What A Racket!

Talk Show: Leaf Me Alone

It's one of those peaceful mornings when I savor working at home. Birds chirp, the sun shines--all's right with the world. I pour a steaming mug of coffee, open the window to bask in the gentle breeze and sit down to make my first call of the day.

"Good morning, Mr. Wilson," I say in my brightest phone voice. "This is Ka--" GRRZZKK!!! GRZZBRAGGHH!!!

Agh! Like a quarterback diving for the end zone, I hurl myself across the room to shut the window, step on the cat, knock over my coffee, scald my shin, utter some choice words and lunge back to hang up the phone, praying that my client doesn't realize who just called him. The leaf blowers are at it again.

Leaf blowers? No, they aren't giant mutant insects, but noisy machines used by gardeners on whom Southern California homeowners rely to keep their lawns neat. (At press time, a ban on blowers had sparked a battle between the Los Angeles City Council and the gardeners, who claim they can't work without the machines.)

Gardeners say the ban on blowers will destroy their livelihood. What about my livelihood? It's tough landing new clients. It's even tougher when your calls sound like they're coming from a phone booth next to LAX.

It all boils down to this: Would a homebased business that spewed pollution, blew dust all over the neighborhood, and made sounds loud enough to wake the dead at 7 a.m. be in business for long? I rest my case.

In the meantime, I highly recommend Mack's Pillow Soft earplugs.

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