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Blowers Suck On:2005-01-28 04:57:32

In my more miserable, cynical, jaundiced and, quite frankly, anti-American, or perhaps just un-American moments (Oh! Yeah. Like you never have them--I'm sure everybody has anti-American, or perhaps just un-American feelings, even the most Love-it-or-Leave-it-y of the Daughters of the National American John Birch Rifle Society) anyway, anyway in that state I regale, or comfort, or maybe just distract myself with the thought that leaf-blowing is the defining American activity: it involves almost no physical effort, it is noisy, inefficient, and tends to end up dumping rubbish in someone else's back yard.

And I only bring this highly inappropriate and un-American moment to you in this highly inappropriate and un-Autumnal season of mists and the almost total avoidance of leaf-fall, because for some godawfully incomprehensible reason some (I suspect possibly immigrationally challenged) person is doing it!

Right now! As I try to write!!
With a loud leaf-blower!!!
In winter!!!
Late Winter!!!!!
Actually, now I come to think of it, these thoughts have only ever occurred to me since he who I now think of as the loud-leaf-blower guy has become currently active and actively annoying me, so maybe that alone explains it. And I do notice a tendency to revert (on the odd occasions that he's stopped that bloody racket for a moment) to the more balanced view that leaf-blowing is only one of a range of typical American activities, only some of which it resembles at all closely.

This of course leads me directly to contemplating the absolute, insane evil of any sort of gardening at any sort of season in this wannabe steppe-child of a desert, or at least second cousin to a scrubby desolate plain: this, ...this North-ish Texas.
Gardening down here strikes me as not an activity of Worldly Delights for it involves everything that has gone over to the dark-side: from the aforementioned tendency to blow, through evil chemical Monsanto-ism of the worst kind, and through profligate in-ground sprinklering of the most come-rain-or-shine kind, to the mass open-back-of-rather-unsafe-looking-truck transportation of the huddled hispanic masses in an exercise of that complete opposite of out-sourcing, what I suppose one has to think of as, in-sourcing.

You see Ron-the-Landlord in a vain attempt to please me, and with the absurd notion that this could best be done by assaulting my garden, has employed a veritable troop of the back-of-the-rather-unsafe-looking-truck brigade to dispose of all the leaves generated by the complete absence, since last summer, of my children (I don't know if I mentioned it, but Ann somehow forgot to return them to me after their summer visit), Oh yes. and I suppose the trees had something to do with it, but it's mainly the kids fault!

And now that I think of the kids I realise that the absolute worst aspect of the whole thing is that when the kids did it there was only the gentle susurration of the rake and broom and the occasional swear-word from Rowena. But without them I was forced to live in a world of initially swirling, but then foetidly clumping leaves, and without them I am now forced to live in the time of loud blowing and bellowed (to get over the loud blowing) commands (or perhaps they are merely instructions) in what Hereb used to call, when he was down here, Mexican (as in "Hey Dad, why are those signs in Mexican as well as English"), though I suspect it's just everyday post-Columbian Spanish.

All of which I'm sure explains why I've always preferred my gardens au naturel I mean, it's so much easier and a damn sight quieter that way.

Cheerio for now
Richard Howland-Bolton

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