Man Renders Lawn Uninhabitable, Reaps Benefits

The Clam today features a submission from a mysterious contributor. One of the great things about Gloucester is you don’t see a lot of those ‘Chem Lawn’ spray trucks, mostly because the chemicals would take the paint off the boat you are getting around to repainting up on blocks in the side yard. Other towns are not so lucky.

Man Renders Lawn Uninhabitable, Reaps Benefits

by C.J. Andertone

Today Lynnfield, MA resident Tony Mancusio proudly shows off his large, grassy lawn from the driveway of his ample two-story home. “But don’t step over there,” he says. “They just sprayed.”

keep off the grass

keep off the grass

Mancusio, 54, a lifetime resident of the North Shore, had workers add a generous application of pesticide, assuring that grubs and leaf-eaters won’t damage his pristine green lawn. “Look at it,” he says, spreading his arms wide as in benediction, “It reminds me of the lawn I grew up with as a kid.” Little yellow signs warning of the application of pesticides blossom on lawns all across the region every spring, including in Mr. Mancusio’s near half-acre front yard. “It just makes sense, you know?” he says, crossing his arms and taking in the picturesque scene. “I mean, get the grubs before they get you. Am I right?” Asked whether any of his neighbors have complemented him on his beautiful lawn, Mancusio says, “I think they’re all a little jealous.” He pauses. “Except that old crone down on the corner. She says my runoff poisons the groundwater, the moles, and hurts the little freakin’ birdies that feed off the bugs that pass through my property.” He adds, “Screw the little birdies. I got a coupla blue jays that screech and make a fuss outside my window every morning at God’s first light. I hope they get sick and die, you know what I mean? The little bastard bunnies that ransack my garden, too.”

That ain't rain

That ain’t rain

“Still,” he says wistfully looking over the lush green grass, “I’d hate to be the guys that cut it. All that dust.” He shakes his head, pushes back his graying hair. “But hey, it’s a paycheck. Without guys like me, they’d probably be robbing liquor stores or something.” “When I was a kid we’d have great, grand neighborhood football games in my father’s yard. Everybody would come out and play. All the kids. Neighbors would watch. Mrs. Dunnovan bring over lemonade for everybody. It was real lovely.” Mancusio wipes at his eyes before adding, “Looking out here, it reminds me of when I was young and ready to take on the world.” He coughs, shakes his head, and says soberly, “But no way are some punks going to f**k up my nice, green lawn. No grubs, no kids, no freakin’ blue jays. I’m gonna retire in this house, and when I’m old and losing my marbles, I’ll still be able to look out here and remember what it was like for me when I was a child.”

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