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Fall Guise: Or, a Rake's Progress


Do you hear that? It's the telltale sign of autumn: a gas-powered leaf blower. Just gone 8 a.m. and a droning roar is filling the neighborhood, making me long for the relatively dulcet tones of a dentist's drill. Ooh, another one has just started, at a slightly higher pitch. It's on the other side of my house. I am now experiencing the sort of infernal stereo that serial killers hear in their heads just before blacking out. If I awake with a dismembered meter reader next to me, it's not really my fault, is it? I plead temporary insanity brought on by a Stihl backpack blower.
Of course, the irony is we've already had our leaf collection in the neighborhood--the first leaf collection anyway. The signs always seems to go up too early. Barely half the leaves had dropped from the oaks and maples in our forested suburb. But we raked (we raked, anyway, or My Lovely Wife did, bless her), creating a huge leaf berm at the curb, which was sucked up and masticated by the hungry leaf-eating machines that come by. And now we have just as many leaves on our yard as when we started.

The second irony is that we have no trees in our yard. Not a single one. No, I take that back. We have a tubercular dogwood in the back. leafmore.jpg All the other leaves are dropped by our neighbors' trees, which hang over our front and back yards like nosy party guests trying to eavesdrop on a conversation. But it wouldn't be fall without a few millions leaves, would it?

Peace in Our Time
The great Metro War of 2008 has been averted. Belgian bank KBC and WMATA came to an agreement Friday over that $43 million the Belgians wanted. The details have not been released, but Metro honcho (Moncho?) John Catoe proclaimed victory. I'm glad the crisis has passed. Perhaps now would be a good time to start cultural exchanges between our two countries as a way of smoothing the waters .

Where in Washington? Week 4
Okay, here's an easy one to make up for last week's toughie: Do you know what Washington-area landmark this postcard depicts?


The first correct entry sent to me at wins a postcard signed by a Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winner. (Previous winners may enter, but you are not eligible for the prize.)

By John Kelly  |  November 17, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
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Next: Ho, Ho, Ho: Is Christmas Coming Too Early?


I did make this one too easy. No one who e-mailed me has gotten it wrong. But there can be only one winner: The District's Tony Buckley was the first to identify this impressive structure as the Treasury Department building, the keepers of our national purse. I love that streetcar on there.

Come back next Monday for the next "Where in Washington?"

Posted by: JohnFKelly | November 17, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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