Cider Press Hill

Skulls and crossbones

Thursday, 7:22 am

By Kate

Jun

30

2005

light cloud

I took a walk up through the neighborhood on the hill behind my house this morning. It’s what we could call a neighborhood of the apparently well off. Large homes with two or three car garages and perfect landscaping. A couple of the SUVs parked in the driveways have bumper stickers promoting organic produce and The Audubon Society, to name two that I saw this morning.

Yet, oddly enough, there were little yellow flags stuck in the soil along the edges of their lawns—with a skull and crossbones on each. “Poison, Keep Off’ was printed in teeny tiny letters. The neighborhood was peppered with them. A couple of dogs were out romping in the same lawns. No kids out yet, but probably will be soon. And I wonder if these folks even notice their little yellow skull and crossbones flags anymore.

I know that I would have some trouble reconciling my support for organic produce and the Audubon Society with a bunch of skull and crossbones flags lining my property. Pesticides and herbicides don’t quite scream organic. I don’t think they contribute to the birds’ overall health and well-being, either.

Perhaps there is a slight disconnect going on up there? While they’re wallowing around in poison at home, they expect the supermarkets to stock healthful organic foods and they support environmental organizations such as the Audubon Society. When they see their little yellow skull and crossbones flags in their lawns, if they do anymore, what do they think? As long as they eat organic food it’s okay to spray the same poisons that they don’t want to eat all over their property? As if it’ll never touch them or they’ll never breathe it or it won’t end up in their bodies? I guess.

Well, it was one weird incongruous juxtaposition. Eat organic, save the birds, and plant your lawn with skulls and crossbones.