The Tool of the Devil – a Lazy Hippie’s Rant on a (Used To Be) Peaceful Spring Day*

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This is not me. It’s a random clipart from the free Microsoft clipart website. She doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to me what-so-ever. But this is kind-of what I look like in my head. At least on very good days.

It’s an evil machine.

The destruction of us all.

It is stinky.

It inspires laziness .

It is a pollution monster.  Pollution is created in the making of it.  In the marketing of it. In the use of it. In the disposal of it.

It is noisy.  It is so very noisy.  And it’s not the pleasant, constant-drone of summer busy-ness kind of noisy.  For some reason it starts and stops and gets louder and quieter and…..  it’s a sound that makes my bones ache.

It, most likely, annoys your neighbors to no end.  (Especially if I’m your neighbor.)

It is…. the leaf blower.

The tool of the devil.

See? Look how happy he is!

I despise these machines!

I’m a pretty joyful person.  I’m generally quite content.  I’m not a complaining kind of neighbor.  Music is best when it’s loud. Children scream. Dogs bark. Cars backfire.  I understand.  We make noise too. But…. I can walk down the street and see some man that I’ve always respected and liked (and it is ALWAYS a man.  I have never seen a woman use one.) is in his yard, pointlessly blowing his lawn debris around and he automatically loses points in my estimation.

A snow blower?  I get that!  Snow is heavy and it’s freezing outside when you’re clearing your drive and walks.  And they have to be cleared of snow.  It’s the law.  It’s keeps you safe.  A snow blower is reasonable.  It’s not the choice I make, but I understand why some people use them. I’m pretty sure that hippie hubby would love to have one and maybe, new job and all, he will next winter.

A lawn mower?  I confess –  I think the whole grass cutting, leaf raking, hedge trimming, border planting thing is a conspiracy to suck the life out of us on beautiful summer days.  But, at least where I live, it is required that you keep a tidy lawn.  If you don’t the city will tidy it up for you at an insanely inflated rate.  And some people (my grandfather was certainly one of them) love to putter around in their yards making everything just-so.  Great!  Good for them!

But….  Seriously?  A leaf blower?  Is it so hard to SWEEP the sidewalk off after you mow?  Is raking your postage-stamp yard THAT big of a chore?  And if you have 40 acres to tidy up I guarantee you’re not getting anything done by blowing your leaves around your estate.  Must the parking lot be completely free of helicopter seeds?  And, if you really think it must, is BLOWING the best way to get rid of seeds that are designed by nature to SPREAD when blown?  Do you realize that items blown into the street (or the alley or the neighbors yard or… wherever it is you blow them to) WILL come back when the wind picks up? And then you will have to blow them again.

Could you just not think of a SINGLE other thing to spend your $70-300 on?  Did you not realize that for less than $10 you could purchase a nice broom AND a rake?  Do you know what you could do with your savings?

You could go out for dinner and a movie.

You could buy tickets to a minor league sporting event (and snacks, beer and souvenirs when you get there)

You could get your mother a present. (Don’t forget! Only 2 more days until Mother’s Day.)

You could buy your child a new bike for summer.

You could fill the gas tank on your car. (Well….. if you have the same car as me and if prices don’t rocket up again.)

You could pay the greens fees for a day of golf and buy a round for the boys afterward.

You could give it to your wife for new shoes (just think how happy she’ll be!).

You could buy a new grill, empowering you to better enjoy your lovely, well-kept lawn.

This list could go to infinity and beyond.

I beg of you!  As a woman that loves an afternoon nap and PEACEFUL walks around the neighborhood… if you are considering purchasing a leaf blower.  STOP!  Use your $70-300 to hire a 12 year old kid to clean up your yard trimmings for the summer.  Your yard will be clean.  The kid will benefit. And the lady next door (especially if you live next door to me) might be SO HAPPY with your decision she’ll bake you some chocolate chip cookies just to say thank you.

