Friday, December 4, 2009

Leaf Britney Me Alone!

Well, this morning marked the last day of leaf pickup in our glorious City Of Trees (Boise, Idaho, USA, for my sub-Saharan readers). This is a program in which the city will pick up leaves in biodegradable bags (they’ll pick up the bags that you buy and fill … they won’t actually come out and pick up the leaves, though how cool would THAT be? If we didn’t have these damn anti-tax zealots bitching and moaning all the time, I'll bet we could fund that …) during a brief (two weeks or so) window.

Not being the procrastinating type, I began the bagging process last night, rather than put it off until today. I was very self-congratulatory re: my gung-ho-iness, and looked forward to laughing at all the poor saps (sap? Get it? It’s tree-related humor!) out there scrambling at 5:30 am, begging the drivers to wait just another minute as they finished that last pile. I apparently chose a poor route by which to get to work, for alas, I saw no such sight. Dang.

Last year, it took about 20 bags to clear the yard, so I did a quick year-over-year analysis to predict the number of bags I’d need this year:

(# of Trees This Year/# of Trees Last Year) * # of Bags Used Last Year =
Expected # of Bags Required This Year

which resulted in a value of 20.*

I began to question my calculations when I was filling bag number 15, with 2 ½ piles bagged and 4 to go. “Dead Acorn, you idiot!”, you might be thinking. “Trees GROW over time (dead acorns notwithstanding), and will therefore produce more leaves!” I did, in fact, take this into account, but also recognized that I had pruned some of the lower branches last spring, theoretically negating the growth factor. So shut up, Mr. Smarty-Tree.

By the end of the night, I had made 3 additional trips to the store to get more bags, and wound up with 35 curbside and a pile and a half still left in the yard. I can’t think of anything to explain the disparity in leafosity between this and yesteryear, except that the guy across the street, the lazy-ass with the riding mower/leaf raker for a yard smaller than mine, did his leaves suspiciously early this year, and I never saw any bags.

That sunovabitch is going DOWN.

* This is why math is important, kids … stay in school!

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