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  • Tam Hinton

On Leafblowers


Oh, unholy, unhallowed monstrosity that is the leafblower. Blasting through the peace of my off-work afternoon like some great mechanical anus, fruit of a madman’s lab. Carried in the manner or a futuristic weapon by a person who’s waking hours could surely be spent more profitably, say by picking his nose of grinding hula hoops into a powder and moulding it into little likeness of Graham Norton. Anything, anything but the soul crushing insanity that is the leafblower.

Most odious of inventions. Most pointless of contrivances. Shittiest, of machines.

Okay, so the atom bomb, the thumb screws, the gas chamber: all have their claim to the mantle of humanities vilest mechanism. But for sheer, unrivalled pointlessness- good people, the case is clear as day.

Consider: In a world where silence or even low level noise, is a commodity as rare and special as unicorn poo; why do we as a society sanction use of a machine whose only purpose is to move the leaves of autumn into little rows along the sides of the path, the better to blow around and form mulch, shortly afterwards?!

Okay, wiseacre, I hear you say. Do I have a better idea, to deal with those fiendish leaves, which haunt our sleep and dog our days, those turbulent little slices of vegetation whose merry deluge simply cannot go unchecked? Dear friends, I do.

Picture, if you will: A broom. Simple, rewarding work, as the industrious worker whisks the leaves into piles with smooth, practiced movements of his brush, changing the handle to the other side when necessary, raising a light sweat as he tones the muscles of his back and forearms. His task complete, he makes a bonfire, creating as a side-effect the smoke whose pleasant smell will, as Jim Morrison observed in one of his better poetic asides, “become nostalgia”. Surely no heavier a carbon footprint than the leafblower, manufactured no doubt in some pointless factory and grinding some vile fuel as it bores into my rest with it’s apocalyptic wail?

But no. The housing want leafblowers, so leafblowers it is. As I, writhing in my desolate fury, pound the ground like Charlton Heston, condemning a self-destructive humanity for it’s terminal folly: “Damn you. Damn you all to hell.”

More than the head transplant, the celebrity pervert or the used underwear dispenser, my friends: it is the leafblower’s dirge foreshadows the end of days. A creature walks the earth which discovered penicillin, mapped the genome, conceived the theories of relativity. Bach, Shakespeare, Hendrix. But oh, the cry of the leafblower. grinding monotone of a necrotic tongue. I can decode it, translate it’s bitter message:

“Idiocy reigns here. Stronger than wisdom, fiercer than love. Listen to my whine, you mighty, and despair.”

The leafblower is the seed of Satan, my friends. Ignore it, at your peril.


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