Our back deck needs to be repainted. The white siding on our house severly needs a wash. It required renting a power washer. This is something well within my grasp, right?
First clue was when I couldn't even lift the thing into the van. It wasn't until after the saleman lifted it for me that I considered how I would get it out at home - don't know! After wrestling with the awkward thing for a while in the back of the van once home (If this van's a rockin' come help me!), I levered it up over the edge and managed to set it on the ground without breaking it or my foot.
Then there were all the hoses and connections. The garden hose to the power washer. Turn it on. The hose coupling is cracked and is spraying all over. Switch hoses. Attach sprayer gun, attach nozzle to the sprayer gun. Attach sprayer gun hose to the motor. Turn on the water. Squeeze the handle to the get the air out of the hoses.
OK, now to turn the compressor motor on. Turn the on/off switch to "on". Open the fuel line by pushing the lever to the right. Open up the choke by pushing that lever, which is immediately next to the fuel lever, to the left. (See, opposite directions. That's not confusing AT ALL.) Pull on the cord (like a lawnmower) and yank your hands off the ends of your arms because you're yanking so hard over and over and over again.
(I wanted the picture from SIMAM where he pretends he cut off his hand in shop class, but this is as close as I could get.)
Play with the choke, 1/4 way, 1/2 way, 3/4 way, off, on. Let it rest, maybe I flooded it. Turn off the water...............(check email)................. Start the process over again. Check the spark plug, the gas, the oil. Try again.
At the end of this my wrists were killing me and I felt like a failure. What kind of weak woman am I that I can't get a simple compressor motor started? Ridiculously enough I cried. (I felt as stupid as Danielle was last night on Survivor, why was I crying?!) With so many things in life out of my control surely I could accomplish this simple home maintenance task, couldn't I?! In my desperation I sent an email to DH that said, "I feel impotent and stupid."
He immediately emailed back, "It's lunchtime, I'll come home."
By the time he got here I had pulled myself together. I showed him all the levers and buttons, warned him that he could get wet and he took a turn yanking on the compressor cord. My DH is a big guy, played football, and has started many a lawnmower - he couldn't get it started either.
My dignity was partially restored. DH put it back in the van and I returned it and got a refund.
Afterwards it was lunchtime and I wanted to reward myself for trying since I didn't have the actual reward of a job well done. Baby and I went to Five Guys, a burger and a Coke sounded wonderful. With my spirits picking up I placed our order and the cashier said, "Your number is double zero." NOW THAT IS FUNNY! My official status as a looser was confirmed through random number generation. I took my double zero self, cute daughter, burger, fries and Coke home, where we sat on the patio in the sun enjoying ourselves while staring at the dirty, paint-chipped deck.