The Day a Power Washer Tried to Kill Me
It's easy, right? Borrow a friend's Power Washer, quickly wash my deck, return it unharmed. Sounds easy. Well, I think I may have lost a finger…and my pride, trying to get the technology on my side.
First off, nobody told me there would be water shooting out of this thing at a high rate of speed. Or that by my assembling it incorrectly, just as much water would be spraying from the handle as from the nozzle. Due also in part to my inability to read an instruction manual, the siphon system to dispense soap also did not function. I am lobbying for "ignoring directions" to be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act---did I mention I'm still looking for a finger?
Well, this damn thing has so many steps to get it running no mere mortal could do it on the first try. I was dumbfounded by all this procedural BS, and as such the first time I kicked it on, water shot out of the bottom of the unit (where the 'OUTPUT' was clearly labeled…but some kind of hose attachment was supposed to be there?) Since lifting the entire unit to direct the pressurized water wasn't an option, I decided to connect the hose. By this time I am soaked completely through my boots and socks, jeans and underwear. So a quick wardrobe change is in order.
I won't be outsmarted by a machine more than once, so THIS time I come prepared, in the get-up that accompanies this post. Yes, those are garbage bags on my feet and legs, tied just under the knees. Waterproof I am. Foolproof? Not so much. Slipping on the stairs I go tumbling down, partly catching myself, but anyone not a home officiating crew would call it an error. Dust myself off and away I go, happily spraying off years of accumulated dirt and muck (Thanks G. Gordon Liddy). After about an hour of mistake-free use, it's time for a beer break (this is like a lunch break, but it comes before lunch). Since I cannot enter the house in my new wardrobe (I don't make the rules, but if I did, my new classification under the Disabilities Act would allow me free reign of the hard-surfaced floors), I decide to leave my baggie-boots outside for the next round, carefully hanging them on the handle of the screen door to dry.
I don't know if you've noticed how windy it's been lately? No sooner had I removed my real shoes and grabbed the handle of the fridge, I hear an urgent creaking sound from outside. It was the same sound as made when twisting a tree branch to the point of snapping. Just replace 'tree branch' with 'screen door' and there's the sound. It seems like tying 2 parachute-like bags to the door handle on a windy day is code for Mother Nature to come take the door. Because she was trying…the screws were popping and zinging across the doorway as the wind yanked the door as far as it would go…I had to cut the bags loose...
…And add "Fixing Screen Door" to my list of Spring chores. Thankfully, I did manage to blame the kids for the screen door.