Monday, September 10, 2007

Cook 'n Mow

Our phone books were delivered this week in those yellow sacks they hang off the mail boxes. Upon pulling into my driveway, I observed the gigantic first grader who lives next door pedaling madly across the front yard atop a hot pink bicycle that was *clearly* far to small for him. He was swinging the phone book in wide circles over his head using the handles of the plastic phone book sack. Then, he let out a battle cry so piercing that a small flock of birds in a nearby tree took flight. On the other side of the yard, directly in his path stood one of the really little kids that lives there. The grass where she was standing was approximately, up to her chin. He was headed right for her! The mother rushed outside just in time to stop the little one from becoming bicycle road kill or having to surgically remove a phone book from her head. Events like this usually serve to alert our neighbors that it is time to mow their grass.

The grass next door. To say that it is long, is, well, an understatement that doesn't really do it justice. They could lose a small child in that yard . They can not cook out because the grass is so long that it will light on fire beneath the grill. They also can not find the lawn mower in the grass. So really, it becomes a vicious cycle. This is why, when the grass becomes so long that they can no longer get their cars in and out of the yard, or they cant find the children, they have to spring into action. They host what Chris and I have come to refer to as a cook 'n mow. This consists of inviting about 20 of their closest friends over. Each friend brings something to grill and a lawn mower. They do this because 1) the people who live there can not find their own lawn mower in the jungle yard and 2) even if they could, the grass is SO long that one mower would break down from the sheer mechanical stress after one pass across the yard.

So, all their friends come over and start their mowers *simultaneously* to make sure they work. One mower is loud, 20 mowers are *VERY* loud. Fortunately, most of the mowers break after about 10 seconds so after the initial deluge of noise, there are only 1 or 2 running at a time. Priority 1: mow a path to the grill. After the grill is lit, they mow concentric circles around the 15 foot wide trampoline in the middle of the back yard. After there is a clear path to the trampoline, all the children (that they can find) are herded onto it. This includes the baby. Now that the kids are out of the way, they continue mowing concentric circles around the objects in the back yard in order of importance.

Honestly, it's pretty amazing to watch, there are guys who mow, guys who fix lawn mowers as they break and guys who just run back and forth exchanging broken lawn mowers for working ones. The remaining guests are in charge of grilling.

This brings me to the "cook" part of the cook 'n mow. I observed at this weekend's cook 'n mow, a man using what appeared to be a large metal snow shovel a sort of gigantic spatula to flip food on the grill. Why didn't he use a regular spatula you ask? Well my only guess is that it was lost in the grass.


Rachel said...

I am still wondering why as such good neighbors you are not invited to this "Cook 'n Mow"...I am also thinking I am tempted to have such an event...except for the lost children of course, and the shovel thing (that is a picture for "Country Fried Video Award!) no kidding let me know when the next one is and I am a sure winner of the $500 bucks! Don't worry..I'll give you $10 for the invite~

Chris said...

Gosh, I hope everyone who reads your blog knows how pron you are to exaggeration.

Heather said...

ROFLOL I'll quit complaining about my neighbors hanging stuff on my new fence now. Hehe

Estee said...

I need pictures. I also think that you need to set up a "donate a lawn mower" program for your neighbors. I am thinking also of a lawn mower race down your street. There are possibilities.