Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Serious about the lawn

We like to joke that, the older you get, the less inclined you are to want young people traipsing about on your grass. We naturally refer to this as the "get off my lawn" philosophy; a philosophy which may or may not have any actual basis in reality. For some reason, though, the image of an old codger shaking a cane at some young rapscallions just to get them to retreat to sod that isn't his is an image that amuses us. And yes, for those of you playing at home, that last sentence largely existed so that we could fit both "rapscallion" and "codger" into today's post.

Anyways, it turns out that, at least for one Welshman, steps have actively been taken to keep the young from his grass. According to the man's neighbors, he installed a device known as the Mosquito onto his roof. This same device is used by stores for one major purpose.

It keeps the kids off of the lawn.

The device works simply. When turned on, it elicits a high-pitched frequency that is almost impossible for people over 20 to hear, but causes severe discomfort in the still-developing eardrums of minors. Naturally, unless the kids have some sort of masochistic streak, hearing the device will be enough to keep them from wanting to retrieve their lost ball.

In our eyes, this is another case where technology has done more harm than good, and we're not talking about the children's ability to hear. Ask any parent and you'll learn that a child's hearing is selective at best. No, we're talking about the older generation keeping the younger one from going places they shouldn't, and specifically from wandering about on the older generation's lawn. We remember a time when all you needed was a sturdy fence, a high-powered hose, a death grimace, and possibly a concealed (yet fierce) dog or two, and you could keep kids from even thinking about touching a blade of your grass. Now, we're resorting to electronics, albeit with better results than city streets playing opera to keep the street people away.

Besides, we've all seen enough movies to know how this all will play out. In the olden days, before the Mosquito, eventually the older people were discovered to be softies when it came to children, and they used their scare tactics to keep themselves at a distance, knowing that, once the grass was trampled, the cookies and hugs would soon flow. Now, we're a step away from technological sentience, complete with lasers trained on even the smallest child that strays off the path.

It would make it a lot easier to clean up the dog waste in the yard, though.

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