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What is forking?
Mrs. J, a listener, asked me this question, because I am St. Louisís best-known expert on the subject. Iím also the only expert.
Mrs. J was concerned because her daughter was forking the wrong way. St. Louisans are concerned about tradition.
Forking is when you fill an entire lawn full of plastic forks. You stick them in the ground Ė tines up. Use plain white forks, and the effect is strange and ghostly, as if the ground is hungry. Some people Ė including Mrs. Jís daughter Ė stick the forks into the grass tines down.
Personally, I like tines up better. Besides, the forks are reusable if you use them tines up. They break off in the grass when theyíre tines down, and that plays havoc with your lawn mower.
Itís best if you get forks with the sharp-pointed ends. Theyíre easier to stick in the ground than the square-ended forks. Most people learn this out the hard way.
Why do you fork?
Forking is used to honor people on birthdays and anniversaries, and just for the heck of it. Spring is forking season. Forking started on small city lawns, but there are energetic types who will fork an entire acre in the suburbs. Some combine forking with TPing, for dramatic effect.
Forking is the poor manís performance art. In New York, you could get a grant from the Museum of Modern Art for this.
But St. Louisans are generous. We fork for the sheer fun of it.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Elaine Viets is a freelance writer.