Ever since Rand Paul got his ass kicked by his next door neighbor a couple weeks ago, there have been many theories thrown around as to why someone would kick Rand Paul’s ass.
Perhaps his next door neighbor didn’t like Paul’s politics. This is the idea that conservative outlets like Breitbart and the Washington Examiner have trotted out.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that Paul is a complete asshole. There’s plenty of evidence to back up this particular hypothesis.
But the prevailing thought around Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the beatdown in question occurred, is that Paul and his neighbor Rene Boucher got into it over different lawn care philosophies.
In lieu of the confusing and fascinating saga, GQ sent Ben Schreckinger to Bowling Green to shed some light on LawncareGate.
Schreckinger’s piece is a doozy. There are some rather revelatory facts about Paul, Boucher, and the Bowling Green community’s general thoughts about both men.
First off, Rand Paul gets made fun of around his gated community because the columns on his house are small:
“On the afternoon of November 3, Paul was mowing his lawn in the well-to-do gated community where he’s lived for 17 years. It’s an enclave dotted with swimming pools, an artificial lake, and at least one private tennis court—a place where the Greek revival homes feature grand columns out front that support porticos and little balconies. Actually, the columns on Paul’s house are rather modest by the standards of the neighborhood—a fact that doesn’t escape notice. ‘They pick on Rand because he has the smallest one out there,’ one local confided in me.”
The people in Rand Paul’s gated community sound kinda hilarious. Gated community beef is an underrated variety of beef.
As for the actual ass kicking, one of the best parts from the GQ piece was the geometric breakdown of the “diminutive” Boucher’s attack on Rand Paul:
“Jim Skaggs, who lives nearby… said that he thinks that Boucher charged at Paul from the street. From that direction, Paul’s yard slopes steeply downward, toward the lake at the rear of his property. Barreling downward about 30 degrees, this imagined path would increase the force of a running tackle, perhaps explaining how a man of Boucher’s diminutive stature—an acquaintance of the two men estimates that they both stand five-foot-six and weigh about 140 pounds—could do so much damage.”
The image of Rand Paul just quietly and unknowingly sitting on his mower as his maniacal neighbor charged at him about to take his damn head off is truly a fucking beautiful thing.
That angle must have been steep because Boucher beat Paul’s ass so bad his injuries were way more intense than a simple tackle:
“The injuries Paul suffered sound to him more consistent with a car accident, or a fall down a flight of stairs—or even from the top of a building. ‘I’ve seen a few from people getting kicked by horses,’ added Pritts, who speculated that Paul’s injuries may indicate he was stomped on while lying on the ground.”
But why such animosity?
Apparently Boucher has some ‘old school views; on things and may not have liked the fact that Rand Paul is down with bud and used to take bong rips and worship ‘Aqua Buddha.‘
Wait… Rand Paul worshipped a made up Aqua Buddha god while taking gravity bong rips? Yes, Rand Paul worshipped a made up Aqua Buddha god while taking gravity bong rips:
“‘[Boucher’s] father taught him the old way, but he lives in a new world,’ Goodwin said, describing a man apparently at odds, on occasion, with those around him. (It is perhaps no wonder that Boucher has not hit it off with Paul, who has called for repealing the federal marijuana prohibition and who in college was said to take bong hits and worship a mysterious deity he called ‘Aqua Buddha.’)”
Aqua Buddha! So Rand Paul is just what happens when the kid on your freshman year floor who smoked reggies and shined black lights on posters with mushrooms on them (you know the one) grows up.
But not to be outdone, Boucher is no normal dude himself.
One person Schreckinger spoke to said Boucher has “some OCD issues.” Apparently Boucher was especially OCD about his lawn care while Rand Paul has some, uh, libertarian views towards lawn care.
Boucher was not happy about the height of Rand Paul’s lawn.
“Like most everyone else in the Rivergreen development, Goodwin told me, Boucher pays in the ballpark of $150 a month for professional landscaping, while Paul insists on maintaining his yard himself. Goodwin said that part of what nagged at Boucher was the difference in grass length between his lawn and that of his libertarian neighbor’s. “He had his yard sitting at a beautiful two-and-a-half, three inches thick, where Rand cuts it to the nub,” Goodwin said.”
It’s not just the height of the lawn, though. Boucher also takes issue with Paul’s lawn mowing technique:
“Also at issue… is Paul’s tendency to mow outward at the edge of his property, spraying his clippings into Boucher’s yard. Boucher, he said, has asked Paul to instead mow inward when near the boundary line, and even sought help from the Rivergreen Homeowners Association but has gotten no relief.”
Seems like we got two total lunatics living next to each other in a gated community in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Something was bound to give.
While in Bowling Green, Schreckinger tracked down Bill Goodwin, a friend of both Boucher and Paul’s, who provided some clarity on the history of the beef between the two neighbors.
Bill told GQ about Boucher gradually losing his temper with Paul’s lawn care practices:
“Goodwin recalled picking up Boucher, a devout Catholic, at his home after church one Sunday afternoon several years ago. Boucher had confronted Paul about his yard-maintenance practices a few minutes before Goodwin’s arrival, to no avail, and Goodwin saw Boucher grow agitated as they both watched Paul blow grass onto his lawn. ‘I’ve asked him and I’ve asked him and I’ve asked him,’ Goodwin recalls Boucher fuming. ‘How long can you sit there taking someone plucking a hair out of your nose?’ Goodwin asked. ‘How long could you take that before losing your temper?'”
Interestingly (but not at all shockingly) enough, NO ONE fucks with either of these dudes:
“Across Bowling Green, sympathy for either man appears to be in short supply. Goodwin described them as ‘two little shits’ who have brought embarrassment upon the town. ‘You’re talking about two of them that I’d like to turn over my knee,’ he said. ‘That’s what the folks would like to do. Give them both a paddling and send them on their way.'”
Two little shits! Such little shits in fact that Rand Paul was once ejected from a little league game:
“Goodwin, in his capacity as a youth-baseball umpire, said he once ejected Paul from a Babe Ruth baseball game around 2000 when Paul, who was coaching one of his sons, grew argumentative over balls and strikes. (Paul’s spokesman, Gor, said Goodwin’s account was ‘100 percent absolutely false’ and that Paul had never been ejected from a game.)”
Wow. So much to process.
I don’t know if we’re any closer to an actual resolution here, but I have enjoyed this trip into the little world of everyone hating Rand Paul and also hating the dude that kicked the shit out of Rand Paul.
Maybe we’ll never get an answer. I think I’m at peace with this story despite the lack of any real “answer.” I have sought the guidance of Aqua Buddha.