Let me tell you everything I know about grass (the legal kind growing in my back yard, that is.)
It needs water. It needs to be cut. Sometimes, and I don't know when, you may want to fertilize it. That's it. I tell you that to tell this story. I wish I could convey the looks the salesperson gave me. I will note them in the story below with the words "the look" in parenthesis.
My backyard is about 2/3 grass and 1/3 bark dust. Before moving here, I had never heard the term "bark dust", but when you live in a Pacific Northwest Logging Town, there will be descriptive terms to describe the remains of a tree after it becomes plywood, a kitchen table, or a house. The bark dust (that most of us would just call "mulch") is a very mean joke. It is actually made of millions of tiny splinters that infest your hands, feet, legs and any skin that happens to come into contact with it. Maximizing the play area in the backyard is very important.
We are also in the grass seed capital of the world. No joke. There is a sign so it must be true. I don't exactly know when the election was where all of the grass seed producing communities got together and voted for the Mid-Willamette Valley to be bestowed that honor, but it must have been impressive. That being said, the people around here may know a LITTLE about grass seed and how to grow it. I went into the closest farm store to grab a bale of hay and some seed for my backyard Bark-Dust-Replacement Project. I asked the gentleman behind the counter (wearing bib-overalls) if they had hay. (the look). Oh- I should say that the look asks the question, "Boy, you ain't from around here, are ya?" while expressing the fact that you are the dumbest individual ever born. I believe the last time I can remember using the look on someone was the very beginning of my freshman year in college when my suite mate (from Ohio) asked me what a Vol was, while mispronouncing it. Yeah, I am certain I gave him the look. And if you don't know what a Vol is, you should DEFINITELY not be attending the University of Tennessee. I digress. The gentleman asked if I wanted, ALfalfa, Orchard Grass, mixture, or... something else.
me: blank stare. "Uhhh, I'll start over. I need to grow some grass and need some hay to spread over the seed."
him: blank stare. (apparently I broke some sort of hay/ grass etiquitte). "You mean for a pasture?"
me: "Nope, just for my backyard. I want grass to grow where there isn't grass right now."
him: "Oh. You don't want hay. You need to just get some straw." followed by the look
At this point, I was thinking that he was joking with me.
me: "Ok, I need some straw then."
him: "Alright, well, we have two-wire and three-wire"
me: "Why don't you just tell me what I need and I'll pay you for it."
him: "Sounds good. Anything else?"
me: "I'll need some gras seed"
him: "what kind would you like?" as he walked me over to a wall of grass seed bags and explained in painstaking detail the benefits of each of the 8 or 9 different types of grass.
me: "WHich kind feels the softest?"
him: the look x 10
him: "This one" continued look
I bought it and a three wire bale of hay... I mean straw. The grass had better grow, I would hate to go back there and have to tell overall man that I failed as a farmer and needed him to explain to me how to actually do something.