Monday, January 11, 2010

Blow, blow, thou winter wind

Perhaps I shouldn't write a letter today. The noise from outside has made me cantankerous.
But, if you've a moment to listen, you'd help me to let off steam . . . and it won't take long.

Unwittingly, I think I've discovered a symbol that distinguishes what it is to be a man . . . or,
conversely, what is not required of a woman.

Any ideas . .. ?

It's the ubiquitous leaf-blower - which now, so it seems, is being used to blow away the snow!

Think about it for a moment . . . have you ever seen a woman with a leaf-blower?
By the same token, have you, in recent years, seen a man with a garden
broom? It isn't a question of efficiency, or even speed (in many ways a broom is both more efficient and quicker) it's all a question of not losing face.

To carry a leaf-blower gives a man kudos. He has supreme mastery over a piece of intricate machinery. True, it's probably the noisiest piece of machinery (given its capabilities) on the market, but what it lacks in efficiency it provides in status. Who could doubt that the man in charge of such a noisy implement is performing a vital, manly task?

A broom, by contrast, is wholly unassuming, peaceful and dull. It creates no noise, other than a gentle swish, needs no mechanical maintenance, and makes no claim to fame other than a distant association with witchcraft. Clearly it's a woman's implement, a woman's fabled source of transport . . . definitely an inappropriate and demeaning tool for a man.

But surely our world is noisy enough? Not only that, the carbon emissions from these ineffectual leaf-blowers are doing no good to our beleagured planet.

Where, I wonder, stands a man courageous enough to lay down his leaf-blower for the good of the environment . . . ?

Step forward, Sir Lancelot . . . armed with a good, old-fashioned, highly-efficient broom!