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Dreaded leaf blower stalks our suburbs



Fundamental to Jewish thought is the idea that everything was created for a reason. Even seemingly unnecessary and annoying insects have a purpose, and are all part of an ecosystem that’s in fine balance, all of whom contribute to the harmony of G-d’s world.

Except for the leaf blower. Designed by the devil, and manufactured in hell.

Possibly like kale chips. But that’s not for now.

There’s a special place in purgatory reserved for the person who conceived and birthed the leaf blower. Never has a more useless device been inflicted upon the world, and never one more irritating. It’s the curse of Zoom callers, the nemesis of asthmatics, and the plague of mothers trying to call their children to dinner. To this day, the leaf blower continues to drive a wedge between neighbours, and is the spark that ignites body corporates.

A product of the Star Chamber, the leaf blower is one of the few devices that has contributed little positive to the world. Quite the opposite. It has turned regular gardeners into sociopaths and encouraged psychopathic tendencies in otherwise passive and calm home dwellers. The leaf blower is known to elevate stress to such high levels that marriages have crumbled and pets have been beaten.

It might be true that the leaf blower doesn’t kill people, and that it’s the leaf-blower operators who do. But armed with a device so powerful and designed so cleverly to spread misery, is it little wonder that it causes the harm it does? Simple blower training includes identifying if someone is on a business call, where to blow the dust accurately towards an asthma sufferer, and how to time the deafening sound just when mothers are calling their children. These are easily taught. The advanced course includes ensuring that windows are open and the phone is ringing before powering up the device.

In my research, I uncovered a remarkable fact. Although leaf blowers exist in great numbers all over suburban Johannesburg, no one can recall ever purchasing one. Homeowners canvassed seemed to accept their presence as they do seasonal flu or herpes, but no one admitted to ever buying one.

So devious are the operators, that even with the fuel price trading at levels previously unknown, the leaf blower always seems to be supplied, filled, and ready to rumble. It might sound like a conspiracy theory, but I invite you to ask yourself the following: who bought the leaf blower for your home, who supplies the petrol, and who armed the gardener with one? Every battery in the house runs to empty. Every globe has a life span, charcoal gets finished, and gas consumed. But the leaf blower always works. Every. Thursday. At. 16:00.

The leaf blower, I contend, isn’t of this world.

South Africans often lament the state of the country. Eskom, they say, has a terrible impact on our quality of life. Potholes, others will say, or crime, or the cost of living. Whereas all might be true, I contend that without the leaf blower every Thursday or Wednesday as the case might be, as the clock strikes the dreaded hour, our country would be a much happier place. Even with kale chips.

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  1. Rowan Swartz

    Jun 3, 2022 at 11:11 am

    There is only one thing that puts more fear in our heart than the 16:00 Leaf blower. Something far worse, far more scary:

    The 06:00 Leaf Blower.

    The noise appears as if its coming somewhere from our neighbours direction, whilst the neighbours insist its coming from our property.

    CAn this enigma ever be solved ?

  2. Pamela

    Jun 6, 2022 at 9:17 am

    It’s ironic that when the leaf-blowers who are deliberately blasting this device to harm others are the very ones breathing in those toxic fumes more than anyone, thereby harming their own health. Guess the joke is on them. And if they’re being instructed to do it by their boss(es) in order to harm/annoy others, well, then karma never loses an address. Not only are they harming the intended target, they’re also harming the very people that are doing their dirty work.

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