The Joy of Pressure-Washing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn our dotage, we’ve discovered a new passion: pressure-washing.

To call the weekend mornings we spend blasting flat surfaces around the headquarters with a hose-gun-wand-thing “a hobby” doesn’t fully capture the cathartic joy some middle-aged guys — like us and, we’re told, the ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel — derive from cleaning wood and stone with a concentrated stream of water. It’s not a job, either. Pressure-washing is a fun chore. You accomplish something and you get to squirt stuff.

How often do any of us get to wash away our sins? More often than not, we’re stuck, Lady Macbeth-like, scrubbing madly at the residue of our life, never coming completelypressure wash pleasure clean. With a pressure-washer, the soot of air pollution, the carbon crud of outdoor grilling, the sticky splotch of birdshit — it all goes away, like magic. Like it was never there. Holding a pressure-washer wand in your hand is like possessing a giant eraser. Just point it at the offending area and elide the mistakes.

The churn of the motor, the hiss of the spray, the aspirant exhalation of vaporized water disappearing into the atmosphere: these are the sounds of something being accomplished. The result, however, like everything in life, is never permanent. The birds do their business hours later, and the automobiles spew their exhaust, and soon the white walls and redwood floors need blasting again.

For a few blissful moments, though, your domain is immaculate. Droplets of water sparkle in the sunshine, and the whole world seems to gleam.

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