I am cruelly wrenched from my Saturday morning lie-in and jet-lag recovery by the infuriating buzz and whine of a leaf blower. When will a caped crusader free Sydney of this scourge?
With the persistence of a blowfly of prehistoric proportions the drone continues pulsing and reverberating, seemingly getting nearer and nearer. I stumble out of bed to see if this person is doing our street any good.
Petrol fumes from this infernal menace are drifting in through my window as I spy an old guy in stubby shorts and work boots blowing up a flurry of leaves from his driveway into the gutter. This seems to be the limit of a leaf-blower operator’s ability. No sweeping up and binning. Just shift ’em. So of course, the next gust of wind blows them straight back, or better still, into the driveway of a neighbour, who also just happens to own one of these pestilent devices.
I almost feel like David Attenborough observing a new species. ‘…and we can see the leaf blower has evolved large headphones so it can cope with the volume of sound generated from the blower itself…sadly, the other dwellers in the leaf blower’s community, insomnia infurus, lack this adaptation, which reduces their ability to survive in this environment…’
I have decided my stubby-wearing neighbour’s name is Harold. Harold has now chased all his leaves into the gutter by the most circuitous route possible and he is now aimlessly wandering up and down the footpath with the still-buzzing machine dangling uselessly by his side.
I can hear his shrew of a wife now: ‘Ha-ROLD! Get out in that garden and make yourself useful!’
Harold has now spied a sprinkling of leaves that has settled beyond the gutter in the middle of the street. I am seething with fury as I watch him perform the selfless community service of clearing our road of seven leaves at 9am on a Saturday morning. To calm my heart rate I do a mental inventory of my kitchen to establish which is the heaviest, sharpest object I can do without, and what force I would need to apply to this object to clock Harold into submission and smack him flat to the tar.