Larry Smith, 68, of Fairfield, New Jersey, passed away in his sleep Tuesday. He will be remembered as the devoted husband and father of two, little league coach, and denier of stealing this editor’s lawn mower, despite all evidence suggesting otherwise.

Larry leaves behind a wife, two sons, and a lawn mower he asked to “borrow” from this editor more than two years ago. And at the time, this editor was like, sure, of course. Larry’s a great guy; he fixed this editor’s bicuspids on one occasion. Unfortunately, some miscalculations were made. Larry insisted on having returned the lawn mower three days after taking it from this editor, but this editor has done a thorough sweep of his own garage to no avail. Larry loved nothing more than helping his devoted patients, his work at the food bank, and attending Giants games because somehow he could afford season tickets but couldn’t manage to cough up a measly $149.99 for his own lawn mower.

Larry took long walks where he bore a smug, knowing smile as he passed this editor’s house and looked upon the decrepit, unkempt lawn that was starting to get complaints from neighbors because the grass was growing too high and this editor had no way of fixing it. I mean, this editor works at our city’s paper, not exactly a money-making endeavor, but not replacing the lawn mower also became a point of principle, a sign of Larry’s gross misdeed.

Larry’s main hobby was declining this editor’s increasingly frequent calls and visits to his lovely home, with a lawn just so amazingly well manicured with what must have been- could only have been- this editor’s Briggs and Stratton model M125 powered lawn mower. This editor would like to take the opportunity to thank Larry posthumously for destroying this editor’s marriage, which was torn asunder by nights spent outside Larry Smith’s house.

Larry was beloved by the general community for his “giving” and “happy-go-lucky” spirit. However, this editor remembers Larry as cunning, manipulative, and a flat-out liar, who sought to destroy another man’s life by gaslighting him about the alleged return of a lawn mower. Larry was fond of supporting the local soccer team. He also enjoyed yelling, “get therapy, you sick freak!” whenever this editor stood by the Smith household door, despite this editor’s increasingly elaborate disguises that should have fooled Larry into finally giving away the elusive lawnmower’s location.

Larry achieved his two biggest aspirations in life before passing: visiting 100 different countries and maintaining a complicated, thorough lie about having returned a prized, precious lawn mower immediately. This editor’s lawn mower probably often sat languishing, unused because Larry was busy traveling the globe, posting admittedly beautiful photos of Costa Rica on his blog. Meanwhile, this editor would just sit outside Larry’s lawn, watching, waiting for a sign of the lawn mower, until the police were called that one time. The police loved Larry, so much so that this editor still wonders if they were being bribed as part of a lawn mower stealing scheme of sorts.

Larry is survived by his wife, Christina, and his adult children, Peter and Eli, none of whom will even bother looking in the garage for this editor’s fucking lawn mower. I mean, this editor recognizes their grief, but it would literally take one minute to check.

In lieu of flowers, please send tips on the whereabouts of this editor’s lawn mower to this publication’s number.

Correction Four Days After Publication: After some looking, this editor actually found his lawn mower behind his stacked-up patio furniture in the garage. This editor deeply, deeply apologizes to Larry Smith’s family and begs them not to proceed with their lawsuit. Please, I’ll let you borrow my lawn mower.


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