The world will be saved thanks to my friend’s lawn mowing in Atlanta

image After years of creating ad campaigns for high-profile companies like Coca-Cola, a good friend of mine in Atlanta has decided to do what many successful advertising people do when they reach that point in their careers where they can simply LOOK at a new product and, without any hesitation whatsoever, begin to vomit:

And that, of course, is to go into the lawn care business.

Like some of history’s most successful entrepreneurs, Fred spent time studying his new market, its trends and the competition before assembling a detailed business plan, which he described as follows: “I bought a lawnmower.”

On the surface, this may not sound like much of a business plan. But as Fred pointed out, what sets him apart from other lawn care enterprises around Atlanta — aside from his limited grasp of Spanish — is the TYPE of mower and equipment he’s using. While other lawn care enterprises utilize gas-powered equipment and emit enough exhaust smoke to divert air traffic as far west as Alabama, “I use manual-reel mowers, electric gear and hand tools in order to reduce emissions and promote more responsible, planet-friendly yard work,” Fred explained.

I considered this for a moment — this idea of promoting more responsible, environmentally-conscious yard work — before responding with, “Hahahahahahahahahahaha!”

“No, really,” said Fred, who cited an EPA study that stated that a piece of gas-powered lawn gear actually creates more pollution than a car.

“Unless it’s a Gremlin,” he quickly added.

When I considered that it usually takes a full hour for the lawnmower smoke to leave our yard (a process I sometimes hurry along with a leaf blower), I realized he could be right. On any given weekend there are at least a dozen people around our neighborhood mowing lawns, edging grass, using gas-powered weed eaters, burning yard debris and branches (and occasionally portions of their fences and/or shrubbery), then tidying up with leaf blowers the size of a Lear Jet engine. After which they take a moment to enjoy their handiwork by — what else? — smoking a cigarette.

Somehow, I have become desensitized to all of this, and the fact that our Labrador has passed out three times in the last month while relieving himself in the front yard on mowing days. Possibly for periods long enough to cause permanent brain damage.

Sadly, we’ll never know how much damage because, as I mentioned, he’s a Lab.

I told Fred he was on to something big and asked how the business was going. He admitted he had miscalculated and started too late in the season. As a result, “MowGreen” hasn’t really taken off yet despite an aggressive ad campaign.

“Plus, I think most of the fliers we put around the neighborhood ended up in the portable toilet at a construction site down the street,” he said. “But hey, we used recycled paper, so at least we’re still having an impact on the environment in the end.”

Fortunately, because of his years of experience in advertising, Fred saw the need to diversify his marketing campaign in order to keep it from…

Well, going down the toilet.

In addition to creating his website to explain his services and communicate with clients, he also came up with a high-profile promotional plan to spread his idea of “planet-friendlier” lawn care by offering a free mow to the first celebrity who asks.

“As long as it’s within driving distance,” said Fred. “If it’s really far away, they’ll have to split the gas with me. And possibly let me sleep over. (Note: This offer excludes Joan Rivers.)

In the meantime, Atlantans, when you think of lawn care I hope you’ll support the environment by thinking of Fred.

Unless, of course, you’re in a portable toilet.

(Ned is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. Write to him at, or at Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore. 97439)


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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

32 thoughts on “The world will be saved thanks to my friend’s lawn mowing in Atlanta”

  1. Reblogged this on Christopher De Voss and commented:
    It’s Thursday. The day of reblogging. Living in Florida, lawn care is near and dear to everyone’s heart…except mine. I don’t care. I will live in an overgrown jungle of a yard, no problem. Sometimes if the grass is high enough I will mow a crop circle into it, then call all the neighborhood children around, and ask them if they have seen my fifth child Fredrick. Fredrick doesn’t really exist, but how we laugh at the thought of him being probed.

    1. My sister once had an over zealous boyfriend, and this guy decided that the best way to impress my dad would be by mowing our lawn. It didn’t work, but we still have fond memories of drinking beer, lounging around and watching some douche doing our work for us.

  2. Time for Prius to make a lawnmower. Or more likely John Deere going green literally. I’m shocked by the fact that a mower puts out more pollution than an automobile. Sounds like Mr. Fred is on to something big…

    1. Hahaha! I’m thinking maybe even a cross between a Segue and electric lawn mower, as long as you don’t hit a sprinkler head or something. By the way, I read your story, Justin, and look forward to following your recovery and art my friend.

  3. You’re friend is awesome! If I were in Atlanta I would definitely use his services 🙂 By the by, I am really would like to take this time and let you know how much you blog and your support mean to me, don’t worry you are under no pressure after all you’ve been through with these to do it again 😉

    Thank you from my fist sized heart 🙂 (I hear hearts are the size of a fist)

    1. I’m truly humbled by this, and so happy to support and encourage terrific people. I appreciate your kind words, as well as your support and shared laughs together. You must have a really big fist 😉

        1. I’m looking at mowers this week and am considering an electric model. My only apprehension is running over the cord, stepping into the kiddy pool and electrocuting myself. Aside from that, I think I’ve pretty much made up my mind.

          1. You do have to be a little more coordinated to run one. Try not to overindulge in too many ice cold “beverages” before you run it, and I think you’ll be fine! 😉

  4. hahahaha this is great stuff! Personally, I’ve never used a lawn mower because I am one of those idiots who grew up in an apartment, but man, you could change the world with those mowers. Although, I’m not too sure if we could save your lab.

    1. Don’t beat yourself up about your lack of lawn mower experience, and I won ‘t beat myself up over picking a Lab for our dog. Besides, all that talk about the excitement of lawn mowing is blown out of proportion. You can have just as much excitement vacuuming an apartment — which is almost the same thing, just indoors.

  5. Environmentally friendly lawn care is horrible. My father had some antiquated tools we used and one of these (our edger) resembled a medieval torture device. Ironically, the torture probably involved edging some kings lawn. Personally, I’ll take the rack.

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