Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Leaf Blowers Don't Just Suck, They Blow.

Did you know that leaf blowers blow not only leaves
and dirt, but also dried animal feces? Yum. 
         The sun comes out and hesitates before it sets. The tiny buds that have been on the farthest tips of the tree branches from before the snow fell begin to morph into that shade of green that resembles nothing other than a Spring Green Crayola crayon. And, more importantly, beer thirty has moved from inside the house to the deck in the back. The temperature really only needs to hit something over 50 for that relocation. The robins are heralds of spring in New England as much as they are heralds of outdoor drinking, in my book. The robins also have such a lovely song. The cardinals, the chickadees, the tufted titmice, the warblers, the red-winged blackbirds, the nuthatches, the orioles – I look forward to listening to and whistling back to them all. If I focus really hard, I can almost pretend I don’t hear the highway in the background.

            Spring has a different sound than winter. I love everything about it: the birds, children playing, woodpeckers making holes in the sides of the house, the bees. It’s all so peaceful. Your brain just drifts into a state of rest and then VROOOOOOMMMMMM – WAIT what the hell is that?! Why is the roaring disturbing the peace? I was enjoying my quiet time with my drink and my dog. OH, it’s a LEAF BLOWER. Or a WEED WHACKER. Or a LAWN MOWER. Or a POWER WASHER. Now I’m just pissed. What happened to rakes, shears, sponges, and push mowers? I’m going to let the lawn mower thing go. Only because I’m nice. The rest of the things, I’m about to lay the smack down. This whole obsessive irritation can be traced back to Julie Newmar.
            I was watching Batman last week, the old television show – you know the one – where instead of bad sound effects they have cartoon bubble onomatopoeias “THUG,” “BOOM,” “CRACK!”-  and it was an episode with Catwoman a.k.a. Julie Newmar. I decided that my life would be easier if I had finger nails that blew red poison to knock people out, just like Julie Newmar had, and somehow that led to me finding my way to Julie Newmar’s website and reading some of her writing. She happens to have written a piece on how awful she thinks leaf blowers are. It’s excellent. “Why would you vacuum your lawn? Your lawn is not a billiard table.” No kidding, Julie. No kidding. The more I thought about the topic, the more I noticed people with leaf blowers, something I’ve always found annoying. Now I am something that is much beyond annoyed. Why do they have to be so loud? And why can’t people just use a FREAKIN’ RAKE?! 1. Do you realize that after you blow the leaves and dirt somewhere, the wind will blow them back? 2. You’re polluting my sound space and wasting gasoline. 3. Are you compensating for something? Most likely.
            The same thing goes for weed whackers. Get on your knees and clip that shit with some shears. Whenever I’ve witnessed “weed whacking,” inevitably something that is NOT a weed gets whacked. This wouldn’t happen if the whacker was being mindful and close to the things being clipped. Taking time. Paying attention. Not compensating. Not wasting gasoline. NOT ANNOYING THE SHIT OUT OF ME BY MAKING SO MUCH USELESS GROWLING.
            And the whole air compressor thing that goes with power washers… there’s one at our house that just turns on and off sometimes on it’s own. It’s just as annoying as all of the other aforementioned sound polluting “power” objects. Why do you need all of these “power” substitutes for things that can be done with your hands? The Amish do it by hand. Don’t tell me it’s for landscaping companies. Guess what landscapers, I’m pretty sure you get paid by the hour. Wouldn’t you WANT to do things in a way that takes the most time possible? Don’t be stupid. I’m a union member. I know how to maximize the profit to work ratio. I also am really selfish when it comes to quiet time. Selfish AND respectful. For instance, today at work when I had to warm up (my horn) on my lunch break for an audition, I did it in my mom’s truck with all the windows up so no one would have to listen to it. It was hot and uncomfortable, but sometimes you just need to understand that being a jackass is not acceptable.
            I want to know how many people using leaf blowers, weed whackers, and power washers drive Priuses, or other economy automobiles “to save the environment.”  I have decided that since that group of people is not only hypocritical, but also inconsiderate of other’s quiet space, they should be taught a lesson.  Since I do not have a car, I will take their Priuses off of their hands and drive them where I need to go. They can do a better job of helping the environment and learn how to be considerate by riding a foot-powered scooter to and from work. I hear those get excellent gas mileage.  

And then there's this.... just click... you won't regret it. I promise. It might even be the best part of your day. 

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