20 July 2010

Leaf blowers and others ridiculous appliances

I woke to the annoying drone of a leaf blower this morning.

It's one of those appliances that I really don't get. The noise it makes reminds me of the incessant drone of the Vespa hordes in Rome, but at least the noise had a purpose: Survival. If you've ever watched traffic in Rome, or tried to cross a street, you know what I mean. Traffic laws are suggestions there, so the noise was the only warning you got that a swarm of 30 or 40 vehicles were coming your way.

In Charlotte, I lived in a neighborhood where yards were measured by the inch. Yet several of my neighbors had leaf blowers. I remember watching one blow leaves across his yard on a cool Saturday morning and thinking, if he used a rake, not only could I sleep but he also might lose the pudgy belly.

Today, the landscaping crew at my condo building just finished up mowing and are now blowing the clippings off the sidewalk. And while I understand they are being paid by the hour, a good stiff broom would not only do the job more quietly, but it would also sweep off all the goose droppings that spatter the sidewalk.

Really, I'd be willing to pay extra for quiet and cleaner sidewalks.

And because I titled this "other ridiculous appliance" and I really can't think of any, I'll turn it over to you. Any appliances that you could happily see vanquished from the globe?


Jeffe Kennedy said...

I agree on leaf-blowers. Don't they just blow stuff to another spot nearby? Really, anything that makes noise gets a black mark in my book.

Keena Kincaid said...

Mine, too. Although I can give a pass to lawn mowers after 10 a.m.