“I never knew,” said Martin Bargleston. “Or maybe I did know, but just forgot. Over time, I guess I lost track of the idea that there is more to life than using my leaf-blower.”
The middle-aged suburbanite teared up as he gazed up and down his street.
“I guess this is what good neighbors are all about.”
He then looked down at several booklets he was holding. They were wrapped in a string and decorated with a bow. A small card read, “From ALL your neighbors. Near and far.”
“The whole neighborhood came together and gave me these. I found them on my doorstep.”
He flipped through the glossy flyers.
“Look at all these things I can do. In our own town! There’s bars, restaurants, a library, and sports! There are dozes, no, hundreds of classes at the community center. I could take up painting, pottery, even ballroom dancing!”
He looked to sky as he spoke.
“Turns out there’s more to life than waking before sunrise, starting my blower with a thunderous roar and then walking around with it rumbling until after sunset. All that time, I could be doing something else. Lots of things!”
Bargleston’s neighbors, who staged the intervention, were hesitant to discuss the matter and refused to give their names.
“None of us want to take credit for it. We wanted him to remind him we’re here, and we’re trying to sleep. Or maybe we’re just trying to think. Whatever. He woke us every morning and kept going all day. I wanted to run out and strangle him, but violence is never the answer.”
“I’m touched,” Bargleston said, “Truly touched. I never realized I had a problem. But they also anonymously emailed me a video. It was me with my leaf-blower. I chased a single leaf across the yard for a full two and three-quarters hours. Why didn’t I just bend over and grab it? All that time wasted!”
So what meaningful task or tasks will Bargleston do with his newfound free time?
“I’ve been thinking of washing my car by hand.”