Minds, leaves get blown away with yard gadget


October 06, 1994|By Kevin Cowherd | Kevin Cowherd,Sun Staff Writer

Already the trees are turning wondrous shades of autumn red and gold and the lawns are covered with a soft, shimmering blanket of leaves.

Of course, if you have any brains at all, this makes you instantly depressed.

Because someone has to rake those leaves.

And someone has to bag those leaves.

And someone has to drag those bags out to the curb for the garbageman to pick up.

But that someone won't be me, friend.

Because I just bought a new leaf vacuum/blower.

As a boy, I was taught never to gloat, nor to speak unkindly to the less fortunate.

So I won't say much about my new leaf vacuum/blower, except that it's great and will cut my fall yardwork by two-thirds. I bet you wish you had one, but you don't, so there's no use crying about it.

Maybe someday, if I'm in a good mood, I'll let you come over and look at mine. Although I wouldn't count on it.

I could tell you so many things about my new leaf vacuum/blower -- which is gas-powered, by the way -- but you'd be so insanely jealous you'd probably throw yourself off a cliff.

Well, OK. Here are a few of its features: solid state ignition, easy-pull recoil starter, a 20-cycle, 32-cc air-cooled engine that develops 170-mph air velocity, with 360 cfm at nozzle.

Is that cool or what?

I should add that cfm stands for cubic feet per minute, which you'd know if you ever broke down and bought one of these babies.

But, no. You're still using a rake. You're still out there breaking your back and getting blisters the size of manhole covers and listening to your aching muscles scream.

At night you must absolutely reek of Ben-Gay.

God, you're pathetic. You really are.

In any event, my new leaf vacuum/blower also is equipped with an adjustable throttle and a rear-mounted assist handle, plus a low-tone muffler.

This thing is so quiet you won't even know I'm out in the yard, unless you hear me laughing at how ridiculously easy it is to suck up all the leaves with a lightweight plastic tube.

Of course, you won't be laughing. Not if you still use a rake. People who still use rakes, they don't even smile. All they do is grumble and curse.

This probably won't make you feel any better, but Napolean used a rake, OK?

George Washington used a rake. Elliot Ness used a rake.

My point is, it's 1994. They've got machines to do the work now. Boy, it's a good thing you don't own a farm. You'd still be hitching up the oxen every morning.

Did I mention that my new leaf vacuum/blower has a two-bushel bag that connects to it? What are you using, those Hefty leaf bags? Ha, ha, ha.

While you're bending over and scooping up leaves and throwing out your back, I'll be sitting in a lawn chair sipping a glass of red wine.

And I don't even like wine. But I would sip it just to tick you off.

My new leaf vacuum/blower has another neat feature. Are you ready? It's a gutter kit.

Now, being a rake person, you're probably thinking: What in Sam Hill is a gutter kit?

Because that's how you people talk. You use terms like: "What in Sam Hill?" It's so old-fashioned.

Anyway, a gutter kit is a bunch of plastic tubes that assemble to a length of 10 feet so I can -- oh, you'll flip out when you hear this -- clean the leaves from my gutters while walking alongside the house!

Can you do that?

Don't make me laugh.

To clean your gutters, you have to climb up on a ladder and hope you don't break your neck. Then you have to stick your hands in all that gunk.

Yuck. God knows what's in there: insects, dead birds, maybe somebody's thumb. I hope you don't catch typhoid or something.

As to how well my new leaf vacuum/blower actually works, it's hard to say right now because it's, um, being repaired.

See, I brought it home from the store and the stupid thing wouldn't start.

So I took it back and this nice sales clerk named Marvin said they would fix it as soon as they could, which should be in a couple of weeks, he hopes.

I don't know what you're laughing about. You probably don't even know anybody at your store.

Whereas Marvin and I are tight. We're like this -- I just wrapped my middle finger around my index finger.

Which you would see if you'd only open your eyes.

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