Monday, November 18, 2013

How Tedious Is Raking Leaves?

My buddy Ken just moved next door to my parents, so naturally Ken is forcing my little siblings to do his chores. Yesterday Brian, my 10-year-old brother, told me that Ken made a bet with him: If Ken could make one out of three shots from behind the three-point line in the driveway, Brian had to rake the leaves on Ken's lawn. If Ken missed all three, he owed Brian five dollars. It actually wasn't a terrible bet for Brian on the surface; Ken has always been a crappy shooter, and five bucks is like five pounds of gold to a little kid.

When you dig a little deeper, though, it was a crappy bet for Brian. The rim on my parents' hoop is ridiculously forgiving, so going 1-for-3 from beyond the arc isn't very difficult. Also, five bucks means nothing to Ken. Finally -- and most importantly -- raking leaves sucks.

But how much does raking leaves suck compared to some other seasonal chores? Glad you asked! That's what we're here for.

Winter -- Shoveling Snow
Way worse than raking leaves. Shoveling snow requires you to get up before work on freezing winter mornings, usually before the sun comes up. It also leaves your fingers numb and your back barking.

When I was a kid, we had a long client list of people whose driveways we shoveled. We even gave them nicknames: Hot Chocolate Guy (who allowed us to have cocoa breaks), Old Couple (two elderly people), and Sex Lady (who always answered the door wearing only a bathrobe).

Now that I'm older, I understand why people were willing to pay us good dough to shovel for them. Shoveling snow is a chore on the level of coaching this year's Jacksonville Jaguars. (Don't worry, Gus Bradley, Jags ownership will put you out of your misery soon.)

Spring -- Spring Cleaning
In my parents' house, spring cleaning usually consisted of us throwing away crap that had accumulated in the shed and garage over the winter. It wasn't the worst chore, but it usually included large amounts of dust and mouse poop.

Summer -- Back-to-School Shopping
This one can be looked at in either a positive or negative light.
Pros: Kids get some new lunchboxes, backpacks, and clothes. Parents get to cherish the fact that their kids are going back to school.
Cons: Kids know they're about to go back to school. Parents have to pony up a bunch of money to get their kids the coolest lunchboxes, backpacks, and clothes.
We'll call this one a wash.

After breaking down these seasonal chores, here's how I'd rank them on a scale of horrible to okay:
Horrible: Shoveling Snow
Bad: Raking Leaves
Tolerable: Spring Cleaning
Okay: Back-to-School Shopping

As always, this post was proof that we're here to ponder the universe's least pertinent questions.


  1. What? You participated in spring cleaning? I never saw a broom in your hand. Now you tell the world that we have rodents. After I have been inventorying you collectibles and prizes for all of these years. Next spring cleaning I know where these will bo.

    1. Excuse me. I know where these will go.

  2. Haha, I participated in at least one spring cleaning. I even remember your frustration as we dug through a pile of crap in the garage as one of our neighbors drove past and gleefully exclaimed, "Spring cleaning, huh?"

  3. Raking leaves is easier than shoveling snow. IMO