but not many deuses in my machinas. More yer blasted gremlins …

FACE IT, where machines are concerned I am mega cursed (excepting only my beloved car, now fast closing in on its half-millionth klick—and still purring like a sackful of contented cats).

RECENTLY I HAD TO replace my old Motorola cellphone. One of its most used keys was going all clickey and sometimes hesitating, making for some interesting words appearing in my texts. At the same time The Spouse’s identical celephone (bought together) suddenly lost its display. So we replaced with  modern mind-benders with stroke-me screens and apparently androids all over the place—steep learning curve. Old dog, new tricks—

“Mr Argus, Sir—?”

“Yes, little Ollivia, beloved child?”

“Sir … did I just hear you call your Beloved Spouse a bitch?”

“Eek! That was in the singular, Pest!”

THEN A CHAIN of mechanical and/or electrical failures that saw us replacing a whole heap of mechanised electrical things …


Yesterday I wanted to water-blast the gutters around the edge of the roof. I had a suspicion that under all the lovely green fur they may still be white. To make the task easier I’d taken advantage of The Warehouse’s super duper all-singing all-dancing low-price ultra special Special and bought a fifteen metre length of hose (Chinese) complete with fittings (Chinese) and adapter (Chinese).

WITH NOT A CARE in the world (you’d think I’d know by now, honestly, some people~!) and a song in my heart I fought the waterblaster clear of the detritous and clutter that is our garage (hah! Hoarders, eat your hearts out!) and struggled it into the clear light of day and over to my sphere of operations.

SETTING IT UP no problem: hose end A goes into mating socket B on machine *click* and test for good capture *wriggle wriggle twist grunch wriggle* and no problems so far … fit nozzle into wand *snick* into holder *snick* then clag unit into delivery hose *snick* after which run power lead.

NO PROBS THERE either. I have a lovely long power lead with an automatic life-saving circuit breaking thingy that must be tested (why? Don’t they trust themselves?) every time before use *press* followed by immediate *clop* so yes, it functs. Functions. Still works.

Run lead’s other end out to machine; unwind machine’s on-board lead back to meet lead lead and mate. Quick reef knot and *snib* they’re mated. Position mated joint where no matter what mad gyrations I perform they will be dry and safe from fallout. When happy in all respects that our ship is ready for sea, turn on tap (faucet) thus … twist twist twis


Thank heavens for quick reflexes honed to a razor’s edge by many years of being a maladroit klutz … frantically turn tap back off, then investigate. Yep. Just as suspected—my lovely new Made-In-China connector self-disassembled (explosively) at the first hint of water. Ho hum. Par for the course.

TO CUT A LONG INVOLVED saga to a mere summary, I disassembled, checked, tutted, and remade every joint/junction and component mating twixt tap and machine. Finally ready once more in all respects:

  • power supply on — check
  • water supply on — check
  • wand in hand  —  check

MAINS PRESSURE only to flow at this stage, I want to clear any air from the system *bubble-bubble-oink-bloop-burp-hissssssssssssssss* and a steady stream thus achieved I turn on the machine itself (at last! Finally! Yay!) and get a most heartily satisfying fan of high pressure water. By deft twists of the nozzle I fine-tune the fan into a snarling jet … them mosses and lichens won’t stand a chance. Switch off— *click*

I LOVE THE WAY it switches off so definitedly. No wimpy fades here, it’s either going or it’s not. Right now it’s not, so I pick it up and relocate it to a good starting position. I’ll do a lovely job and bask in well-earned admiration when The Spouse comes out with a hot coffee to reward my efforts. I will of course be soaked through with mid-winter cold water but I was in the navy—we laugh at such bagatelles *croak* …


to begin I loft the wand, take careful aim at my gutters, press the start button and squeeze the trigger—


and that, as they say, is that. The wand explodes. Lengthwise, loudly enough to solicit a naughty exclamation from otherwise Mr Sang Froid himself.


an involved web search later revealed no hint of agents for the deceased, no spares, no nothing in fact but no end of my water blasters for sale on TradeMe (NZ’s e-Bay). All of them unbelievably cheap.


into town, for a replacement machine. I let Mr Visa pay for it this time (but even so I got well Spoused).


has a truly great feel and is very easy on the eye. Okay, it’ll take me a few weeks to plough through the few instructions and endless warnings but before summer I hope to be into it. All-metal internals, the English sales chap said, before adding with obvious pleasure— “Made in Italy!” As a long time fan of Sophia Loren I can live with that.

I just hope that Italians don’t have deuses lurking in their machinae, waiting to pounce the moment the warranty runs out (I get that a lot) … hell, in the garage I still have a lovely huge German washing machine to disassemble and hopefully repair — but don’t wait up, I have to find it first. Just hope the resident gremlins haven’t made off with it …





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