Kindly Go Fuck Yourself With Your Shitty Fucking Gas-Powered Leafblower, You Tremendous Asshole


Sometimes I ask myself if humans are good or bad or somewhere in the middle. I wonder if we are worthy of the world, if civilization was worth its cost. Then I remember that humans invented the leafblower, and I decide I can’t wait till the octopuses and crows take over.

Right now, as I type this, a neighbor — not even a next-door neighbor, but one several houses removed — has a landscaping service featuring a trio of young white jabronis with leafblowers. These are gas-powered leafblowers. The property is, I’d guess, around a half-acre in size.

They have been there for an hour and a half. Leafblowing this entire time.

It is incredibly loud.

It sounds like this:

vvvvWWAAAHHHHHHHH

mmmMWMAAAAAAWAAAAHHHHH

NNNNAAAAHHHHHHHHHH

VVMMMAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH

brum brum brum brum

HYYYAYAAAAAAAHHHHHHHNNNNHHHHNNN

It is the sound of machines screaming. Angry hot hell-machines screaming their torment into the world. And, for an extra bonus, I’ve watched these fucking dickheads doing their leafblowing, and it is, as anyone who has ever used a leafblower knows, wildly fucking inefficient. It’s like herding butterflies. It’s just trying to move a swarm of bees with a box fan. You watch these shitheads wave their black tubes around, blasting clouds of leaves and dust into the air — leaves that will not be so casually commanded, oh no. Leaves that the wind gladly puts right back from whence they came. They’re not moving leaves in a straight line. It’s chaos theory. It’s water on back of Ian Malcolm’s hand. It’s limbs akimbo, a nightmare dance of nothing done.

I watched a guy (different lawn) two weeks ago herding about a half-dozen small leaves back and forth, back and forth, with his leafblower. He’d blast them one way, but then they’d escape his intended path, so he’d go the other way, and end up back where they came from. He would’ve been more efficient had he blindfolded himself and used a pair of fucking chopsticks to do the job.

Listen.

It’s a come to Jesus moment.

Fuck your gas-powered leafblower.

Get rid of it.

Your gas-powered leafblower is a fucking nightmare. It’s a nightmare first and foremost for the environment. Just on a basic exhaust level, the pollutants a two-stroke engine leafblower emit into the world are hundreds of times worse than a goddamn automobile. (Source: Sierra Club.) I need you to reckon with that because it’s worse than even I, a person who Deeply Detests Leafblowers, expected. From Edmunds: “A consumer-grade leaf blower emits more pollutants than a 6,200-pound 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.” Also from that article: “The hydrocarbon emissions from a half-hour of yard work with the two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive from Texas to Alaska in a Raptor,” said Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor at Edmunds.com. “As ridiculous as it may sound, it is more ‘green’ to ditch your yard equipment and find a way to blow leaves using a Raptor.”

Holy fucking shit. That’s awful. It’s like the leafblower was a device designed by an actual demon in order to help destroy the world.

Plus, the noise pollution is bad for people and for nature. For extra fun, the leafblowers just kick up everything you really don’t want kicked up. Dust? Yup! Mold and spores? Absolutely! Pesticides you don’t wanna breath in? Sure! Aerosolized raccoon shit? Hell yeah, bro! Time to take a big ol’ lungful of POSSUM DUNG. Mmmm. Get that all up in you.

And here’s the thing: leaves? They’re supposed to be there. They fall from trees for a reason. It’s not fucking random! They’re not mad at us and puking leaves onto our lawns because they hate us (though trees should definitely 100% hate us). Nature is a circuit! A glorious, sometimes-simple, sometimes-elaborate circuit. Trees soak up all these nutrients, some of those go into the leaves, the leaves fall to the ground, and ta-da, they redistribute those nutrients into the ground. The health of the ground is based on this very cycle. It is an essential loop. You further will discover that there are other natural necessities that come with leaf cover and leaf litter, as well. Little wonderful creatures like to chill out over the winter under leaf litter. You know how we’re killing all the insects in an insect apocalypse? Yeah. This is part of that. You ever lament the loss of fireflies (around here, we call ’em lightning bugs)? You say, “Gosh, I don’t see as many of those little glowing butts these days.” Well, this is part of why you don’t. They love those leaves. They need those leaves. (Also, they don’t need the pesticide. Relax with the fucking pesticide.) And then the birds are happy too because sometimes they like to eat those bugs.

