I recently decided to pressure wash the concrete around my house, but I couldn’t get the pressure washer to start after pulling on the cord a few times,  So I did what every smart American woman does when she can’t get machinery to work, I asked a big, strong, burly neighbor to help me.

Sheila moseyed over and yanked the cord a few times but with no success.

I consulted Google and found a video on YouTube showing a guy repeatedly pulling the cord of an identical pressure washer. I’ve put the video below. Skip the first three minutes – he’s just putting gas in the tank, etc. It’s probably better if you read this whole thing before watching the video.

Another site said to check the air filter. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like, but checking helped because when I put the cover back on I noticed a 1-800 number. I called it and the woman said with the twang of a southern accent, “If it’s been over a year since you had it running, you’ll need to drain the gas out of the engine. Gas can get stale quickly with all these new additives like ethanol – sometimes after only a month sitting idle.”

She walked me through how to do it. “Okay, I got the gas drained, now what?”

“Fill the tank with fresh gas. Then make sure to hold the pressure washer handle in while you’re pulling the cord or it won’t start. I know it sounds hard but you can’t get it started unless you do.”

I hung up and did as she instructed, but it was too hard to hold the handle of the pressure washer at the same time I pulled the cord, so I got some ribbon and tied it around the handle to keep it squeezed tight. Then I used both hands to pull the cord, and after a couple of pulls the thing sputtered and then settled into a steady roar.

Contrast my experience with the guy in the video, pulling and tugging and doing the same thing over and over and over. Notice he is also not holding the handle while he pulls.

Women know that it saves a lot of time to get help, and we need any time we can get to accomplish everything we have to do in a day. A man, however, is only cutting into his “Duck Dynasty” and “Deadliest Catch” time on the sofa. He’s got the leisure to cuss at a machine. And if he can’t get it going he can avoid the chore altogether for a week or two.

Oh, and by the way, when I’m talking here – or elsewhere – about “a man,” I am most definitely NOT talking about my husband.