Leafblowers Rule

Here's me in the leaf corpses.
When given the task as a kid to name my favorite season and draw a picture of it, I thought for a while, and chose "all of the above." I know that's not a season, but there was just something about each of the four seasons that I liked. Okay, maybe when it comes to autumn, I get it, it's crisp, it's colorful, but I don't go nuts over the season like most do. Screw pumpkin spice! And screw pumpkin-spice pie scented candles! (On a side note, damn. That autumn-crazy apple- pumpkin- cranberry- spice- smelling Yankee Candle store we got around here is a great place to mask a fart when you're at the mall with your girlfriend. True story.) Anyways... so is there any hope for autumn to be as awesome as the other seasons, as in, something even the 8YO me could like?

Well, when it comes to autumn, of course, the big thing on my mind is the leaves literally dying all around us, their copses being raked into piles to be trashed, burned, and jumped in by small children. Suddenly all that stuff "up there" hits the ground, you get crispy leaf corpses underfoot and blowing around, and they need picking up. It's payback for the free air, I thought. Well, you could rake them up, but come on, that's not nearly powerful or fun enough. Men have not always done a great job making life easier on this planet since the time of the mammoths, but we certainly know how to make it more fun. And one of our greatest achievements since our glory days of prehistory has got to be the "leafblower."

Don't get me wrong, it's not that they're completely useless. They may never actually get the lawn clean, and may actually end up making it worse at times, as you go scurrying around to chase after leaves in every which direction, but no, they do have their purpose, and it's a purpose that could've only been originated in a guy's head. That their actual use, and therefore why they were invented and why we continue using them, is more about, how shall I say this... allowing their users to have the most fun being an idiot while still making it look like "work" was being done. For that, I'd say the leafblower is a level of genius worthy of a Bud Light radio commercial.

Every kid, raised in a temperate climate has memories of raking a big pile of leaves and jumping in them, throwing them around, and then generally needing to rake them back up... so I won't bore you with the details of that. Trust me, there was a lot of it. My dad did have some pretty ingenious ways of raking leaves though, involving a leaf blower and a big tarp. Autumn is literally the best time of year for leaf blowers. You pick one of those up as a kid, rev it on, and have yourself a little mini Wizard of Oz in your front yard. Find a pile, blow it to pieces. Make it rain! Get those leaves cornered and make it tornado! Play volleyball with a leaf, blower style, and see how long you can keep it in the air! Stick the nozzle between your legs backwards and pretend that the sheer power of your ass-blaster gusts are blowing the front yard clean! Blast the nozzle in your brother's face and watch his mouth gape open, his eyelids curl up, and his hair fly back in the breeze! Chase your sister and really screw up her hair from behind! The possibilities are endless. The yard never gets clean, but it's sure fun.

Anyways, something about autumn (November included) always reminds me of childhood and family... perhaps it's because Halloween is around the corner (for childhood that is... I assure you, my family doesn't make me think of Halloween!), and perhaps it's because this is the time my family used to start getting together (...nice save!). Something about the fall made me think of the mundane routines in life--going shopping, going to the Laundromat, going to school, raking the leaves... and as the weather got colder, how we'd always start paying attention to things that could get us out of the cold... like all the big sales.

The second thing I picture is a gourd... not for any particular reason, other than it being a funny word, and the fact that you just can't think of autumn without picturing gourds. I have no affinity for them or eating anything involving pumpkins, and actually had a pretty daunting experience with one that I'd rather not relive (so definitely expect a post on it soon). Maybe it's just because I like the word "gourd."

And I guess that's all I have to say about the chick-y-est season of them all.

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