Fall is here. Our cheeks are flushed. The leaves are skittering happily across the pavement.
Of course, the leaves are skittering not because of the gusty fall breezes. The leaves are skittering because of this dude.
The demonic leaf blower.
He was cleaning up the sidewalk at about 5th Avenue and Willamette Street, where I have taken to carefully keeping my head down in case of stray gunfire or explosions. Who knew this was such a rough neighborhood?
Anyway, we can see that his preferred method for cleaning up the sidewalk is blowing his own crap out into the street. Where else?
There is a certain personality type, I think, for which the leaf blower is the most perfect machine ever invented. Essentially, this device performs a simple yet immensely satisfying act (no, not that act): It takes one of your own problems and readily delivers it to somebody else (with somebody else preferably being the public sector).
Oh, sure they made a little a mess in the street. But turn around and what do you see? You see THIS!
What a lovely, lovely, spotless sidewalk, thank you very much.
Whenever I see people doing this, I am reminded that it serves as an allegory for some larger interactions between the public and private sectors. For instance, consider our nation’s recent financial meltdown and its aftermath.
Here is a handy pictorial guide.
First, we have to understand the difference between the public and private sectors:
Then we bring onto the stage our villain:
In any good story, the villain has a sidekick …
… who will help him do the dirty work — in this case, clearing the, ahem, leaves off of his books:
To the tune of $151 billion — to be coughed up by this lucky guy …
So, now that we see how this works, let’s bring it a little closer to home.
Once again, we distinguish the public and private sectors:
And then we bring out our rugged leading man …
Of course, sometimes our hero — like any of us — gets himself into a little trouble. I mean, who among us hasn’t found ourselves tied up in bankruptcy court (twice)?
And take one of those properties off of his hands …
It will make a most lovely park, he says. And, by the way, it would be such a perfect park to name it after his wife! How selfless!