And here someone says, “But the leaf cover kills my lawn!”

Riiiight, yeah, here’s the thing, your lawn is also bad. It is a weak, whimpering monoculture. It is a sad, non-native, largely-lifeless inert carbon-useless golf-green that has somehow become The Way Our Lawns Must Look. The reason leaf cover kills it is because your lawn is shit. It’s thin piss. It is landscaping gruel. You ever walk through a forest, an actual forest, and lament how the leaves have killed the grass there? No? You know why? BECAUSE THAT’S HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO LOOK. That’s just nature! It’s supposed to be that way! The leaves fall! It’s fine! It’s good, even! Even if you really really want that lawn, did you know there are native grasses you can use? And you don’t even need to use grasses? Our lawn is a diverse nonsense array of dozens and dozens of different plants that we don’t fertilize and we don’t spray with pesticide or herbicide and even on drought days it’s green and healthy-looking and yes, some of it is invasive, and I combat the invasive stuff with aggressive native spreaders, and turns out, those native spreaders have flowers and they bring bugs and pollinators and birds who want the bugs and who want the seeds and it’s really pretty and I love it and I don’t ever have to strap a soot-belching silence-murdering jet engine to my back to protect it from the big mean leaves that fall from the big mean trees. What a wonder!

(Oh, and we get so many fireflies it is legit like a religious experience.)

And yes, I acknowledge here that sometimes you have to move some leaves around. You want to clear walkways. You want to clear some ditches and drains. You may even want some yard space where kids can run without slipping on wet leaves. I acknowledge this.

But have you ever considered… using a rake? Hell, okay, even if you really love the (in)efficiency of a leafblower, they make electric ones! They’re really good now! And super quiet! And not barfing shit into the air! It’s amazing!

Anyway.

To sum up:

You’re literally killing the world to crappily usher leaves around, leaves that should be largely left alone because they’re supposed to be there.

Stop trying to control nature. You’re a part of it, not above it, not separate from it, you are not its master. We have to start learning to live in synchronicity with the world, because right now? We are the invasive species.

Your gas-powered leafblower is shitty and bad and should be banned.

The end.

P.S., the leafblowers finally stopped. It took them almost two hours. Christ.


68 responses to “Kindly Go Fuck Yourself With Your Shitty Fucking Gas-Powered Leafblower, You Tremendous Asshole”

  1. Preach it!
    The state housing developer is doing a big (153 home) development around our place, and one of the first things they did was fell most of the mature native trees on the sides of the road (70+ years old). Two years on, my stress levels still spike whenever I hear a two-stroke engine – chainsaw, weed whacker, road saw, whatever.
    The less tree cover an area has, the poorer the residents are likely to be – and the poorer their health, not to mention there’ll be more flooding and less biodiversity, etc, etc, etc.
    Anyone know where I can get an army of angry ents? I’d love to see what ents would do to a leaf-blower.

  2. Chuck, thank you so much for your suggestion of “. . . just trying to move a swarm of bees with a box fan”.

    Tubularsock got right on it but a heard of butterflies confused the bee swarm and Tubularsock had to fight the entire situation by driving Tubularsock’s 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor into this mess to clear out this mess.

    Don’t worry though, Tubularsock drove in reverse to keep the pollution down!

    That was a great post! You hit it right on the head.

  3. I agree. How could I not? As one who is part pf nature and not it’s master, ban them and the ones that see themselves above nature. And yes we are a invasive species.

