Yes, there is an electric power washer setting in the closet of our garage. It has been there for four or five years and has never been touched and by now I don’t even remember why or when I bought it. But yesterday I decided I wanted desperately to use it on the tile around the pool. Call it an impulse if you like for that is exactly what it was.
I hooked it all up and discovered that it just was not powerful enough to make a difference so I called my son, Debo, as I usually do when I get in trouble with such things.
He said, “Dad, I have a much bigger and more powerful gas washer, but let me come and do it because it can get away from you.” (Have I telegraphed my punchline already? Well, read on.)
“No,” I said. “I can do it. Just bring it over here and show me how to turn the thing on and I can do it.”
Like the good son he is, he brought it, gassed it up, turned it on and reluctantly turned it over to me and left.
I should insert here that I am practically helpless where any tool or machinery is involved. And no one knows this better than Debo. He got all of his building and handy-about- the-house skills from his maternal grandfather, who was a master builder and taught his grandson all those things that I never could. (On my 50th birthday, Debo gave me a toolbox with all the essentials – hammer, pliers, screwdriver, etc. It’s the kind of gift a father usually gives a son but our situation is totally backward. I have no talent with any of these tools and the only time they are used is when he comes to hang a picture or assemble some new gadget or toy I’ve gotten stuck on and he has to finish.)
But back to the very powerful power washer. Debo’s final warning as he pulled out the driveway was, “Be careful”. (The same thing I use to say to him as he pulled out of the driveway as a teenager.)
So here is what I learned. When you are in that washing mode and your right hand gets cramped from pressing down the lever and you have to shift it to your left for some momentary relief, DO NOT LET THE POWER SPRAY HIT YOUR BARE FOOT. It will slice it open like a hot cherry pie. Fun times!
As I type this I am barefooted and bandaged and feeling no pain. But when I try to put the ole shoe on, it’s a different story. I have never gone to church with a suit and tie and tennis shoes, but I’m pretty sure tomorrow morning with be a first.
Happy Power Washing to you all!
Maybe you saw the news story this past week about the man who traveled from England to Spain on his girlfriend’s passport. Kind of scary. But it reminded me of a long-ago incident in my travels that I hadn’t thought of in years.
It was January 1980 and I was serving a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Country Music Association (CMA). We had quarterly meetings each year but only one of them took place in Nashville. The other three were in other American cities and often out of the country. This particular meeting was to be held in Jamaica and back then that trip required no passport – just a birth certificate. I have always kept a passport handy and updated on file for any travel that was necessary but this one seemed like a snap, so while packing I grabbed my birth certificate and put it in my brief case and was ready to go.
I flew to Miami, went through the proper customs; flew out of Miami; landed in Jamaica and went through the proper customs there, also. I spent three full days at the meeting and then returned using the same route and duties. Each time I was asked for my birth certificate and another form of I.D. (driver’s license), I showed it, a person in uniform studied it, handed it back and on I went.
It was on the last leg of the flight home when, for some reason now lost to time, I looked closely at the birth certificate I had been using and realized it was my son’s birth certificate. His name is Donald Sidney Reid II so it is understandable that the name passed without notice but he was born in 1968, which if it was to be noticed and believed by the authorities in charge of the borders, I was twelve (12) years old according to this official paper I was carrying. This official paper that is required by law in order to go from one country to the other.
So even now as then, it doesn’t seem the folks in charge always pay attention to what they’re supposed to be doing. Still kind of scary, ain’t it?
DSR April 7, 2014