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Top Excuses to Get Out of Doing Yardwork

Updated on September 2, 2014

Let's face it: Yardwork is the worst. It's un-fun in every single season, what with the dirt, the bugs, the inevitable sore muscles and joints, and either the burning sun or the bitter cold. Unfortunately, yardwork is ultimately unavoidable; however, you don't have to do it all the time, and you certainly don't have to do it every time your house-mate tells you to. Here's a list of handy excuses you can use when you just can't be bothered to take care of the domestic foliage.

Of course, not all excuses are created equal, so I've organized this list so that each good excuse is accompanied by an even better excuse. Enjoy!

1. Good excuse: You're allergic to grass

This one's an oldie, but it's a goodie, and it's more reliable than having a pollen allergy. While pollen only tends to irritate human lungs at certain times of the year, grass is an ever-present threat. Like a green, flat wingman, your lawn can keep you safe from having to work when you'd much rather play.

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2. Better excuse: You're allergic to sweat

As dependable as grass is for convenient allergic reactions, sweat is even better. Unless you don't have sweat glands, it's pretty much impossible not to sweat while doing yardwork. And if you sweat, you're going to develop a nasty allergic rash, and really, is a tidy garden worth that? I don't think so.

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3. Good excuse: Your shears are rusty

It's pretty hard to keep your hedges neatly trimmed when your shears have enough rust on them to be a metaphor for the American automotive industry. Best to call Edward Scissorhands to do your dirty work while you enjoy some iced tea and gossip with your neighbors. That way, you can keep close ties with your neighbors and join them in the angry mob when poor Edward gets chased back to his manor on the hill. Enjoy your quiet suburban desperation. :)

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4. Better excuse: Your shears have been stolen by local wildlife

You can't prove anything, of course. All you know is that there's been a very shifty-looking robin hanging around the yard for the past few days, and it's not here today, but you can't find your shears anywhere. Best to skip the yardwork for the day and install a CCTV instead. You may not be using your gardening tools, but darned if you're going to let Bambi or Thumper make off with your weed-whacker.

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5. Good excuse: Your mower is out of gas

Again, it's hard to do yardwork when your equipment isn't in working order. And, given the price of liquefied dinosaur remains these days, can you justify shelling out for the sake of a tidy lawn? Well, can you?

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Oh, you've got an electric mower, you say? Well, then…

6. Better excuse: Your mower is on strike

You'd love to do the mowing, really. The trouble is that your mower is currently trundling back and forth in front of your house with a picket sign and growling "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." It looks pretty peeved, so you should steer clear for the moment.

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You can't scare it. It's sticking to the union.

7. Good excuse: You're physically injured or ill

You promised you'd do the yardwork today, and you had every intention of keeping your promise. But you've suddenly got this terrible pain in your hip, and you're actually feeling pretty queasy in general and you just checked WebMD and it looks like there's at least a 30% chance you've got this mutant strain of diphtheria, so…best to stay in bed today. Don't want to risk it.

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8. Better excuse: You're struggling with an existential crisis

What if there's no yard at all? Is that a rake, or is it just the projection of our collective illusion of what a rake should be? Who’s to say that those leaves you said you'd rake won't disappear on their own, since their own existence is at least as ephemeral as your own? With all these things in mind, how can you justify yardwork in favor of binge-watching Supernatural? If our lives have no substance and no higher purpose, how can you engage in menial labor instead of pursuing pleasure and comfort?

Note: These kinds of rhetorical questions, besides being exceptional excuses in their own right, are excellent tools for derailing the conversation your house-mate will want to have with you about what a lazy sap you are. It's not laziness, you can tell them. It's intellectual curiosity.

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9. Good excuse: There aren't enough weeds

Two dandelions and some overgrown grass are hardly worth going out and working to remove. The smart thing to do--what you should do--is wait until there's some actual work to be done. Save your energy for the big tasks, like seeing how many jawbreakers you can cram in your mouth before you need medical attention.

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And as a bonus, this excuse can quickly lead to…

10. Better excuse: There are far too many weeds...

…And some of them look downright dangerous. Hey, you've read the Harry Potter books, you know what a Venomous Tentacula looks like, and you're pretty darn sure that it's sitting right between the rose bushes, waiting to strike. Yardwork is important, but it's not worth losing a limb for it.

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11. Good excuse: You did the yardwork last week

It's your house-mate's turn to do it, and there's no good in denying it. And what about those breakfast dishes you did, and that time you drove to pick up your house-mate at three in the morning with no questions asked? And now that stinker's trying to make you do yardwork two weeks in a row? Who's the lazy sap now?

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Note: It's not necessary for you to actually have done the yardwork last week for this excuse to work. You can do the yardwork next week. That way, you won't be lying; you'll just be, as Neil Gaiman once put it, "chronologically challenged."

12. Better excuse: ...You don't have a yard...

Wait, what? What's going on? I don't have a yard. I live in an apartment on the Upper West Side! What are these trees, this grass…Who are you? Why have you brought me here? I gotta get out of here--best of luck with your hedge-trimmers!

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