Neil Offen: Leaf it to me

Nov. 10, 2013 @ 08:52 PM

This is what I don’t understand. How come a week ago I spent all day carefully blowing, raking, lugging and artistically arranging the leaves on my front lawn and now I have to do it all over again?

Plus, I did it last year, too. Shouldn’t that be enough?

Maybe there’s something wrong with my leaf-removal technique.

Of course, I have considered not having a leaf-removal technique at all, just charging the leaves a small fee to let them settle on my lawn (discounts available in the mezzanine for weekend matinees). If they still want to hang out on the grass after that, well, that’s why we have ushers.

But there’s a lot of neighborhood peer pressure involved with leaves. Leaves from down the street always seem to be gathering together, hanging out at the curb. I think they’re whispering about my leaves. Or it may be that they’re just rustling. Sounds the same.

Anyway, so I developed my lawn leaf-removal technique.

I start my efforts with a high-tech leaf blower, the double-gauge, triple-threat, quadruple-bypass AK47 model, which is specially designed to blow leaves off my grass and directly onto my neighbor’s grass.

My leaf blower is a corded electric leaf blower which means I have to plug in an electric cord  before I can get started which means I have to unroll the electric cord before I can plug it in which means I have to unravel the cord before I can unroll it and by then it’s time for lunch.

If it takes me a little longer to unroll and unravel the cord I figure it will soon be time for spring and I won’t have to worry about leaves anymore.

The cord is a 100-foot long cord, specifically designed for my lawn, where most of the leaves are about 150 feet away.

After putting in my user name and password, I turn the leaf blower on to the maximum setting, typhoon. Unfortunately, when it goes on, the blower is pointing at my hydrangeas, which I have now just express mailed to West Virginia. 

I throttle down to gusty with a chance of showers late in the afternoon. I walk up and down the lawn, tripping on the cord only when there are people there to watch me and fully appreciate my lack of dexterity. Nevertheless, I blow all the leaves that I can reach into a large pile that nicely covers my feet, my knees, my crock pot and half the state of New Jersey.

I shut off the blower, unplug and then re-wind the cord, mostly around my wrist and making sure that it will be equally impossible for me to unravel it the next time. Then I get out my rake, a 30-inch wide, ergonomically designed, 345-horsepower, environmentally sound, organically harvested, “clog-free” rake that is full of clogs. 

The wind picks up.

I go inside. I wait for spring. 

Neil Offen can be reached at theneiloffencolumn@yahoo.com.