Two big firsts this past Sunday! After owning my own home for almost nine years, in the span of four hours I completed my two greatest achievements as a member of middle-class to date. Specifically, I managed to:
- Buy (and use) a pressure washer for the first time.
- Shoot myself in the nuts with a tennis ball launched by a lawnmower that I was operating (also for the first time.)
EDIT: “also for the first time” refers to the nut-shot; not first-time using a lawnmower.
… all in the course of taking a first pass at eradicating the effects of a winter’s worth of neglect on my back yard.
The pressure-washer, BTW is perhaps the single greatest thing I have ever owned. I couldn’t really justify getting one of the gas-powered multi-K PSI jobbies, but tackling my deck and the siding on the back of my house with the 1700 PS I electric model that I did get was so empowering and gratifying that the accompanying rush might almost have bordered on sexual (if not for the continued throbbing in my testicles resulting from the day’s other big accomplishment.)
Also somewhat dampening the thrill of pressure washer ownership was that fact that it took me an hour and a half to even get it working. To save you any some time/effort, here is a cheat-sheet for the first time you use a pressure washer:
Generic Procedure For First-Time Pressure Washer Operation
- Connect gardenhose#1 on tap#1 (having been connected to each other since the previous spring) to pressure washer
- Turn on tap #1; watch water gush from a split in hose#1
- Convince yourself that there’s probably still enough pressure in the hose to feed the pressure washer
- Turn on pressure washer; watch water dribble out like it’s a 90-year old model with serious prostate trouble.
- Turn everything off; waste thirty minutes looking for duct-tape that you don’t actually have to give the hose a temp. patch job.
- Go-to hose#1 on tap#2 (also connected since last spring); attempt to manually disconnect spray nozzle from end of hose (also connected since last spring.)
- Identify bonding compound attaching end of hose to spray nozzle as some previously unseen combination of mildew, mold, mineral deposits, rust, and bird-shit.
- Obtain monkey wrench; work-gloves, and five-pound mallet from garage and spend twenty additional minutes disconnecting spray nozzle.
- Take five minute congratulatory smoke break (or nap) to celebrate successful removal of spray nozzle.
- Connect hose #2 to pressure washer; turn on tap #2 (sigh in relief at absence of visible leaks in hose); power on pressure washer
- Watch water dribble out of pressure washer
- Turn everything off; disconnect garden-hose from pressure washer.
- Get boning knife from kitchen; planning to stab pressure-washer repeatedly in the hose-hole in fit of psychotic rage before returning it to Lowe’s and demanding an exchange or refund.
- As you are preparing to stab the living shit out of the pressure washer; notice a slimy disgusting algae plug that is lying there pulsating just inside the hose hole of the pressure washer.
- Scrape away algae plug, and observe that pressure-washer manufacturer has thoughtfully installed a screen/mesh filter just inside of hose-hole specifically in case idiots like you ever get hold of a pressure-washer.
- Reconnect hose; power on
- Pressure wash!
The day’s other big accomplishment was, of course, shooting myself in the nuts with a tennis ball launched by a lawn-mower that I was operating. Not really a whole lot to say about that. The tennis ball itself was very well camouflaged in a patch of centipede grass, and the mower-blade must have caught it pretty square-on, since it managed to bounce a good ten feet after striking me. (A ten foot bounce may not sound like much, until you consider that it was bouncing off of the absolutely softest part of my entire body.)
In retrospect, I also don’t find it at all funny that about ten seconds before impact, I briefly considered the fact that I wasn’t wearing and safety glasses/goggles and that I usually at least had a pair of sun-glasses on to protect myself from the occasional bit of ejecta that get kicked up when I’m mowing. After about five-seconds deliberation, I decided to just start mowing and forgo the eye protection (reasoning along the lines of, “fuck it; I’ve got two eyes anyway.”)
Wearing a cup never even occurred to me.