You may have recently seen the listing on CLTE advertising a “beautiful lawn” composed of a mosaic of fake grass samples, having to be passed on to someone who would continue the project after the proprietors left Newcastle. The post got over 1.5 thousand reacts, and upon seeing this our eyes went all big and dollar signs appeared on them, like something out of a cartoon. We at The Lampoon immediately tracked down the poster with the intent on capitalizing on their ingenuity by doing an interview with them, for the sole purpose of driving more traffic to our site; here is the result.
The Lampoon (TL): Tell us a little bit about yourself and your house, who are you guys?
Toby Curless: We’re a house of five, all just graduated. Three of us have lived together since first year and the other two went to college with one of the boys.
TL: Where’d you guys get the idea? Who came up with it and how intoxicated were they when they got the idea?
Toby: I honestly have no clue how the idea came about. I just came into the kitchen one day and there was a small mound of AstroTurf in the corner. I think one of my housemates initially just started getting free samples of anything she could find delivered to our other housemate so that she’d have to go to reception to collect them. Eventually she decided that the turf was the most embarrassing thing to collect so she stuck with that. I think it was boredom not alcohol that started everything off to be honest.
TL: What was the goal when it initially started? Did you think it would get this big? Have you had to move it house to house over the years?
Toby: I’m pretty sure the goal was just to piss off my other housemate. It just naturally carried on. Every now and then a new chunk of lawn would arrive in our kitchen and it just became normal. We had to move it twice, last year wasn’t ideal, we didn’t really have a garden so I had 3 bags of AstroTurf in my wardrobe for a year. This year it escalated during first term and other people had samples delivered to their houses so that we could cheat the system. We did all say at the start of the year that it’d be nice when we had all finished exams to have barbecues in the yard and sit on the turf but COVID has put a stop to that.
TL: Where did you find the companies that sent you samples? Did they ever get suspicious/mad?
Toby: It just involved googling AstroTurf companies and signing up for free samples with every one we could find. [None of the companies] ever got mad but I was sitting on a bench outside Liberty Plaza in first year when a bright green car with AstroTurf on the roof pulled up next to me. The driver looked pretty confused when he realized that he was potentially going to give people in student accommodation a quote for a garden.
TL: Did your landlord ever have any problems with it? What do people say about it when they see it first?
Toby: The landlord this year has been alright with the grass, I think like most other people they just think it’s a bit weird. My mum told me I was a “fucking idiot” for keeping it in my room for a year, but I think she sees the funny side of it now.
TL: What’s the plan with it now? Have you found someone to pass the torch to?
Toby: The new tenants for our house recognised the turf from a viewing and got in touch asking if they could keep it going. We spoke about it and agreed that it would be easiest for us. Someone who works for our letting agency saw the post as well and got in touch with us and the new tenants and agreed that we could leave it in place for them. Hopefully the whole yard will be covered by the end of next year!
TL: Fake grass: shoes on or shoes off? Who makes the best and the worst fake grass? Do you get bugs on them?
Toby: Tricky one. The grass holds a fair amount of water so shoes on usually. Recently purchased a picnic blanket and put that over the grass which was a great shout, felt pretty real. I can’t remember which company gave which grass but there are some absolutely vile ones. You don’t really get bugs on top but because the turf is all loose, the bottoms can get pretty well inhabited.
And there you have it; as promised, an interview with someone who made a funny post. What more do you want from us? We’ve given you what you came for, leave now.
If you’re in the market for handmade earrings, check out Toby’s girlfriend’s earring business on Instagram at @hulahoopsbyal . We’re not getting paid for this promotion but we really wish we were.