Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why I hate (and love) the leaf suckers

Ask any official la-di-da person around town and they will likely crow about how lucky we are in our fair city to be provided with curbside leaf removal. And yes, I feel lucky. These trucks perform a very valuable service and save people hours and hours of bagging. Not too mention that most people, without these trucks, would simply bag up their leaves and put them out with the trash. What could be a more wasteful use of landfill space than plastic bags of leaves? It makes one shudder to think of it.

But these trucks go around on a schedule that can only be described as oblivious and unpredictable. The leaf sucker trucks and I have a yearly war and it started today.

Dark and early this morning, I was lounging around waiting for the phone to ring and send me off into zombie hell. (It never rang. Bonus day off for J!) While I was perusing all of your blogs, I heard the unmistakable sound of the leaf sucker sucking it's way down the street. No way, I thought. Not already! Yes, already. Even though most trees are still green, barely any leaves are on the ground and NO ONE has raked to the curb (because there's nothing to rake), the truck was still coming.

I have terrible history with the leaf sucker. Whenever I make a decision to rake, the day before I plan to do it, the truck comes. I'll come home from work and see all the neighbors piles gone. UGH! Or I'll get all ambitious and get everything available down to the curb and it will just sit there and sit there and sit there. The only lucky thing is that the neighbor kids never jump in my leaf piles and throw it all over the place. We've got a history of dog poop in our leaves. Everyone steers clear.

The appearance of the leaf sucker today, so early in the season, is seriously bad news. It probably won't be back for another month, by which time people will have leaf mountains on their curb lawns that will slowly shift and blow into the street and block the mouths of driveways. The weight of the leaves will once again destroy any grass growing underneath it so in the spring only the hardiest of weeds will appear. And if we are really unlucky, we will have an unseasonable snowfall on top of the leaf mountains. When the leaf sucker finally graces us with its presence the leaves will only be soppy, icy messes pressed flat into the earth.

But there is one thing about the leaf sucker truck that I absolutely love: The sound it makes. Truly, when I heard it this morning my first instinct was to run upstairs and jump in bed. The leaf sucker noise knocks me right out. I don't know if it's the sucking noise or the motor on the truck or the combination of the two, but that sound relaxes me right down to my toes. But instead what did I do? I ran out and took its picture just for your entertainment.

You should know though that as soon as I got this shot, I did go back to bed and the truck came back and did our side of the street. Bliss! I won't tell you what time I ended up getting up, but it was decadently late.

But the time of falling leaves is upon us. My favorite dogwood is showing off in style. I think it just likes to prove that it's more than a pretty springtime face. Happy Autumn!


Weaver said...

we have no leaf pick up here and it REALLY stinks! Brewer used to put them in the truck and take them to work to dump. guess we'll be stuck with them this year. crap!

w00t for the day off! hope you enjoyed the sleep :)

Nance said...

Sigh. The Leafsuck Truck gives me similar fits. No schedule, no rhyme nor reason for its appearance. Capricious habits always annoy me. I used to run out and rake like mad when I heard it. Not anymore. Now, I rake when I rake and it comes when it comes. If the twain meet fortuitously, then great. If not, oh well.