A Lawn Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
It’s an absolutely glorious day here in Maine, 65 degrees with a slight breeze wafting through the open back porch door. Moments ago, just before I snapped the photo above, I heard my daughter, Aimee, out on the lawn singing one of the songs we usually harmonize together at bedtime.
“Take me out to the ballgame,
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjacks,
I don’t care if I ever get back.
Let me root, root, root for the Red Sox,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
And it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out,
At the old ball game . . .”
And as cute as that splendid moment in the grass appeared, it unfortunately got me thinking about all sorts of frustrations . . . and not just the Red Sox’s current record (7-10). Here are just a couple . . .
IT’S BEEN REALLY DIFFICULT to watch Fenway Park’s outfield this year knowing that Major League Baseball sold out to Scotts Miracle Gro in a million dollar sponsorship deal — and nobody seems to care. Well, maybe not nobody, but hardly anybody. Just this morning Tim Rhys sent me an email link to the Red Sox home page: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/fan_forum/scotts/bos.jsp. The ad says “Get a Big League Lawn.” Tim sees the absurdity of the ad, but then again he’s on our Board of Directors.
We tried and tried to get the public to understand that this ill-conceived coupling of the largest lawn fertilizer and pesticide company and Major League Baseball was fundamentally wrong, even evil. Duping the masses into thinking they an have Fenway Park in their back yards just by dumping the contents of a bag onto their grass is false advertising at its worst. The campaign encourages people to waste resources. It implores them to imperil water. It tells us to use products that make our children and pets sick.
But most people just don’t care. Despite the efforts of many of the nation’s leading environmental groups, only 886 people have signed an online petition denouncing the Scotts Miracle Gro love fest. That’s 886 people from the 330,000,000 in North America in more than a month. Honestly, it’s a pathetic response that’s probably making Miracle Gro president Jim Hagedorn laugh on his corporate jet all the way from Long Island to Marysville (Ohio).
Take me out to the ballgame? Not me this year. As much as I love the Red Sox, I won’t step foot inside Fenway Park again as long as the Scotts banner hangs on the outfield walls.
THE SAD THING IS THAT the Scotts Miracle Gro deal with Major League Baseball is probably only the second most gut-wrenching advertising campaign on the airways right now. Even my father, who still hires TruGreen ChemLawn to poison his back yard, thinks it’s ridiculous that the company hired a cherubic 14-year-old actor as its pitchman. The kid’s real name is Noah Bryant Munck, but for the world’s largest lawn care service company he plays “Neighborhood Lawn Kid” Bobby Sinclair. “They grow it, I mow it,” he says. “Mo TruGreen means mo green for me . . . ” What a great lesson for American youth.
We’re supposed to overlook that fact that he’s not wearing any eye or ear protection, or that he’s mowing in sneakers and ankle socks. We’re supposed to think his lawn mower, painted with drag-racer flames and equipped with a bag to collect the clippings that ought to stay on the lawn, is really cool . . . dude. And apparently we’re supposed to laugh when he passes by an “ugly” lawn that hasn’t been hit with TruGreen’s chemical cocktails. “No TruGreen, no thanks,” says plump little Munck.
Is the American public really buying this rubbish? In an era when times are tight for most of us, TruGreen would have us spend money on products that make our lawns grow like baseball players on steroids so that we can pay a would-be Donald Trump even more money to mow as often as possible?
The only green TruGreen really cares about is the stuff in your wallet. Please tell me someone, anyone gets this.
Meanwhile, I’m going to back out to my organic lawn, sing a few songs, and graciously accept the 10th dandelion bouquet of the day from Aimee.