YOU get a lot of time to think about “stuff” blasting mould off your driveway with a high-pressure water hose.
Most of it delusional, I think.
For example, for the first minute or so, you actually think you’re enjoying yourself.
That passes quickly.
You are not the Terminator, all-conquering and powerful, cleaning filth off the street.
You are actually the terminated, chained to a hose in unnatural poses, hoping the torture will stop once you’ve done the front.
Last thing Terminator wants to say is ‘‘he’ll do da bark’’.
But if he thinks he won’t have to do the back, plus the walls, and the eaves and anything else within range of the water cannon, obviously, Terminator is delusional. With this in mind, it’s important to prepare mentally and physically for the challenge.
First rule, give up any idea of watching World Cup replays on TV like you were planning that afternoon.
That’s gone. Or rather, that’s Gerni.
A word synonymous with high-pressure water cleaners.
Gerni is actually a brand name that’s becoming part of everyday language.
Like Band-Aid and aspirin – items that should never be far away when using high-pressure water cleaners.
Particularly if you Gerni your hand.
Contrary to common belief, Gerni is not derived from the Latin phrase ‘‘gern dammit’’.
As in ‘‘gern dammit, this is crippling me’’.
But using high pressure water cleaners can have that effect.
Due to the fact that high-pressure water wands are built just short enough for people my height to be ineffective unless you stoop.
But just long enough to give you forearms like Popeye as you wrestle with the high-octane PSI.
It’s the only form of water torture I know where the guy with the water also gets the torture.
Water board yourself for a couple of hours like this and resolve will be tested.
Guantanamo should look into it.
The key is to focus core body muscles and a year’s worth of water bills on the job at hand.
Which is to ruin a good afternoon.
Second rule, try and stay zen.
Sustained periods of ‘‘crouch and clench’’ combined with the dulcet tones of a whining buzzsaw can fray the edges.
It’s probably not that flash for the neighbours either.
I found my heart going out to them as I slugged away.
Amazing how selfless you get when you don’t want to do something.
My neighbours were no doubt attempting to kick back and enjoy the World Cup replays too, I thought.
We’d hate people like me.
So why weren’t they stopping me!!!
Third recommendation, work in reverse.
Modern McDriveways approximate Uluru in terms of faux ochre colour and total surface area. Freakin’ large.
So it helps if you have your back to the hours of joy ahead.
Or in this case, behind,
No point breaking the spirit early.
The aim, after all, is to grind it out to reveal what lays underneath – deep-seated OCD tendencies.
Technique-wise, there are only two considerations.
You either clean in big wide, systematic strokes, like you’re a human ink jet.
Or fuzzy, frantic motions, like you have have trouble colouring in.
I found myself combining both styles after that crucial first minute.
Not because Terminator can’t stick to one idea for long.
Nor because he’s got character flaws bigger than the cracks he started to notice in his drive.
But simply because Terminator was suffering extreme anguish as what lay ahead/behind sunk in.
Only four hours to go.
Someone please shoot me.
Yes, I accept it’s better than hand scrubbing the slab.
But only just.
Why do it at all?
The inconvenient truth was the first slash of the water sabre left a big divot in the crud.
This laid to waste the carefully crafted ‘‘what’s the point’’ argument I’d mounted for the defence.
And drew a withering blast from the prosecution rivalling that coming out of the hose.
But man has his pride, so he struggles.
And then the hose blew off the cleaner, and man copped a blast of water up his own gerni from the frantic water snake.
This bit of vaudeville promptly confirmed that man doesn’t really have that much pride.
Bloody plastic tap fittings!!
I’d probably enjoy watching that if I was my neighbour, and he’d ruined my Sunday arvo.
The woman who walked by with her dog at that precise moment seemed to.
‘‘Don’t stop yet,’’ she quipped.
‘‘The job’s not finished.’’
Everyone’s a comedian, eh?