November 13, 2009
So it’s Fall, which some people call Autumn, although I don’t remember anyone saying he autumns all over himself in a mad rush to get into a hot shower because it’s so cold in the morning, and no one says the leaves start autumning at this time of year. Or maybe they do. We all know they’re falling, but maybe autumning is what the trees in my yard are doing. Last weekend I ran the lawnmower over all the leaves to mulch them up which makes the grass grow in the spring, which is why after mulching the leaves I spread salt all over the yard, but that’s another story. I waited until all the leaves had fallen and the trees were bare to do the mulching, but then apparently the trees had a bunch of leaves hidden in their trunks that they decided to scatter all over the yard in the middle of the night. Now I’m right back where I started so I’ve got to mulch and salt all over again. Or maybe I don’t. Maybe I’ll just leave these leaves to lie. And why not? The ones on the driveway and patio I can move with the leaf blower, which is an amazing tool for moving leaves from one spot to another spot exactly three feet away with a loud annoying whine and sucking up more electricity than a rake. I’d use the rake, but then I’d have to actually push the leaves around, and it doesn’t matter how hard you rake–there’s always that layer of leaves that stays behind, quietly rustling, "Hell no, we won’t go". That’s the advantage of the leaf blower: it picks up those leaves and spins them around in the air before allowing them to settle back in the exact same spot. Now that I think about it I’m not sure why I bother to mulch the leaves in the first place. I know people who are obsessed with keeping their yard completely clear of leaves. Some people bag up the leaves and put them in the garbage, because the city landfill isn’t filling up with real trash fast enough. And some people make little piles of leaves and burn them. Waiting for the driest time of the year to take some highly flammable and widely scattered organic material and set it on fire may sound like a good idea on paper. And while you’re at it, why not go ahead and burn the paper too? Your neighbors couldn’t possibly mind all that thick gray smoke or the sparks landing on their roofs and cars. And if you want to make sure you do your leaf burning properly, once you’ve gotten the fire started go inside and watch a football game. My neighbor is one of those people who’s obsessed with keeping his yard completely free of leaves. I don’t know what he does with his, though. He doesn’t burn them, and he’s never put them out with the garbage. Hey, wait a minute. I think I just saw him in my yard, carrying a big bag of something.