The things I do for you. While other columnists prattle on about stuff like the war in Ukraine, the economy, whether Donald Trump goes to jail or back to the White House, whether Joe Biden has a pulse, and the underlying factors behind the rising cost of kumquats, I seek out subjects designed specifically for your interest and edification that the prattlers overlook.
No applause, please. I’m just doing my job.
This leads me to an item I feel sure you won’t see or hear anywhere elsewhere but on these pages. While digging through my emails recently, I came across this, shall we say, revelation. A firm called Lawn-Starter, which lets people reserve lawn care services through a website or a mobile app, has uncovered (pardon the pun) the best and worst cities in America for naked gardeners. Tell me you have read this in the Wall Street Journal or seen it on the evening news. I didn’t think so.
Of particular relevance is that Atlanta, aka, Malfunction Junction, where the sewers don’t work and neither do a number of its citizens, ranks as the third best city for naked gardeners in the whole of these, the United States, trailing only Miami and Austin, Texas.
I am awaiting a news release from the Chamber of Commerce extoling this latest civic accomplishment. No doubt it will be coming. One thing Atlanta can do better than anybody is brag. It is said that if the city could suck like it can blow, it would have the Atlantic Ocean at its doorstep.
I should not be so harsh about our state’s capital city. I owe Atlanta a great debt. When the 1996 Centennial Games were over, I was asked to write a guest column for a local business publication about how the city had fared during those days.
I was not kind. I said the Games themselves were great. The city government, the local media and the business community were not. They gave new meaning to the term “malfunction junction.” I added that Atlanta was no longer the next Great International City, as it billed itself. Charlotte, North Carolina, had taken that title, along with all the city’s bank headquarters. As a result of that original screed, I was asked to write another column and then another and 25 years later, I am still at it.
As an aside, Charlotte comes in a pitiful 14th in the LawnStarter survey as a desirable location for nude gardeners. I guess they will just have to make do with having Atlanta’s former bank headquarters.
How did LawnStarter determine the best places to shuck your clothes as you shuck your corn? The company said it compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities on factors like nudist population, indecent exposure laws and gardener- friendliness. They say they also looked at other such things such as weather forecasts, sex offender listings and access to waxing salons. I’m not sure what waxing salons have to do growing cucumbers in the nude, but I am also not sure we would want to know the answer.
A professor at NYU was quoted in the Lawn-Starter survey as saying that the benefits of naked gardening can be an increase in vitamin D, learning to feel comfortable in your skin and exploring new physical sensations. (Don’t ask.) Dangers include sunburn, accidental injury and getting bug bites where you don’t want them. (Don’t ask.)
Not to go all biblical on you, but I have to wonder what would have happened in the Garden of Eden had LawnStarter been there telling Adam and Eve that nude gardening is no big thing and nobody would care if they ate an apple. It would have certainly salvaged the poor serpent’s reputation. He could have rightfully blamed Lawn-Starter for the whole sorry episode and then watched gleefully as God made them crawl on their bellies forever for, among other things, publishing kinky surveys.
I felt it important to share these bare facts about nude gardening with you today so that when your know-it-all friends start talking to you about the war in Ukraine or the economy or presidential politics or the rising cost of kumquats, you can smile knowingly and tell them you already know all of that stuff. Then you can ask them if they are aware that Atlanta is the third best city in America for picking peas minus your BVDs and see the look of awe on their faces.
The things I do for you.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at dick@dick yarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ dickyarb.