THE SONIC BOOMER
Here’s what I like to do: pressure-wash. I should really go into the business.
There’s just something about the instant gratification and long-lasting effects of it that appeal to me. I mean, you cook dinner — it’s gone within the hour. You do the laundry — it’s whisked off into a dark closet. You empty the garbage can — it starts filling up again right away. Plus, these routine tasks are more or less taken for granted. They’re quiet jobs. No one watches with fascination as you do them. Plus, if they’re ignored, blame is quick to be assigned.
Pressure-washing is different. You pull that machine out of the garage and fire it up. People notice. In the first place, it makes one heck of a racket. In the second place, you’re outdoors, making a spectacle of yourself. In the third place, can they give it a whirl?
You don’t get that with laundry. People don’t stand around gawking when you pour in the detergent. They don’t talk amiably or discuss the power generated by your washing machine. They don’t nod approvingly at your results. You’re in your house, in some forgotten corner, moving piles of wet clothing around. Big deal.
Last Saturday, I pressure-washed the driveway. On Sunday, I did the patio and an adjoining knee-high wall. Tomorrow I’ll do the pool deck. When I’m feeling sad because I’m done with all that, I’ll line up the patio furniture. Maybe I’ll blast off the car, too. The results are so dramatic it’s hard to stop.
I did our roof a couple of times. Oh, yeah. A large percentage of the population is afraid of heights, but not I. I’d just as soon sit up there like a cat, watching the world go by. The pressure washer gives me an excuse to do it.
The roof is more of a challenge than the driveway because you have to yank the hose over the roof tiles — and not lose your balance — but the whole house looks so much better when you’re done. Plus, you feel proud of yourself for weeks afterward.
Another thing I like about the job is that you get soaked doing it. You put on some old clothes and a pair of sneakers you’re planning to throw out anyway, and you just get drenched. You don’t have to put on a swimsuit (although you could); you don’t have to pay admission to a water theme park; you don’t even have to drive anywhere — you just hook up the hose and get started. How many times in our adult lives are we allowed to thrash around in water outside without people raising their eyebrows? Maybe when we wash the car. For me, it’s not enough.
The one thing I do insist upon is a really heavy-duty pressure washer. I mean, it does take a lot of time to go over everything you own inch by inch. So you don’t want a wimpy machine. Fortunately, you can rent one of these bad boys at any home improvement store. Just go for the one with the most horsepower.
And let the cool, refreshing, sloppy, wet fun begin.