To them, Orinda’s pastoral glories—its pristine gardens, best admired over a glass of Cava—are achieved at a Faustian price. That price is health, happiness, and the ability to hear yourself think. The Devil’s instrument is the leaf blower: almost every homeowner employs a rackety blower to manicure his yard and “hardscapes” (driveway, patio, and deck), often by blowing debris into his neighbors’ yards, which must then be blown, in turn. The result is death metal sur l’herbe.
Peter continued, “And then we try to enjoy a salad from our organic garden, and it’s covered with a fine dust thrown up by these two-hundred-plus-mile-an-hour bazookas—a biohazard buffet of diesel soot, brake-lining particles, fungi, mold, spores, and animal fecal matter.”
Maya McBride, another Orindan, said, “My home is going to be in Better Homes and Gardens in a few months. I’d like to point that out to the libertarians—hey, I just spent a million dollars on my property, and, because of your leaf blowers, I can’t use it on the weekends. My husband gets so annoyed he runs out to the fence and blasts our electric leaf blower at the neighbors, and then I have to go unplug Dan.” She added, “Now the other soccer moms turn away when they see me coming. They spend extra on organic milk and organic fruit, but they want a clean deck, God damn it.”