I spent Easter weekend at the beach with some of my family. We stayed at the beach house that my grandfather built in Surfside Beach. It’s on a small, narrow freshwater lake — the twins call it “the river” because it is so long and narrow that that’s what it looks like — with the ocean a couple of blocks beyond.
I don’t get there often, but we made it this time. The weather was beautiful. We had the whole day free Sunday (at least, until we had to drive back), having attended Easter Vigil Mass at my cousin’s church in Conway.
Between the Easter egg hunt with the twins and dinner, I managed to find a few quiet moments to lie in the hammock right next to the lake. Conditions were perfect. The breeze was perfect. I put some early Steve Miller Band on my iPhone and set it next to my head (I had no earbuds) as I prepared to snooze. I was right on the verge of doing something unusual for me — thoroughly enjoy the outdoors.
Just then, the roar of a riding lawnmower started up about 20 feet from my head, over on the lot next door. The guy on the mower was not the owner of that property, but a stranger. He was doing this for pay, on Easter Sunday.
I went inside fuming about it, but took solace from the fact that with that riding mower and he being a professional, it couldn’t take more than 10 minutes for him to mow that yard. I even found myself making excuses for him in my mind: Poor fellow must be desperate for the income to be mowing lawns today…
Then I headed back outside and resolved to escape the noise the way Huck Finn escaped the things that he didn’t like about “sivilization.” I got into the jon boat and pushed off with an oar to drift across the lake. It’s only about 40 yards across. As I drifted, I realized to my horror that some unseen fiend was using a leaf blower on the far side. Which sounded even worse.
I turned back as the first guy stopped mowing, only to see that the heathen mercenary had started using a weedeater.
I changed course again and started rowing perpendicular to the line between these two abominations.
As the first guy put down his weedeater and picked up a leaf-blower of his own — to blow the yard trash he had cut out onto the surface of the lake — I paused to write the following on Twitter:
Forget the Constitution: Anyone operating obnoxious power tools on such a beautiful Easter Sunday should be drawn and quartered, then fined.
I was reTweeted and received supportive replies from several folks (one who totally got into the Swiftian spirit of the thing wrote, “And then punished in a manner that could be considered cruel and unusual for such a crime.”). Good to know there are some sane people left in this world.