Fenced In by Cleaning

I’ve met my white whale. I realize over the many years of writing this blog I’ve said that at least five times. In fact, I went deep into the archives and my last white whale reference was back in 2019 and concerned my lawn. But I’m telling you this time I’ve really, really, met my white whale. Those other whales were simply training exercises.

This white whale is a large, plastic beast, specifically the PVC composite variety, that meanders through my backyard. It’s also white and that’s the major problem.

If you figured out it’s a fence, congratulations. The main issue is I can’t keep it clean. I have a white fence that attracts dirt, assorted members of the mildew and moss families and is the designated porta potty for every bird in my neighborhood.

If you’re wondering why I’m intent on keeping my white fence clean and if this is perhaps more of a cry for help than any kind of hygiene or beautification issue to that I say you may be onto something but for now let’s just please stay focused on the fence.

First and foremost is why would anyone want a white fence? I get it that white picket fences are the universal sign of suburban perfection but let me vehemently share that white, PVC fences are the mark of the devil.

Yes, that’s over the top but let’s break down why these fences are so horrific. Coming in at number one is that they’re white. It’s akin to putting white wall-to-wall carpet in your garage. Would anyone do that? Certainly not anyone who is fully compos mentis.

The number two reason is that the fence is in the PVC family and is stocky. By this I mean there’s lots of areas for mildew and it’s kin to breed and valiantly revolt against any sort of eviction procedures.

Do I need any more reasons? I think not because it’s now time to go deep on the trial and tribulations of cleaning this white fence. I approach it armed with a bucket of water and dual wielding sponges and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. (Please note – a pressure washer has proven not up to the task. #TooManyNooks&Crannies)

My workload is made harder by the fact that I can’t just go to town with bleach as my co-conspirator. This is because I love my grass (I know. I’m a cliche.) and the fact that I don’t want to Clorox my neighbor’s hydrangeas out of existence. So, all I’ve got is me, hot water and an army of sponges. It’s a scrub-a-dub-dub of doom.

Making it worse (oh yes it can get worse) is the neighborhood commentary as I scrub. You know the whole “see something, say something” slogan? Well, the burbs have certainly taken that to heart. As I’m executing a series of what I’m thinking are Olympic level gymnast skills to get my fence clean (Seriously, my fence moves makes the pommel horse look like it’s for amateurs) I have to endure the comments of every dog walker that strolls by.

Most of them are about the follies of having a PVC white fence. It gets so bad I want to make a sign that says “I didn’t install this fence. It was here when I bought the house.”

But I fight that urge and remain focused on the scrubbing. At last, I get one section of the fence so spotless it glistens in the afternoon sunlight. As I admire it a flock of birds pass by and salute my hard work.

I curse these winged demons with my fists raised, each clutching a sponge and then it’s back to work for this Sisyphus of the neighborhood.

Looking for something more exciting than cleaning? Take a listen to my second audiobook that’s now out! Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble in Texas is part two of my Snarky series. Click here and take a listen.