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October 10, 2015

Tonight's Penn & Teller is about ... lawns?!?

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 13th 2009 5:26PM
Penn & Teller: Bullshit covers a lot of varied topics, and most of them are controversial. So when I saw that tonight's episode was about lawns I thought to myself, how controversial can lawns be? Well, this clip from the episode features a man called the "Lawn Nazi," so it looks like a good one.

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I'm sick of people defending these hideous HOAs by saying "You know what you signed up for...". That is bullsh*t. When I bought my new house all I was told was there was a $50 a year maintenance fee for the common area up keep. I was not given a copy of the CC&R's or was there any mention of HOA rules/restrictions, which is a violation of my state's laws. It wasn't until closing that I was given a form to sign that states that I was agreeing to all deed restrictions and governence of the local HOA. So at the point what was I to do? Call the movers and cancel? Loose my $60k deposit? I still didn't receive a copy of the CC&Rs at that point. I had to call the HOA to get them. I know now to never, ever trust any builder/real estate agent, but this is was my first time building a new home and I had never experienced the pleasure of living in a "deed restricted community". Fool me once shame on you, but I will not get fooled again.

September 08 2009 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just like our piece of hell. Don't think for a second the power to enforce doesn't go to one or more volunteers heads!! You need some check and balance and homeowner associations have none.

August 14 2009 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was a really bad episode. I love P&T, but what a pointless episode ("lawns"). I still can't tell what P&T are saying is bullshit. As they noted, these people sign up and agree to the deed restrictions. They know all about them, and by keeping their lawns as required, they increase the value of their homes and their neighbors homes. That guy was not "sent to prison for having a bad lawn" he was sent to jail for violating a court order. He refused to listed to a judge's orders after he refused to comply with the contract he knowingly and willingly signed (the deed restrictions). How could P&T, as libertarians, possibly be against the freedom to contract? Contracts are worthless if they cannot be enforced, if there are no remedies for breach. Is it just that they think the subject matter of lawns is silly? Well so are magic shows, I mean... what's their point? To each their own. Freedom. I personally would never live in a place that required a "nice lawn" but that's just me, and my own choice.

It seems the only thing P&T have to say about lawns is that they don't think it's something people should spend a lot of time on. But if it makes you happy, so what? It would be the last thing *I* would ever want to spend a minute on (especially without air conditioning), and if I had to have a lawn those "fake lawns" are looking pretty nice. But P&T have always been advocates for personal freedom, individual choice... and other libertarian principles. These people are not victims of lawn nazis, they agreed to have nice lawns for the benefit of their community and its property values. It's not fair if some people keep up the property values and others just leech off of their time and effort, all while violating predetermined rules.

Penn, WTF?

August 14 2009 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You'd be surprised how seriously some places take lawns. I can't see the video above as I don't like to play "guess the permission" with my NoScript, but the regular Showtime promo mentions someone who spent a couple days in jail over lawn issues.

I'm hoping they get in a few digs at overly zealous neighborhood associations while they're at it. (I have an ex whose parents regularly had to deal with their NA giving them grief over their lawn.)

August 13 2009 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He's actually a "Grass Nazi"... lol

August 13 2009 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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