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Rock Street, San Francisco

The Parable of the Green Lawn A new housing development has lots of packed earth and weeds, but no grass. Two neighbors make a wager on who will be the first to have a lush lawn. Mr….. Fast N. Furious knows that a lawn will not grow without grass seed, so he immediately buys the most expensive seed he can find because everyone knows that quality improve with price. Besides, he’ll recover the cost of the seed through his wager. Next, he stands knee-deep in his weeds and tosses the seed around his yard.

Confident that e has a start on his neighbor, who is not making much visible progress, he begins his next project. Ms. Oslo N. Steady, having grown up in the country, proceeds to clear the lot, till the soil, and even alter the slope of the terrain to provide better drainage. She checks the soil’s pH, applies weed killer and fertilizer, and then distributes the grass seed evenly with the spreader. She applies a mulch cover and waters the lawn appropriately. She finishes several days after her neighbor, who asks if she would like to concede defeat.

After all, he does have some blades of grass poking up already. Mr….. Furious is encouraged by the few clumps of grass that sprout. While these small, green islands are better developed than Ms. Steady fledging lawn, bare spots and weeds surround them. If he maintains these footholds, he reasons, they should spread to the rest of the yard. He notices that his neighbor’s lawn is more uniform and is really starting to grow. He attributes this progress to the Steady children, who water the lawn each evening. Not wanting to appear to be imitating his neighbor, Mr…..

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Furious instructs his children to water his lawn at noon. The noon watering proves to be detrimental, so he decides to fertilize the remaining patches of grass. Since he wants to make up for the losses the noon watering caused, he applies the fertilizer at twice the recommended application rate. Most of the patches of grass that escape being burned by the fertilizer, however, are eventually choked out by the weeds. After winning the wager with Mr….. Furious, Ms. Steady lounges on the deck enjoying her new grill, which she paid for with the money from the wager.

Her lawn requires minimal maintenance, so she is free to attend to the landscaping. The combination of the lawn and landscaping also results in an award from a neighborhood committee that determines that her lawn is a true showplace. Mr….. Furious still labors on his lawn. He blames the poor performance on his children’s inability to properly water the lawn, nonconforming grass seed, insufficient sunlight, and poor soil/ He claims hat his neighbor has an unfair advantage and her success is based on conditions unique to her plot of land.

He views the loss as grossly unfair; after all, he spends more time and money on his lawn than Ms. Steady does. He continues to complain auto now expensive ten sea Is now much time née spends moving the sprinkler around to the few remaining clumps of grass that continue to grow. But Mr….. Furious thinks that things will be better for him next year, because he plans to install an automatic sprinkler system and make a double or nothing wager with Ms. Steady.

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