submitted by Wayne Vicknair [Email address: wev #AT# austin.rr.com - replace #AT# with @ ]

6a00d8341c574253ef00e54fafe8d08834-800wigentle neighbors, what follows is a cautionary tale… a tale of yard work woe…

it started innocently enough. a friend gave me my first leaf blower for free. i felt awkward using it, but the leaves were accumulating a bit. then i started to enjoy it. as fall began, it seemed like i was using the leaf blower more and more. but it wasn’t enough. the leaves were pilling up on me, and i just couldn’t handle it. so, i moved up to a small chipper/shredder. things were normal again. i could grind up all the leaves and small sticks life threw at me. it was great. but soon it seemed like there were even more leaves, and bigger sticks, and i was using the chipper/shredder morning, noon and night.

i needed a more powerful chipper/shredder. i could handle it. sure, i could stop any time i wanted. i got the one with the 20 inch hopper and 600cc honda engine. i was on top of the world. i could shred anything. that got me thinking: leaves and sticks were kid stuff. only serious grinding for me.

here’s where things started going bad. i began to prune branches from trees just to shred them. small branches at first, then bigger and bigger. i was spiraling out of control. all of a sudden, i started having thoughts about that scene from the film “fargo” where steve buscemi gets run through a chipper/shredder; he probably had it coming. i withdrew from my friends. i withdrew from my family. they didn’t understand what i was going through. i lived only for leaf blowing, chipping and shredding.

then one day, i was reading the neighborhood news group. i read post after post after post about the evils of leaf blowers. they couldn’t be talking about me. no way. i’m a good person. my leaf blowing and chipping and shredding wasn’t hurting anyone. or was it? had i lost all sense of common courtesy and consideration for others? was i not observing the after 7 AM and before 10:30 PM noise ordinance? had i fallen prey to a darkness… an evil so great that my tortured soul had not the strength to resist or cry for help?

nope. it turns out i just wanted to share some musings on powered lawn tools and the emotions they engender in others.

wayne vicknair
6300 shoal creek blvd