Sweepers awake – your brooms await

30 September, 2008 Commonsense Values0

On occasion we Green people are portrayed as party poopers. In contrast to the wee green people who epitomise a party wherever they appear. Lepers, rather than leprechauns, perhaps.

The occasions vary. The Howard government felt we spoiled their fun locking refugees in cages in the desert. Woodchipping companies feel we spoil their fun trashing a major national asset. That’s rules for you. Every time the police breathalyse someone at 0.15%, POOF, another party’s over: replaced by an instant hangover.

Of course, one person’s party is another’s riot. The music that soothes my teenage daughters disturbs the paying guests of the Catholic retreat next door. The sound of lawn mowers may be music to someone’s ears, to mine it is the mad clatter of petrol addicts fighting nature with all the sanity of an acid-freak battling lizards in the bath.

You, I suspect, do not consider graffiti to be art. Personally, I think graffiti is mostly silly and occasionally wonderful, but I am equally offended by bad and boring architecture.

I am never as offended by visual pollution as I am by noise. You can look the other way or close your eyes, but your ears are always open.

Given my distaste for the timbre of the two stroke engine, it will not surprise you, Dear Reader, that I do not like leaf blowers.

I believe that creating order gently through the humble act of sweeping is meditation. I revel in my efficiency with the yard broom and the crisp swish of bristles relaxes me like a babbling brook.

By comparison, donning the earmuffs and eyeglasses to wave the noisy, smelly beast that blows is like smashing through the window of the florist in your four wheel drive to buy a bunch of long stemmed roses.

Apparently, I am not the only weirdo to feel this way. 20 cities in California have banned them outright. Celebrity gardeners argue on television for their right to peace and quiet, or the freedom to blow leaves as they see fit.

While I have restrained myself from crash-tackling the local video store owner at 6.30 in the morning, I do discourage our elected representatives from spending rate monies on energy intensive machines that can be replaced with a little, old-fashioned elbow grease.

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