Sunday, August 20, 2017

That pesticide must be stronger than they thought

     Look at this sign, spied last week along Chicago Avenue, just east of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Take your time. Study the photo. See if you notice what I noticed immediately, stopping in my tracks and snapping this photo.
     No? It was a bit of a misleading request. Notice, not the sign, but the ground.  Anything missing? How about grass? These large, stark, yellow and black signs are warning about pesticide that isn't applied to a lawn that isn't there. Almost a koan.
    I can only imagine that there was once grass, and the sign either warned of regular though ultimately ineffectual pesticide treatment or—my guess—they were just put there cynically, to keep pets from being allowed to relieve themselves on the grass. That's a theory of mine. I always pull my dog off lawns—when there are actual lawns— marked with these sort of signs.
     I can't be sure they're sincere—some part of me says that there is no danger. I even have doubts such pesticides are used in residential areas. I mean, have you ever heard of a dog being sickened by pesticide that was put on a lawn? 
     Me neither. Heck, I don't even hear the word "pesticide" anymore. I don't know what they call it nowadays. Organic-Earth Insect Discourager. Or some such thing. "Pest" is like "problem," one of those words that got banished when we decided to use euphemisms for everything.  Now it's "otherwise-valued creature" and, of course, "issue."
    Not the biggest observation. But the sun is supposed to go out tomorrow. And while we're fairly confident it'll click back on, well, you never know, and I'd hate to spend my last hours beavering away here.


  1. most of what gets sprayed on lawns is herbicides, though pesticides are still used. lawn care and landscaping are big business. between the sprayers, mowers, weed wackers, leaf blowers, all with unregulated gasoline powered engines spewing greenhouse gasses in a cacophonous clatter and the chemicals used its a leading source of injury to the honey bees and so unnecessary. what can we do to stop global warming? asks your average homeowner, while paying the lawn care bill. as far as dog walkers, they shouldn't allow their pets to relieve themselves on someone else property regardless of whether their is a sign posted. the worst is people who take their dog to the park , you know where children roll around on the ground? and let the animal piss and shit there. gross! there are laws against this and signs posted, but dog owners are a special kind of something . thanks Neil for getting my mind off the white supremacist types this morning. and yes these chemicals are dangerous, to people as well as insects and animals. they damage the nervous system. most injurious to the workers (mostly immigrants). END TIMES!

  2. My first thought was the pesticides killed all the grass.

    We used to have a lawncare service at our previous residence and of course they assured me the chemicals sprayed on it it was harmless to animals. Never liked using them but we had a 3/4 acre back yard which would have been a weed factory otherwise, and too much work to be digging up weeds every week.

  3. Had a dog and a lawn. Never put down fertilxer or weed killer or pesticides because of dog. Do spray Ortho home and Garden Bug along the exposed foundation of the house and around door and windows each spring. Due to not using them in yard, we have an ant kingdom surrounding the house. And, you know, spiders. Thirty and more years ago it was considered polite to fog the yard for mosquitos before hqcing company for a backyard do! Fifty, sixty years ago, Mom ddt-ed the homes we lived in. Took me years to realize it wasnt just the force of her personality that kept otherwise valued creatures out of our house. Which I still rather believe ...they wouldn't dare...

  4. I have no wisdom to impart on the subject at hand, but the notion that we "decided to use euphemisms for everything" brings to mind that overuse of euphemism, particularly to sugar coat death, is seen by the British upper, and more literate middle, crust as an unwelcome Americanism. ("Grand Mama didn't 'pass away' dear, she died.")

    The point is made in a possibly apocryphal exchange of greetings between two old soldiers who had fought together in WW II.

    American: "Good to see you again Brigadier, but I was sorry to hear you had buried your wife."

    Brit. "Had to. Dead y'know."


  5. The question isn't whether or not the sun will "click back on", but whether or not our fearless leader will take credit for it in his address to the nation tomorrow evening. In the off chance that we're plunged into eternal darkness tomorrow afternoon, he can always blame crooked Hillary.


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