The Barista has to admire someone who starts an anti-leaf-blower campaign in the summer. But then Sierra Club activist Pat Kenschaft had a bad run-in with a leaf blower the other day. She wrote about it on the Montclair Watercooler.

My husband and I were walking down our block toward the park when he burst into uncontollable sneezing. He gasped, “Wasn’t there just a leaf blower here?” Yes, about ten minutes ago. We got through the cloud of residual dust, and he was fine, despite his allergies, in the park. Are the people blowing up public dust doing so JUST to harm people like my husband by blowing allergens into the air or is there some other motive?

She’s holding a meeting tonight to get the darned things banned, but you have to contact her to find out where and get the secret password. After all, you wouldn’t want to be holding a leaf-blower banning meeting and have some horticultural SWAT team armed with Toro Blower-VaCs showing up in your living room. It could wreak havoc on the drapes.
Meanwhile, read Pat’s wonderful diatribe on leaf blowers here, which includes, in the Barista’s opinion, the best sentence ever written in the English language.

It will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to numerically evaluate how much mental illness is caused by leafblowers or how many tottering marriages fell into divorce because the spouses were irritated by leaf blower noise.

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  1. Really? That is the best sentence in the English language?
    I’d like to nominate some others:
    “Things cannot always go your way. Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity and consume your own smoke with an extra draught of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of your complaints. – William Osler ”
    “If you expect perfection from other people, your whole life is a series of disappointments, grumbling and complaints. If, on the contrary, you pitch your expectations low, taking folks as the inefficient creatures which they are, you are frequently surprised by having them perform better than you had hoped. – Bruce Barton ”

  2. I’m sorry, but I’m all for nominating some small part of the country for those wanting to live in the stone age to go. Next thing we’ll hear is that rakes are banned because they tear up the grass too much.

  3. Tom,
    Isn’t it amazing that the *very same* people who wring-their-hands over the FBI’s (search warranted only) look-see at the library records of possible terrorists because the state’s ‘invasion’ of their freedom, are *the very same* people who have no problem with the state telling you how to remove leaves from your yard (or when *not* to tear down your failed hotel business – for that matter)?
    It is especially odd when the objective of the former is to keep us safe and the objective of the later is to keep ‘tottering marriages’ from falling apart over the sounds of leaf blowers.

  4. When I see someone with one of those contraptions strapped to their back making that horrible racket, I pity those poor fools. For there is a cheap, silent and efficient way to ‘blow’ (where are they blowing them to, anyway?) their leaves away: it’s called a BROOM! And although I do believe that people who use leaf blowers are incredibly stupid and lazy (i.e. American) I do feel pity for them and feel that they should be let on to this whole broom-idea. Let’s all get together on this and enlighten them. Stone age, indeed.

  5. How much gasoline do you think is wasted every year by leaf blowers? To answer your question–they blow the leaves AROUND.

  6. I have been anit-leaf blowers until today. I am going to try one out this afternoon. I hope I can do more than just blow the leaves around. I would like to put them in a nice pile by the alley to later burn when the burn ban is lifted. But I am not sure if I will succeed. I thought people who used them were inconsiderate and lazy. So we shall see.

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