Monday, October 23, 2006

the world's greatest invention

I just came inside after a couple hours out in the cold, breezy, gray cloudy day. It's been a lousy Fall this year--the leaves have mostly fallen though they didn't bother with the color this year. We missed out on the usual blast of bright reds and yellows and oranges that Fall usually provides to make the transition from summer to winter more tolerable. Blame it on EL Nino or global warming or the hole in the ozone layer, but color was not on Fall's agenda around here this year. Still, color or not, the leaves have found their way down to the ground where, as a card carrying suburbanite, it is my sworn duty to clear them from the lawn so as not to look untidy, embarrassing my neighbors.

In the past, clearing the leaves from the yard meant hours of a back breaking, blister inducing dance with a rake. I would lead, the rake would follow. Two foot wide strip by two foot side strip my rake and I would scratch our way along until all those messy leaves were neatly piled at the curb for the city's vacuum truck to suck away. This chore generally extended beyond one day, since my yard is big enough for two men and a small boy to bring a concentrated effort to the job if it was to be done in a day. Since Mary is disinclined to waste too much energy in such an endeavor, it falls to me, sans extra man and small boy, to get the job done myself, with only the rake to help me.

Now, however, I have entered the modern age of leaf management. The rake of old has been relegated to spot duty around the yard, It's place has been taken by the greatest invention ever conceived by man (for surely it was a leaf raking man who invented it), the LEAF BLOWER. A powerful motor that generates winds up to 180 mph attached to a tube that directs that wind, brings those leaves to their knees. There isn't a leaf left in the world that can withstand the awesome power of the leaf blower. Even the natural breeze is no match for the onslaught of that directed column of fast moving air. Man has finally harnessed the wind. With a couple 100' long extension cords plugged into the garage, I can reach every far corner of the yard, so no leaf is safe from my blowhard friend.

With my new tool, what used to take several days can now be done in several hours. What does that mean in real terms? More nap time, of course. And there are other benefits to consider, the greatest of which occurs when the natural wind is blowing in the direction you want the leaves to go. When that confluence of phenomena, natural wind and man made wind, is brought together by the gods of yardwork, the result is nearly orgasmic (If I smoked, I'd be having a cigarette right now).

God bless you, leaf blower inventor man. I think I love you.

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