A few weeks ago I witnessed something unusual in the parking lot of one of the local Safeways.  I spotted a man in a jumpsuit walking around the parking lot with one of those big leaf-blowers on his back.  Realizing that there were no leaves in the parking lot to be blown, I had no choice but to investigate further.  I noticed he was pointing the end of the hose at puddles on the ground, as if attempting to blow the puddles from one spot to another across the concrete.

I was disturbed by this whole scene for a number of reasons:

  1. He looked really stressed out by how hard it was to displace a puddle with a leaf-blower
  2. Once he did manage to move a puddle it was still in the parking lot, just inches from where it originated
  3. It was raining

Now maybe it’s just me… but it seems rather futile to be blowing puddles around in order to dry them out or clear the parking lot of wet spots when it is raining.  And not just a light drizzle.  Unable to make heads or tails of the situation, I decided to simply ignore it and do my grocery shopping.  I figured this guy was just crazy or had a thing for leaf-blowers or something.

Until this morning.

On my way to work today I saw two groundskeepers working outside of a house in some neighborhood in Kirkland.  They both had leaf-blowers in their arms.  They were blowing puddles from one end of the sidewalk to the other.  It was raining.

If anyone can explain this phenomenon to me, please help me out!  Perhaps there is just some strange tradition of puddle-blowing up here in the Seattle area?  Perhaps people love their leaf-blowers so much they need to use them year-round despite the 9-month rainy season up here?  Maybe I should buy a leaf-blower just so I can find out what the deal is.