Friday, December 02, 2005

Burn blowers, not books

Leaf blowers should be outlawed. Plain and simple. Have a big party in the middle of town, gather up all the leaf blowers, throw them in a pile, and light them up. We could make it a fall celebration.
They’re noisy, pollutive, and quite possibly the most hedonistic device ever conceived of. A person who drives a big SUV can at least use it for the once a year occasion to haul something, a person who uses a gas lawn mower on a 10’ X 10’ patch of grass instead of getting a manual one can avoid getting sweaty in the summer sun. Hell, even everyone in the cafeteria at work who chooses to use disposable utensils and plates even though real ones are right there, can claim that it saves them the time of having to walk all the way over to the tray return instead of just throwing away the disposables. (FYI: These are all very terrible excuses) On a side note, the whole disposable plate things shows that people act more out of habit than making conscious decisions. It’s actually much nicer to use real plates and utensils compared to disposables, but people are so used to using the inferior plastic ones at restaurants (who use disposables due to costs) that they keep doing it even when given the option.

Anyway, back to leaf blowers. I don’t think a leaf blower has any positives. Raking leaves is not that hard!! It’s probably one of the easiest lawn maintenance tasks there is. A blower makes so much noise, much more than a lawnmower, and doesn’t save time. I was watching a guy blow leaves yesterday, just standing there waving it back forth to get everything. I could have raked them in the same amount of time. Plus, fall weather is beautiful, so it’s not like you’re going to sweat your ass off (heaven forbid) by picking up a rake. Plus there the care for the blower, gas, initial cost, and did I mention noise?

This points out one of big catch 22s of living in a free country. People are free to make bad decisions as well as good ones, generally still a good trade off. What do you do when everyone keeps making poor desicions that are hurting everyone including themselves? I meant this post as a joke, but maybe banning leaf blowers is a good idea. Who gets to decide what a "bad decision" is though? Good thing we have an educated, well informed, unbiased, and ethical congress to think these decisions through for us.


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