Neighborly efforts to take care of one’s lawn should — almost always — be commended.
There’s an unwritten social contract among many of us to ensure our living spaces are relatively presentable aesthetically to those who live nearby. Nevertheless, specific to yard work, there are some rules to follow.
“The cardinal rule of proper lawn care etiquette is to mow at a reasonable time of day,” reads a website for LawnGuru, which connects contractors with those needing outdoor services. “None of your neighbors want to wake up at 3 a.m. to the sound of a loud lawn mower!
“Basically, the standard for lawn care etiquette is not to mow before the typical breakfast time and do your best to stop mowing before the typical dinner time. Sound ordinances can vary all over, but the general time frame is usually from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.”
A Chicago Tribune story was slightly more generous with its windows of opportunity, advising to not mow before 8 a.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends. It added that, “If the folks next door are having an outdoor party or cookout, don’t run out and fire up the Lawn-Boy.”
Why bring this up? One egregious violation not mentioned in the aforementioned guidelines was broken locally this past Sunday.
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It was a picture-perfect day in the Chippewa Valley. The weather was somewhat brisk, but the sun was out. On the docket was an NFL tilt between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. At stake was first place in the standings, albeit only two games into the season.
We settled in at a friend’s house with the requisite provisions — crock-pots brimming with food and a few adult beverages. Just as kickoff neared, the roar of a lawn mower across the street rattled our get-together.
The ill-advised timing of the offense left us perplexed. How would we share our brilliant, in-depth analysis of the game given such conditions? On its website, the venerable Emily Post Institute advises to “limit the use of lawn mowers, leaf blowers, power tools, and the like to reasonable times ...” Surely the scheduling of this affront was unreasonable.
Thankfully, the ruckus eventually came to an end as our Packers eked out a five-point win over Minnesota. And we did our part to influence the proceedings; as the game progressed, a friend felt the need — nay, the responsibility — to watch from the kitchen when the Packers were on defense, but could return to a couch in front of the TV when they were on offense. After all, reads a tagline in a past Budweiser advertising campaign touting fan superstitions, “it’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”
Because of our success against Minnesota, we’ll all be returning to the same house this Sunday when Green Bay hosts the Denver Broncos. The neighbor who fired up his lawn mower during the last game may be a swell guy — though the timing of his offense suggests he may be a Chicago Bears fan — but hopefully he’ll reconsider the timing of his chores this coming weekend.
— Liam Marlaire, assistant editor