Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Last night I was a walking paradox. Here was a man in his “Mr. Cool” T-shirt and second-hand snap pants, using cheap gardening tools and his wife’s gardening gloves, pulling weeds from his lawn and garden, while listening to death metal on his iPod. Out in the serenity of Mother Nature, all by my lonesome, plucking earthworms gently from the soil to save them from my garden spade-induced swath of destruction, while simultaneously enjoying a cornucopia of death metal. I was ripping some fairly pathetic perennials out of my garden as they were contributing nothing but living space for snails. I also trimmed back some dead leaders on my other plants as they were sapping precious nutrients from the other branches that were actually producing something useful, namely, foliage. Who wants to spend their hard-earned money on worm poop and city water just to have it used up by zombie branches? Finally, I tackled the dandelions. Dandelions really piss me off. Anyone who ever does them the honor of making a salad out of them is kicking every weed-pulling fool like myself square in the nuts. I have slaved over my little herb garden to grow actual edible plants, only to watch them die before my eyes. Yet these plants that I did not even plant thrive and spread despite my best efforts. Screw you dandelion. See, that is where the metal comes in. I need the incessant thrashing of DevilDriver, Killswitch Engage, Unearth, Trivium, Becoming the Archetype, August Burns Red, Chimaira, et al. to muster the aggression and strength I need to eradicate the herbaceous scourge of Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion. I worked up more of a sweat in those 3 hours I spent in my yard pulling weeds and mowing then I have in numerous manufactured workouts. No wonder our society is so fat. We don’t get on our knees and get dirty often enough. We just pay the Weed Man to take care of it. Man did it feel good. Rhythmic death metal. Destroying and creating life at the same time. Learning about the organism that is my yard. Awesome. If you want a killer website about gardening techniques more in line with nature, check out EarthEasy. Everything from how to attract beneficial insects to your yard to kill unwanted pests (who would have ever thought a species known as parasitic wasps could at the same time be considered beneficial?) to how to use corn gluten to kill weeds while rejuvenating your lawn. Who would have thunk it? Speaking of corn, if you find yourself in a bookstore, pick up Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. If you don’t want to buy it (although I am not endorsing this), just read the first 25 pages. Apparently, North Americans are very corny. Literally. We are full of corn. Everything we consume apparently contains corn in one form or another. No joke. But I digress (I do that a lot, don’t I?) Conclusion: There is no better way to unwind, get your aggression out, enjoy nature, and get a great workout, all at the same time, than gardening while pumping some thrash metal. Try it out!