Thursday, March 30, 2023

Don't Let 'Em Be Cowboys

I'm a "do" boy.  This will have to last at least a week.  I began work on my deck yesterday, moving all the potted plants, wrought iron tables and chairs and heavy glass tops and other paraphernalia into the yard.  I mixed TSP into a two gallon jug and sprayed the deck.  This takes longer than one imagines.  It was at that point I had to settle myself down and say, "You might as well make up your mind that this is going to take awhile."  After spraying, I got a big broom and scrubbed the entire thing.  And then, with great doubt, I hooked up the ancient, borrowed power washer.  

It worked.  

Power washing the deck was quicker and easier than I had expected, so I decided to do the fence.  Spray, scrub, power wash.  Holy smokes, kids, this power washer made things easy.  From start to finish was a mere two and a half hours.  I decided to wait until today to do the stairs to the apartment.  I will start painting on Friday.  That should take all weekend to do the deck, fence, and stairs.  I will still have a brick patio and an upstairs screened in porch to clean.  Fourteen yards of mulch will be delivered Tuesday morning and will need to be spread.  

All I do is work.  

I was tempted to pay someone to do all of this, but these aren't technical chores that I can't do.  It is simple, idiot's work.  What I would be paying someone for is not their expertise but for their work.  I hate this kind of work, but being a pensioner and all. . . . 

And so today, I will get with my washer and brushes to work.  

"Hi-ho, hi-ho.  It's off to work we go, with a shovel and a pick and a great big dick.  Hi-ho, hi-ho."

I learned from a J.P. Donleavy novel decades ago that this is how the Irish miners sang that song.  I've never been able to hear it any other way after that.  

Like many working men, however, I don't have much to say.  Dumb work isn't conversation worthy.  Do it and you begin to understand the laconic cowboy.  A cup of coffee and a cowboy song, what we call "men of few words."  Yes, I can understand it when I do this stuff.  An entire life of it could make you lose your narrative voice.  

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