Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Autumn leaves

Ahh, November.
A beautiful sunny holiday. The air is brisk, it smells like fall -- woodsmoke and winter in the air.
And nothing adds to a beautiful November day like the chorus of leaf-blowers than woke me out of my sleep at 8 a.m. and still continue now at 1 p.m.
When I was a kid we had a storybook record called "Too Much Noise." It was about a cranky old man who couldn't stand all the noise around him. I think in the end he learned his lesson -- noise is good or some weird 1960s thing like that. I can't remember. All I can remember is that the noise in the neighborhood made him nuts.
I am now that old man.
My summer days were shattered by chainsaws, hammering, tile-cutters (maybe the economy's bad, but the fine citizens of my neighborhood still seem to have plenty of dough for home renovations), lawn mowers, skateboards banging, basketballs pounding, car engines gunning. And of course there's the angry day-care lady a block over whose constant "Get ovahh heahh," "Shut up NOW" and "OK, that's a time out," is traumatizing a whole generation of Manchester toddlers not to mention the quarter-mile area that has to listen to her all day.
But nothing rips through my brain more than the sound of a leaf-blower.
We're not talking giant lawns here on Manchester's West Side. Nobody's living on the Biltmore Estate. Yet my neighbors -- and yes leaf-blowing seems to be almost an exclusively male enterprise -- are out there on their tiny lawns and driveways, waving their noisy wands....
Oh wait a minute, I get it now.
Never mind.

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