Thursday, November 01, 2007

Leaf Blowers....Devil's Spawn

If there truly is anything on this earth that was spawned straight from the maw of the devil, it's not Harry Potter, it's not kids in costumes trick-or-treating, it's not New Age shamans, it's leaf blowers.

Yes, it's that time of the year again. The time when the leaves fall gloriously from the trees in all their pretty dresses of red, maroon, orange, and gold. I love this time of year. I love the harvest activities, the crisp mornings, the fog that rolls in at night, the nerdiest un-partnered lone crickets chirping their last amorous ballads to the dusk. I hate the leaf blowers. They make their appearance at this time of the year too. They've replaced the kindly shopkeeper sweeping his front stoop and turned him into a headphone-clad hunch-backed animal making the most horrendous noise on the planet. I once turned away from a park that I like to run at because a man with a leaf-blower (paid for by my tax dollars no doubt!) was there. I ran for over half a mile before I could no longer hear the drone of this nasty CO-belching beast.

Leaf-blowers are the antitheses of joy. There is no enjoyment in leaf blowing, I'm convinced. The happiness one would feel in the cool autumn air, the crunch of the leaves, all the tactile loveliness of the season is blasted away in a haze of fumes and fury. Your neighbors avoid you, pedestrians and cyclists detour around you, you are deaf and mute to the world as you blast away at small pieces of dead photosynthesized plant matter with all of your blood-for-oil-powered might. Leaf blowers separate humans, instead of fostering connections. They proclaim dominance over the natural world, yet nature has the last laugh. When the man with the leaf blower turns around, shuts off his machine and walks indoors, the gust of wind appears almost mischievously and whisks all those leaves back onto the sidewalk, obliterating man's mechanized work. I can't help but see it as a metaphor for things to come.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Well said! Around here they are considered a "greener" choice than using a hose, which is also commonly done, since water is so scarce. Why can't people just sweep the damn leaves? Why are we so afraid of a little physical exertion?