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Believe it or not, it is a municipal violation that can result in significant fines if you let your grass grow to ridiculous heights.
THERE ARE LEGITIMATE reasons for not letting your lawn return to anything resembling its natural state (ie., prairie grass). Mosquitoes and the West Nile virus can breed in grass that gets too tall.
Although the issue usually gets bogged down amongst concerns from some people who have way too much free time on their hands. They’re the ones who want everybody else around them to match up to their own prissy standards of what is proper.
Which is why a legitimate concern over grass height often gets camouflaged in hysteria – people think there’s some sort of freedom of express in letting their grass become unkempt.
I bring all this up because of the latest quirky story to gain national attention – that of a man who lives in suburban Park Ridge who let his grass grow as high as 20 inches.
HE JUSTIFIED IT by saying that he’s a Chicago Blackhawks fan, and he was going to let his grass grow until the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup (which could be sometime next week, if they play well against the Boston Bruins).
Naturally, there are those who see such talk as being silly. They called the village, which sent out an inspector who issued him a warning. The Chicago Tribune reported that the man (whom I don’t feel the need to give any more publicity than necessary) initially thought the warning was just a water bill.
The end result is that the village had a landscaping company they use for such work come in and mow his lawn – which is creating a mixture of reactions.
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Tyranny at work. Evil, corrupt government telling a man what to do with his own property, then personally taking control of the situation when he refuses to comply with their petty demands!!!!
THAT’S A LITTLE over the top, but it is the way some people perceive this issue. Although there also are those who think they’re being cute. I read one nonsensical piece of commentary that claims all people should stop mowing their own lawns, since the local governments are now so willing to do it for you after awhile.
Personally, I wouldn’t buy into that logic – mainly because some governments hire private landscaping companies to perform such grass-cutting services. While some send out a crew of workers with the Public Works Department to do the job.
Either way, you’re talking about having to pay a professional rate to compensate those employees for the time they spent cutting your sloppy, ill-kempt grass. It’s not like conning a neighborhood kid with a $10 bill to do the lawn for you.
And for repeat offenders, there always are the possibility of tickets issued by the police – in addition to the cost of the grass-cutting itself.
THEN, THOSE PEOPLE could complain about government run amok – charging you all these dollars to support government programs and services that they will claim they never use.
Although the next time you flush your toilet, keep in mind that it is a government entity that is maintaining the system that ensures your waste does not get mixed with the drinking water supply. And also pays for those police who keep watch over your neighborhood.
Which is to say that I can’t help but think it a bit silly for someone to think they’re making any kind of statement about hockey by letting their summertime grass grow to ridiculous heights.
If he really wanted to make a statement, he’d somehow turn his lawn into an ice rink. He could skate around with joy (and perhaps land flat on his bottom) when, and if, the Blackhawks actually manage to win.