Judge John Hodgman Episode 117: Lawn and Order

Scott Adsit

Jumi brings the case against her husband, Josh. Josh thinks they need a riding mower to tame their front and backyards. Jumi says the idea is absurd and impractical. Who's right? Who's wrong? Only one man can decide.


- Guest bailiff Scott Adsit! You can find him performing regularly at the UCB Theater in NYC or on your televisions or internet streaming services on 30 Rock.

- Aaron Fichtelberg for suggesting this week's case name!



Submitted jointly by Jumi and Josh

Exhibit A
Their current lawn mower, which is on the skids.

Exhibit B
A model of the proposed antique riding lawn mower

Exhibit C
A panorama shot of their backyard (from several years ago, tree no longer there)

Exhibit D
Front yard view

Exhibit E
Birds-eye view of their property


It's a Ranch

Aside from Jumi seeming to be a total PITA, she also doesn't know what kind of house she lives. As seen in the pictures it's clearly a Ranch. A Bungalow is an entirely different style. Jumi, your husband seems pretty awesome, and helpful so quit your whining.

neighbors will love you

When Josh gets his lawn tractor, the neighbors definitely will NOT think you're lazy idiots if he offers to mow their lawns as well. Given your tiny lawn, and his love of riding the tractor around, there's no reason not to! I just solved all of your problems, you're welcome.

Mower Name

It should be noted that the technical name for a lawn mower which has no motor or engine is, as Jumi said and the Judge misunderstood, a "reel" mower.

This is, of course, Josh of

This is, of course, Josh of the SYSK podcast, innit? (How many other Joshes can there be with wives named Jumi?)

Hooray! Josh and his SYSK co-host Chuck are wonderful, and Jumi seems pretty wonderful, too.

Josh & Jumi, not Josh & Umi...

Isn't SYSK podcast based out of Atlanta? Can't be the same dude. Staff Sargent Josh in this podcast would need to have an whirly-bird in their garage to handle that kinda commute from the twin cities. ;) NOW that'd be awesome.


I found this case especially interesting, as just a week ago I moved into a neighborhood almost entirely of ramblers (which are generally called ranch houses in the rest of the country, not bungalows as was stated on the show). My yard is nearly identical to the couple's, so at first I thought the defendant was nuts to think he needed a riding mower. But he turned me around; that's why I love the show.

Oak Park

Just to make clear, he must have been talking about Oak Park, MN having identical houses, not Oak Park, IL, home to Hemmingway and Frank Lloyd Wright. I got stupidly offended for about 5 minutes, until I realized that just like more than one Paris or London exist, there are also several Oak Parks!

I had an idea. Maybe he could store the lawnmower at a neighbor's house in exchange for mowing their lawn too? Double the fun! (When he is not off defending our freedom that is)!

To defend the Mrs., not being able to park your car in a garage in MN is a big deal, and leads to far more than 100$ in damage to the car.

laura, Oak Park