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Pecan Pie for the Mind: Mr. X and 1,000 Plastic Dandelions
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I have one of the best neighbors anyone could ever ask for. Mr. X, as I will call him, is intelligent, funny, friendly and an all-around good guy. In fact, I'd say he's the perfect neighbor except for one major flaw. It's his lawn. You know the story. There's always "that" lawn in every neighborhood. Well, with just my luck that lawn's right next door to me.

Mr. X and I generally tip-toe around this issue, but one of our lawns is well-maintained and beautiful, and the other lawn is not so hot. This has been going on for years, and no amount of promising has fixed it. And there have been plenty of promises: "I think I'll get after those weeds this year." "That pre-emergent stuff's pretty good isn't it? Maybe I'll buy some!" "Weed-and-Feed's on sale at Ace Hardware... I might drop by and get a few bags." The promises have been encouraging, but they've been hollow, and we're still left with the same problem. One lawn looks great, and one lawn looks like a weed patch.

Well, recently I decided enough was enough. Mr. X was out in his front yard and I decided to talk to him about the whole issue. I walked over and went straight to the point. The conversation worked out a lot better than I expected. He stopped pushing his fertilizer spreader across his perfectly manicured lawn -"that" beautiful lawn - and he accepted my humble apology for my terrible lawn care habits. He even showed me a few tricks that I could use to get rid of my bigger weeds. I responded with a few more promises about pre-emergent and fertilizer and weed control, but this time I fully expect to follow through. Like I said, Mr. X is a great neighbor. He's put up with my bad lawn-maintenance habits for long enough. His lawn is so beautiful that I don't know how he can tolerate my weed patch. But he does. Yes, Mr. X is a great guy and a wonderful neighbor. To show my appreciation, I'm going to buy him a nice gift. For $20 or so, I can get 1000 plastic dandelions from the crafts store. I figure I can place a few dozen of them at strategic locations in his lawn each week until my weed-and-feed kicks in. That way, I might have a sporting chance of catching up with him before the next presidential election.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at