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Column: "Recede"

If you’re a Three Stooges aficionado like I am, you’ve heard Moe Howard say it many times to Larry Fine and brother Curly as three stooges attempted to occupy space (doorways, windows, closets, etc.), large enough/wide enough for only one stooge. In short, “recede” means: back off, one at a time, mind your manners, and the ever-familiar to us long-time fans: “spread out.”

As I constantly hear radio advertising (and see some of it on television as well, though not nearly as much) from three grass seed companies: Scotts, Pennington’s and Rebel, ALL THE TIME, their frequency is beginning to wear my patience thin. So far, their message is not growing on me. Quite the opposite in fact: It’s irritating me. Nor am I the least bit green with envy when I hear any of their promotions, comparisons or philosophies. I’m more numb to it. (Now I don’t know if that’s the neuropathy from the chemotherapy or not but the effect seems identical.)

The competition for the needing-to/wanting-to-grow-grass public dollar is saturating my already limited capacity to absorb their message. Now whether this saturation is caused by filler or a unique high-tech design, the result is that my brain is getting burnt out by this ceaseless pursuit of fescue perfection. With each attempt to grab hold of my grass-growing greenbacks, it makes me ever more motivated to finally slate-in that patio and/or deck that haul and forget all about planting, seeding, feeding, watering and having ANYTHING to do with growing grass. I don’t want to “pave paradise” as Joni Mitchell sang about on “Big Yellow Taxi,” but apparently, unlike these seed companies, I have my limits. As my deceased mother, Celia, said about many things that had overloaded her attention span and/or her capacity to tolerate one more syllable: “It’s enough already.” And she was no stooge. (“Don’t call your mother ‘she!’” I can still hear my father admonishing me.)

But as I continue to resist the seed companies’ desire to pick my pocket and remove my money (“what there is of it”), I’m starting to feel like a bit of a stooge myself for not following through on their promises. I mean, what kind of a moron am I? (“Why? Is there more than one kind?”). If multiple companies are running multiple advertisements on multiple media outlets, there must be a reason, right? Presumably, they’re not stupid, and not keen on wasting their hard-earned and hard-fought-for money on a whim and a prayer. It must be the right time of the year. Spring. When young men’s fancy turns to – grass seed. Duh. People must be responding to/buying their products, so why isn’t yours truly in line with the rest of grass-growing society at the local Lawn & Garden store/section somewhere? I’m the perfect prospect: I own two acres of land and know nothing about anything (especially pertaining to home and yard maintenance) so a reasonably intelligent grouping of words should resonate with me. Who needs more help than I do? (That’s a rhetorical question because everyone who knows me knows the answer.).

But here I sit, on the couch, remote in hand, bemoaning all this advertising emphasis on lawn care. I can’t be bothered, though I’m bothered by it. Still, I can’t worry about it too much. Maybe I’ll just wait until I get to the other side. I hear the grass is always greener over there.