and shaving my back hair.
Working a relatively full-time-ish job and trying to keep up with my yard's myriad landscaping needs -- pruning the larger weeds, mowing the grass in the flower beds, etc. -- is just too overwhelming.
And let's be honest: If you're a member of the state's predominant religion, you technically only have half a weekend to accomplish all the things the gentiles get two days to do.
Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I'm merely explaining why my yard makes our house look like it has been in foreclosure since the early 1980s. And that reason is ... the Mormon Church. (Hey, why not? It gets blamed for everything else in this state.)
Saturday's Standard-Examiner story also pointed out that anyone wanting to help in the fight against weeds can download the EDDMapS phone app to report invasive-weed sightings. Which got me to thinking, why couldn't we do something similar? So here's the deal: Think you or a neighbor has a worse lawn than mine? Email me with the particulars, including a photo, if possible. The worst lawn out there might get a special write-up in this space.
And if nothing else, it'll at least make me feel better about my own yard.
Contact Mark Saal at
801-625-4272, email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @Saalman.