September is here and with it, autumn. One claim to fame for the city I live in is that it has the highest ratio of trees to people in any city in Europe. Of course that means A LOT of leaves, come autumn. Another claim to fame is that all the city’s gutters get clogged with leaves every year and that some people would go to any length to defend said gutter-clogging trees, even get arrested for it.

Now, I have nothing against trees or leaves.  I was born in September and autumn has always been my favourite season – I love the leaves turning gold-red, the clarity in the air and did I say the fact that my birthday is this month? But what I have to rant about are leaf blowers.

On my way to work this morning, on the side of the road, there was a guy blowing leaves with a leaf blower. He was simply pointing the blower at them, on the pavement and shooing them into the road in front of (my) car passing by. He had stacked quite a pile. What a pointless endeavour!

It wasn’t just this morning, for years, pretty much every time I see a leaf blower I think: what a useless invention! You’re not helping anyone with it – you just blow the leaves from one place to another. Isn’t that the wind’s job? Blowing leaves all over the place? This week, the wind is particularly strong, we have storm Aileen to thank for that and she sure is doing a better job than your puny leaf blower. Maybe if, when you were blowing the leaves, there was someone holding a mesh bag in front of it so that leaves would go in, you’d actually achieve something!

Why do you have to spend real money to buy a device that just displaces leaves? Why don’t you use a rake to gather them and put them in a plastic bag or set them on fire? Or maybe a huge vacuum cleaner? That would be more fun. But blowing them in the road just creates more problems for cars passing by (which will move the leaves back onto your pavement, by the way). Also for the gutters. Then you’re going to complain: “Oh, my street’s flooded, all the gutters are clogged!” Well, who’s responsible for that, I wonder, clever-clogs?

So there, I think leaf blowers are useless. There. Steam blown. It’s a small biggie…

But I mean, seriously, check out the prices on some of these things: