What should I do with my lawn jockey?
October 3, 2019 2:08 PM   Subscribe

My house came with a lawn jockey. With its current paint job, it is *arguably* not a racist caricature (i.e. it is white, as am I), so we left it up for a few months out of a vague sort of sense of respect for the previous homeowners, who had lived there for ~40 years and apparently loved the lawn jockey. Now the jockey is in the garage and we have a large planter where he used to be. My garage is small and this cannot continue indefinitely.

I do not want him in my garage forever, for an assortment of reasons. I'm not sure how to get rid of him though, and I'm trying to balance a few different factors: what is easiest, what is most certain to take the jockey out of circulation (I strongly believe that America's lawns already have more jockeys than they need), and what could potentially make me a few dollars.

Option 1 - just put the jockey out by the curb on trash day.
Pros: Easy!
Cons: Could end up at a flea market or something if scrappers take it; garbagemen could hurt themselves or their equipment trying to pick it up.

Option 2 - attempt to sell the jockey as a jockey
Pros: Seems like I might be able to get $100-200 out of it, which I don't *need* but I wouldn't hate.
Cons: Have to deal with someone who wants to buy a lawn jockey; jockey remains in circulation.

Option 3 - attempt to sell the jockey as scrap iron
Pros: Maybe could get a couple of bucks? He's very heavy.
Cons: Idea of getting money for scrap is probably optimistic, and I have no idea where to go. Also the jockey could still end up back in circulation.

I guess in a perfect world Tessa Thompson's character from Sorry to Bother You would show up and ask to use it as part of some groundbreaking art event about class and race, but this seems unlikely.

I will also accept suggestions about what to do with the 10-inch diameter concrete pad in my artificial lawn (honestly my home is much classier than I'm making it sound) where the lawn jockey once stood; the planter we've placed over it seems to be working out fine but I think we could maybe do better.
posted by mskyle to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Could you break the iron before selling it for scrap? Cast iron is brittle and can be broken with a sledgehammer. This is how people often get cast iron tubs out of their homes.

The concrete pad could be a nice base for a birdbath, though a planter sounds lovely.
posted by quince at 2:20 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]

I think option 3 is best. It’s the best chance for actually getting it out of circulation.
posted by raccoon409 at 2:21 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]

Art school, arts program, welding class, metal fabrication shop?
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:23 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]

Option three or option two sounds nice. You could even donate the proceeds to the Southern Poverty Law Center or similar organization.
posted by purple_bird at 2:47 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]

Donate to a local historical museum.
posted by SandiBeech at 2:59 PM on October 3

This is definitely just garbage. Does your area have "bulky waste" day? Just stick a post-it that says "HEAVY" on it and let the sanitation department take it away.
posted by Charity Garfein at 3:20 PM on October 3 [14 favorites]

break it with a hammer as quince suggested, and put it on craigslist as scrap metal-free. won't go back into circulation as a lawn jockey, and you don't have to haul it
posted by Dr. Twist at 3:35 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]

Post on freecycle.net or craigslist/free as free metal for scrappers,make the person pinky swear that it will be turned in for scrap.
Or look in the yellow pages under scrap metal. It takes a lot of iron to be worth it, @ $100/ton.
If you know about what time the recyclers pickup, take it out just before they arrive, or at least in the morning.
posted by theora55 at 3:45 PM on October 3

Hire a local metal artist to decapitate the jockey and weld the head to his hand. Replace back onto his plinth. Say nothing to the neighbors.
posted by a halcyon day at 4:16 PM on October 3 [65 favorites]

PLEASE, take halcyon's suggestion and post pictures. (You could always remove it after Halloween.)
posted by she's not there at 5:30 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]

I mean... decapitating the jockey and having him display his own head, even for the headless horseman pun, even though he’s been whitewashed, feels like symbolic lynching to me.

I’m on team smash and trash.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:55 PM on October 3 [10 favorites]

Weld the hand to his neck, and dispose of the head. Hey presto, it’s absurdist.
posted by aramaic at 6:56 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]

This is definitely just garbage.

Well, symbolically yea but it is not just garbage, honestly it's shitty to put it in a trashcan if it's as heavy as you are saying it is. Scrap iron it, once it hits that pile to be recycled or is picked up by a wandering trailer of bike frames, bed frames, and broke down washerdryers it's effectively out of circulation

Scrap it, don't trash it.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:59 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]

I like the art student idea. Do you have metalwork schools around? If they can melt it and repurpose it, that could feel meaningful. You could also see if it could be melted and recast into something you like.
posted by amanda at 7:30 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]

Your inclination here - to get rid of it and make sure it’s not in circulation- is right on. Apparently racist artifacts sell well.

But I think you should probably not try to make any money off of this. You’re a white person in the US, right? You’ve benefited enough from racism already. Think of getting rid of this terrible thing as a sort of penance for that. Your interest in money might unintentionally cloud your head a bit. If you get money, I’d say to donate it to a local civil rights organization.
posted by bluedaisy at 7:32 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]

Give it a proper burial in your yard. Put the cement block over the grave as a marker
posted by AugustWest at 7:33 PM on October 3 [5 favorites]

Drive it to the dump?
posted by third word on a random page at 8:32 PM on October 3

Don’t waste the metal. Google for a local scrapper and take it in. If they pay you, donate the money.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:25 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]

Weld a fish to its hand and paint it all psychedelic mosaic. Then set it upside down.
posted by swlabr at 3:22 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]

Thanks all! I'm leaning towards, "Disfigure then take to the scrap yard."
posted by mskyle at 9:47 AM on October 7 [1 favorite]

« Older Dress Me: Hamburg in Autumn   |   Recommendation for a resume-writing expert for a... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments