Someday I will meet the guy. I don’t know his name, but I first realized there was someone out there when I got my first cell phone. What a great idea—let’s give people a device for nothing then charge them an incredible, incomprehensible monthly fee for a product that works about 8% of the time that does what they could have done with a pocketful of change. But today, I found out he’s been around a while, because I learned before he went into electronics he worked in garden appliances.

The leaf blower. A brilliant idea. Instead of gathering these weightless bits of tree trash slowly and methodically with a tool perfect for the job (we could call it a rake), let’s spend $150 plus gas and oil and fling them up in the air where capricious nature can make all our efforts the most futile waste of time since making the bed. We can spend three hours and waste fossil fuel, standing in the yard cursing the air, on the last decent day of the year. What a plan!

I have to assume the guy was forced to do other pointless tasks as a child, like, say sweeping off a deck. It’s a deck. It’s outside. You are literally moving tiny pieces of the outdoors a couple of feet. If you hate the outdoors so much, why do you have a deck? So he took his revenge on the world, creating a series of devices marketed as improving our lives while actually causing us to lose time, money, and serenity.

I don’t know his name, but I know where I’m looking for him. I think he’s an Adobe developer now.

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