We are having a problem with our lawn this summer.

It’s green.

Luckily I have a wife whose favorite pastime is mowing away all of the nasty green so the lawn looks like post-locust plague Egypt.

My wife, Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, is out there whenever it is not raining, happily mowing away. She comes so close to the fruit trees I planted for her grandchildren that the bark is scraped away down at ground level. Keeping protective sticks around little trees only works as long as you stand guard over them. Forget to protect the tree for only one year and the bark is scraped off, insects attack the bare wood, and the tree rots out and falls over before it even gets started. We have no flowers or decorative shrubs. Even my venerable grape vines finally gave in to the incessant whirling of her sharpened blades.

Do you know what it’s like to be married to a woman who even dreams that she is mowing, scrubbing or painting? It’s an incentive to keep moving.

Jim lives in Rockland, and Jim’s wife, Julie, is a hairdresser who has a customer who owns a fine place out on Islesboro. One day, her Islesboro friend chanced to mention that they’d be in Europe all summer and that Jim and Julie would be welcome to spend a weekend out there anytime. You know, “Just leave the place in the same condition in which you found it and mow the lawn.” Well, you don’t get an offer like that every day. So Jim and Julie went out there and discovered that the grass on the lawn, which was as big as a golf course, was 5 inches high. You don’t get rich by being foolish. Jim says he spent the entire weekend mowing and rubbing linament on his legs.  My wife would have spent the weekend turning those grassy acres into one big sand trap.

Years ago Marsha and I boarded an airplane in London and flew to Boston. There was a nice young man sitting next to Marsha, and naturally she had to ask him what he did. There was always a chance that he might ask her to do something fun and exciting like scrape and paint his house. Or clean out his stables. He was not a spy. We used to travel on airplanes from time to time, and I think it is interesting that we never got to sit next to people who say “I am a spy” when you ask them what they do. Statistically speaking, wouldn’t you think you’d get to meet a spy at least once in every 40 or 50 international flights? If you’ve watched any spy movies at all, you know that half of every spy movie consists of a spy-infested airplane taking off in Istanbul and landing with smoking tires at JFK. You know how it always shows the tires smoking in spy movies when those planes touch down.

After I’d thought about this for a while, I mentioned to Marsha that I thought that I would make a good spy. I’m such an inconspicuous, plain-looking old man that no one would ever suspect me. I could get away with anything.

She said, “What are you talking about? You’re the only person I’ve ever heard of who has had a sandwich bag checked by security.”

When I married my wonderful wife, she had a summer job as queen bee in a rich-kid summer camp way out in the Maine woods. What I mean by queen bee is that she ran everything and thereby ensured the survival and profitability of the camp.

When she quit to marry me, they had to hire five people to replace her. Any man who is married to a Type A woman knows very well what I am talking about. Because of the constraints placed upon Type A women by classical Newtonian mechanics, your Type A wife cannot possibly do things you have seen her do, such as simultaneously make the bed and wash the dishes, because it necessitates being in two places at the same time. The fact that you have seen her make the bed and wash the dishes at the same time was explained by Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, which proved that Type A women are able to jump at random from one frenetic energy state to another.

Because it is impossible to predict where a Type A woman might be scrubbing or cleaning at any given time, if you don’t want a rug with all its composite electrons to be suddenly yanked from beneath your feet, those of us who are married to these women have learned that it is best to simply retire to the workshop and stay out of the way.

The humble Farmer can be seen on Community Television in and near Portland and visited at his website:



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.