I grew up mowing a giant, mangy lawn. My family lived on an acre of hilltop land, which we kept shaggily mowed, too spiky to walk on in our bare feet. On one side was a cornfield. On the other side was our neighbour, Mr Howland, the Ned Flanders of lawn care. He seeded his lawn with fine golf-course-grade grass, mowed and sprayed it weekly, and even rolled it flat like an off-season Zamboni driver.