@mhrackin: Every time we were riding in the car and saw one, I would (in a very serious tone of voice) inform my sons that this was because the "rich folks" had sent ther lawns out for dry-cleaning!
This reminds me of a short story from the Reader's Digest. This guy had moved into a new house in England without a lawn -- he decided to seed it himself. He had one of the old manual lawnmowers with the big heavy drum on the back -- his gardening book said to rake the ground fklat, scatter the seed, and then use the heavy lawnmower drum to pack everything down. He was doing so when he niciced two young kids sitting on the front step of the next door house watching him. He realized that, from their point of view, it looked like he was mowing a yard of bare dirt.
A couple of weeks later the grass startet to sprout -- most was short, but there were a few tall ones -- his book said to cut the taller ones with sissors (the grass was too young / rtoots too shallow to stand the lawnmower. So he's out there on his hands and knees cutting the klong stalks with sissors when he notices the same two kids sitting there watcjhing him.
So, the first time they saw him using a lawnmower on bare dirt -- then when he has grass they see him cutting it with sissors. He said that for years afterwards, when ever he saw them, they starte dat him and he felt like a fool :-)
When my sons were quite young (single digit ages) we lived in South Florida. This was in the '70s when the Florida construction boom was in full flower. Thus huge flatbed trucks carrying sod for the new homes' lawns were frequently spotted. Every time we were riding in the car and saw one, I would (in a very serious tone of voice) inform my sons that this was because the "rich folks" had sent ther lawns out for dry-cleaning! Once they started rolling their eyes as soon as I started to relate this bit of parental misinformation, the subject was dropped. Since both sons and their families now live in NYC, I have few opportunities to revisit this with our grandchildren.