I’m not a super clean person, but I’m not a slob, either. I’ve hung out with people like that. They don’t bathe regularly, wear the same clothes day in and day out, and they smell; they’re gross.

I’ll leave little messes around the house, such as a pile of dirty shoes by the door, my bag and its items scattered across the living room, papers all over the place. When I was a kid, my mother called such messes “my trail.” But I’ve always taken a degree of pride in keeping my own place from becoming a pigsty and keeping it somewhat clean.

Apparently, I forgot to apply this practice to the outside of my house.

Last week, just before a massive thunderstorm swept through the area, I noticed a note pinned to the door of the house. It made my wife and I aware that our yard violated the city code.


I knew I needed to mow, but I wasn’t quite expecting, well, a ticket. When I first saw it, I was mad. Steaming. I thought to myself, “How dare they tell me what to do on my property?”

Then I drove around the neighborhood.

I saw my neighbors’ lawns more or less neatly trimmed; every lawn had been mowed in the last two weeks or so. Returning to my yard, it was apparent that ours had not been mowed recently.

I understood the ticket then and hung my head in shame. I knew I had to mow, and mow immediately. I had physical therapy later that day and figured mowing the lawn would be a good way to wind down afterward. But as I walked into the physical therapy office, the skies darkened. It became clear that I wouldn’t be mowing that day.

I looked at the forecast and saw nothing but storm clouds for the next few days. I didn’t think I’d have the chance to mow before the lawn police showed up again and took me away in chains. Thank God that didn’t happen.

Given the weather and the amount of rain we’ve had lately, it has become clear to me that mowing once a week might be the order of the day for a while. My ticket said the lawn police would be back on Saturday to see if I had complied with their order.

Hopefully, they won’t be working on the weekend and I’ll have until Monday. I’m pretty sure the lawn will need to be mowed again before then. It doesn’t look like I’ll have time to do that until Sunday, which means that even though I did comply with the orders of the lawn police, they may show up and see no improvement in my yard’s situation.

I know there used to be such a thing as a debtors prison, but is there a lawn prison?

Hopefully, I won’t find out.

Herald correspondent Jake Murray is a Copperas Cove resident.

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