Dan Rattiner's Stories

Hamptons Moments: Leaf Blowers

There’s a group out here that is angling to put an end to the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers, at least in seasons other than the fall when there are leaves to be blown. I have read all their literature. Before I read it, I thought, “What the hell is wrong with leaf blowers? After I read it, I thought this is terrible, stop the leaf blowers.

Essentially, the argument is this. Leaf blowers are louder than airplanes up close. They are so loud their operators could be given summonses. If a leaf blower is nearby, you will have to stop talking to whoever you are with until the fellow with it walks away.

Leaf blowers used by landscapers all summer long are not blowing leaves that they intend to pick up, they are blowing debris from point A to point B, just re-arranging it so that is no longer a problem for the owner of the property they are blowing. Two leaf blowers being used on the border of adjacent properties during the summertime is a war of the dust. You get it, no you get it, no you get it. The dust irritates the eyes, the blowers can throw small objects at you at high speed, even shards of glass or metal, which can injure you or get in your eyes. People with allergies run for the hills when there’s a leaf blower. You can even make a case that much in that dust is carcinogenic.

“Leaf” blowing in summer therefore does nothing but make money for the people who do the leaf blowing, simply cleaning up one property and messing up another. It’s probably also dangerous for the poor kids who do the leaf blowing. Nearly all wear ear coverings. Many insist on wearing goggles. Others have no access to goggles. Certainly leaf blower operators are always careful to aim the leaf blowers away from themselves. In the autumn, the leaves fall, homeowners consider leaving the leaves around unfashionable, burning leaves is a fire hazard, so they gather them up and put them in bags by the side of the road for the town to pick up. One way to do the gathering is with rakes. But that’s the hard way. The easy way is to blow the leaves into a pile and then scoop them into the bags. Much faster.

Hooray for leaf blowers, in October and November. The rest of the year it’s booooo for leaf blowers. You read it here first in Dan’s Papers.

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