Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Ballad of the Melancholy Man

In his masterpiece "Downtown: My Manhattan" the great Pete Hamill wrote, "Sometimes no truth is more powerful than one expressed in anger by a melancholy man." Words to live by. Especially this morning. Especially at our house.

As you know if you popped by these parts the other day, we recently experienced a loss in our family. Sadly, Milo is not the first long-standing member of the tribe to whom we have bid farewell this year. I have written about Sparky in this space - the tree that Rob brought home to us a lifetime ago when neither was much bigger than a mere sprig. Sparky died a few months ago. A death that was as mysterious as it was sudden. I presumed - being my father's son - that something I had done to my tree killed it.

It appears as if I was not entirely incorrect. I unwittingly was a co-conspirator in Sparky's demise. And worse yet - I paid for my role. Literally. A couple of years back Margaret and I hired a firm to feed, fertilize and treat our lawn. I have little direct involvement with them. The Missus seemed generally satisfied with their work and Frank - our landscaping guru - also seemed to think that whatever the hell these guys were doing, they were doing well.

Less than a week after Sparky died and was removed from our front lawn, Margaret returned home from work to find a letter from our lawn dudes - Fairway Green - in our mailbox. The letter asked us to let them know if there was any problem with any of our trees or bushes. Apparently Fairway Green had started - just this season - using a DuPont manufactured herbicide Imprelis. Imprelis apparently has a slight problem - it kills everything it comes into contact whether or not it is something that it is supposed to kill. At our house that included Sparky.

We apparently did not acknowledge Fairway Green's first letter fast enough. On September 30th they wrote Margaret another letter inquiring as to any "unfavorable symptoms" we might have noticed any of our trees or shrubs experiencing due to their use of Imprelis. For whatever reason - but principally because they started their letter-writing campaign feigning an absence of knowledge as to the status of our tree only after we had been required to remove it from our lawn - the tone of their second letter legitimately pissed me off.

So I did what lawyers do: I wrote Fairway Green a letter laying out my case - including a pointed reference or two their own acknowledged negligence that they memorialized in their two letters to my wife - against them and against DuPont. And in an effort to ensure that I got both (a) immediate attention; and (b) an immediate response, I ended my letter by telling them that, "In view of your August 22, 2011 admission of negligence and your further communication of DuPont's tacit admission of its own - as set forth in your letter of September 30, 2011 we are considering our options. You may be assured that we shall keep you advised."

My letter elicited an immediate response from both Fairway Green and DuPont. And in less than thirty days from the date on which I informed my new favorite lawn service contractor and manufacturer of chemicals that kill all living things of my willingness to sue their asses, DuPont shall be at the house today talking to Margaret and hoping to sue for peace. Experience has taught me that my power of reincarnation is as ineffective with all things pine as it is with all things feline. At least today we are able to get a little something back for the former.

It is Election Day today. Get out there and vote.

-AK

2 comments:

dweeb said...

Don't know what the emoticon is for clapping, but I'm giving you a standing ovation at this moment.

Adam Kenny said...

Thanks Bill. Would have been better had I actually given it a title when I wrote it! Not the sharpest knife in Mom's cutlery drawer....