  4. YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS!!!
    FUCK YES, MAN! I’ve been saying this for godamn YEARS. I moved to a rural area to get the fucking hell away from those fuckheads (among many, many other suburban-related shitstorm atrocities), and damned if the pasture across from me wasn’t almost instantly sold off to make 3 fucking McMansion atrocities. And…yep, you guessed it, every one of those suburbia-wanna-be choads brought either their own fucking noise-death-machine or they hire 3 clowns to do it every fucking week for them.
    I want to print out your fabulous diatribe here and plaster their fucking ugly ass houses with it! Except they’re too incredibly stupid to get the real message and would probably hire another crew of pressure-washer fucktards, which is almost worse, considering the state of water scarcity in our state.
    I’ll just go bang my head against a wall until the corvids and octos take over. And yeah, the trees SHOULD hate us. I’m with Deborah, too, on the chainsaw PTSD and the angry Ent action.
    Got any leads on action groups working to get these inefficient hell-machines made illegal? We need to band together.
    I have a yard skeleton that stays up all year, doing different things in the yard. I think he needs to have a RAKE & a sign directed, natch, at the neighbor. Heh.

  5. Other than the language, loved this up to the point where he says that electric leaf blowers are quiet. My neighbor blows his lawn every single day and for about an hour I have to listen to its ear and mind piercing whine. It is NOT quiet. And doesn’t it blow the same dust and spores, pesticides and opossum shit around.

    Excerpt: “Sometimes I ask myself if humans are good or bad or somewhere in the middle. I wonder if we are worthy of the world, if civilization was worth its cost. Then I remember that humans invented the leafblower, and I decide I can’t wait till the octopuses and crows take over.”

  6. I was thinking the other day as I listened to numerous leaf blowers going off throughout the neighborhood how incredibly annoying they are. Use a rake, like I do! I also mow the ones in the backyard and let them decompose into the soil and leave those alone in the flower beds. The other day the weather was incredibly windy and leaves were blowing everywhere and here was the leaf blower obsessed neighbor out there blowing the leaves off his driveway as gust after gust kept blowing the leaves back on. Eventually he gave up.

  7. My neighbor could easily rake the leaves in half the time he spends blowing leaves. Better yet he could mulch them or bag them with his mower.

  8. I have a dude that at least once a day uses his very loud leaf blower to clear the entire road right below us. Apparently, he can’t drive on leaves. We live in the middle of the fucking forest. We are surrounded by trees, some that are several hundred years old. Red oaks, chestnut oaks, poplars, sourwoods, walnuts, and of course a lot of NC pines. I wonder how he copes with all the wildlife—bears, foxes, raccoons, opossums—if he is afraid of leaves.

    Our yard has no grass, only moss, rocks, and natural “weeds” so I am sure we are the bane of the nice rich folks who move up from Florida. (They only last one winter before they move away most of the time, if they make it that long.) Blowing and even raking leaves is a fruitless endeavor. Even if you manage to move them away, a new batch from higher up the mountain will blow in.

    Humans are simply illogical.

  9. Long Live Diverse Lawns!

    Leaves are great pollinators, and nutrients for your lawn. If you have to leaf blow, we have a 40V based Ryobi all electric solution for our yard tools, both the mower and the blower. We’ve used the blower more for the kids to fly around on skateboards than move leaves, but mowing over them and mulching them into your diverse lawn is great for everything. While not silent you only have the blower noise not a screaming two stroke engine pouring smoke into the air.

    Watching them with backpack engines that haven’t been refined since the 40s is frustrating, Some of our worst non-commercial polluters are those things.

    I won’t say I’m lazy but a diverse lawn is better for the environment than the monoculture lawns of suburbia. We just let grow what grows and what doesn’t, doesn’t. Keep it trimmed so unfriendly to people animals and insects don’t take over but that’s it.

  10. I am currently on vacation on the sunny (though, not so much this month during the rainy season), tropical island of Bonaire. We have been here two days, trying out a new resort. The entire property is maybe a half acre, and most of it is occupies with the main lodging building and swimming pool. There has literally been a guy here with a has powered leaf blower for four hours. He has blown about fifteen leaves from one sode of the property to the other, leaving a trail of forgotten and abandoned leaves in his wake. It’s a tropical destination. I’m realize that there is going to need to be some landscaping, but they dint have the mass genocide of leaves we have in the northern US. Four hours for a half-acre lot (maybe 20% of which isn’t covered by buildings) seems excessive when a stick with a nail on the end would probably be faster.

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