* I read on, “I’m Not Stalking You,” that it is acceptable to use your blog as a form of personal therapy.  Hence, today’s post.  Thank you for helping me retain the bit of sanity I was born with.  You, my dear readers, are THE BEST!  🙂

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20 responses »

  1. Not to be an instigator but…. leaf blowers come in handy for said leaves and helicopters when you have rocks in your landscaping and can’t really rake the area. I suppose you could spend countless hours handpicking them out of the cracks and crevices but that thought just makes my neck hurt to even think about. That being said, we do have a leaf blower, but I feel like it’s a waste of my precious time (and sanity) to have to pull and pull and pull and still not have it start. (Yes I give up easily) So we, that is my husband, only uses it at most 2 times a year. AND, it’s far away from you so I feel good about our choice to use it. =) Ok, thats all… carry on as you were.

    • Hmmm. I’ll consider the rock issue in future estimations of noisy, stinky, leaf-blowing men. (See – at your house it’s always the man too!). But none of my neighbors have rocks. So they are not exempted. LOL 🙂

  2. We hire folks to do this at our house in mesquite. YOU try to get dead mesquite leaves out of the gravel yard without one! I dare you. And if they aren’t bagged up and removed we get fined. Leaf blower to the rescue!

    • Ah! See? It all goes back to the conspiracy theory of “them” forcing us to do things to our yards! lol. I know what you mean. But none of my neighbors, here in MI, have gravel yards and I swear they run these ridiculous things for 9 hours a day. If I worked 3rd shift I think I’d have to resort to sabotage.

  3. I agree. Nothing irritates me more than to see someone blowing leaves and cuttings into the street. It’s my street too, and I don’t want that crap in it! (PS – most of those men probably need the exercise of raking anyway).

    • Right! Maybe it’s just all about the power tool aspect. Maybe I should invent a rake that plugs in and has racing stripes and they’d all buy it and I could retire in Tahiti. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for the shout out for my blog! I personally find that all small-motored lawn machines (lawn mowers, weed wackers, etc.) ruin the peacefulness of any sunny, warm afternoon and anyone who might want to nap then. That little noise at that awful pitch just enters my ears and grates on my brain until I really just want to go outside and shoot the person running the lawn machine. (The devil made me do it?)

  5. The leaf blower man in my hood ranks right up there with the snow plow guy in terms of hatred for me. Try working nights and dealing with it while you are trying to sleep during the day. Oh and the garage band playing wanna be rockstar guy. Huh. Maybe I have some anger issues….

  6. Sorry, but I love my leaf blower. Just one more tool to get the job done quicker so I can spend time with the family and doing other things.

    Pollution for me is not an issue. After spending time in third-world countries and second-world countries, we are the cleanest nation on earth except for maybe Switzerland and Austria, but I’m not sure about that since I only heard about Austria and just spent a weekend in Switzerland.

  7. i am so surprised by all the pro-leaf blower commenters. we live in an old neighborhood with big yards and lots of beautiful lovely trees that we adore. when the leaves come, it is “the talk” – when will you get to the leaves? have you done your leaves? Ah, lucky you, i see you’ve done your leaves! it is a huge job for all of us, and we are keen to find the most efficient way. there is a pretty clear consensus that unless you are a professional with the backpack gas powered machines that have enough power to fly you around the neighborhood 3 feet off the ground, leaf blowers are ridiculous machines that do not help. everyone rakes. most of us have leaf blowers we bought hopefully years ago, and they all hang in our sheds. even if you wanted to argue that they are on par with the rake, or a tad more efficient, they cost in other ways: fuel instead of muscle, noise instead of peace. we rake as a family and we rake with our neighbors (who we can call to across the fence because we can hear each other! 🙂 my husband does occasionally use the leaf blower to blow leaves off the roof and out of the gutters, so i guess you’re right, always the man justifying the use of his phallic looking power tool. (sorry–couldn’t resist).

    • Your neighborhood sounds like a lovely place to take a wander with hippie baby in his stroller! I can just imagine the lovely sound of the leaves crunching under my feet. 🙂
      Men do seem to have to prove to one another that they have the biggest tool in the neighborhood, don’t they? lol

  8. Pingback: “Me Dad’s a Muggle, Me Mum’s a Witch” – Part Two « lazyhippiemama

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