Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Quick Way to Paint Fences

This past week my wife announced that her mother was coming for a visit. She then started cleaning the house and insisted that I paint the picket fence.

The fence extends for quite a distance and painting both sides would take some time, so I went to a local drinking establishment to think about the best approach. Sitting at a table just inside was the fire chief. We got to discussing a big fire at Happy Sal's Dance Hall the previous week that he'd had trouble putting out.

"It's too bad you couldn't throw dirt on it," I said, "An avalanche would have put that fire right out."

"Yes," he said, looking into his beer, "but Miss Sal wouldn't be happy. Women hate dirt."

“Yes,” I said. “My mother-in-law likes things to look spotless.”

Which gave me an idea.

"Look," I said, "what if you added some slaked lime to your steam-powered water pump? Then when you spray a building you will leave behind a layer of powder that will continue to smother the flames long after the water has vaporized."

"Are you sure it won't foul up the pump?" he asked.

"Not if you add a little Wizard Water© to the steam engine to give it added power," I said. "I happen to have a large amount of slaked lime at home, as well as Wizard Water©. There is even a fence nearby that you can test the pump on."

He walked back to the fire house, and with the help of a couple volunteers pulled the pumper over to my house. They fired up the steam engine. I poured about 100 pounds of slaked lime into the 80 gallon reservoir, stirred it up, then added a couple drops of Wizard Water© and stood back.

The men aimed the hose at the fence, and at first all went well. A steady stream of whitewash covered the first half of the fence in just a few seconds. It was a job that would have taken me over an hour to complete. As they rolled the engine around the fence corner to continue, though, the water pressure seemed to increase. The hose began to jerk wildly. The men held on, but the hose tossed them into the air and whipped them around violently. The house began receiving the benefit of the whitewash.

Just then my mother-in-law stepped out onto the front porch. She had arrived early. She, too, received the benefit of the whitewash. In fact, she received several coats.

Luckily I had only used a few drops of Wizard Water©, so the steam pressure soon abated. The fire chief was impressed, but decided to stick with plain water in the future.

“If I ever go into the house-painting business though, I may come see you,” he added.

My wife was, as usual, not pleased.

“Mother is VERY upset!” she said later. “She says she doesn’t feel safe with you around, and she’s leaving as soon as she can get the paint out of her hair.”

I am sorry about that. I thought whitewash improved the look of everything. That is not true. The house and the fence look much better, though.

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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