The Sprayer Saga: Weeds-1, Garlic Guys-0
First of all, the answer to last post’s riddle! If you haven’t figured it out yet, the answer is… Nothing! Poor people have nothing, rich people need nothing, and if you eat nothing you die. Yep, it’s pretty brilliant. Definitely one of my favorites.
For next week, well, how about this one? In a one-story house, the walls are pink, the sink is pink, the couch is pink, and the bathtub is pink. What color are the stairs?
It’s an easier one, but I figure you need it after the difficult riddle last time.
But as to actual Garlic Guy news? Well, most importantly, our garlic has gotten tall with all this rain! It’s looking good out there! All green and stretching towards the sky… A beautiful sight in the eyes of a garlic farmer.
But two bad things about the fact that it has rained almost every week this past month: One, our weeder can’t go through the wet ground, and therefore we have to let the weeds be until the dirt dries up. And, two, the weeder is designed to keep weeds under control while they’re in their youth, so to speak, not to pull them up when they’re already past the smaller stages. So the rain has let the weeds run wild, and now they are too tall to pry up with our weeder.
Something to fix the problem is in the works now. If you get a vinegar solution with a high acetic content (10% to 15%) and spray it on the field, it will kill the weeds, and not the garlic. It’s completely organic, and it works! We are still going to use the weeder for the plants that the sprayer misses, but between the two we should be able to efficiently keep the weeds under control.
Want to hear a funny story about this? We have to spray the vinegar on the weeds somehow, right? So we need something which with to spray it on, correct? Usually, people would just go out and buy a sprayer for the task. But Travis decided that he would try and save us some money and a trip to the store, and once again create something out of nothing. Or if not nothing, then a giant water tank and an air compressor. (Yes, we own an air compressor. Don’t ask.)
What’s supposed to happen is this: We take the water tank into the workshop where the air compressor is located. We hook up the compressor to the water tank and turn it on. There is a gauge on the water tank that, as the tank is being filled with compressed air, the needle on the gauge will go up, showing us how much air is inside. The point being of all this is to find out how much air the tank can hold so that we can pressurize it.
What happened is this: Garlic Guys Ryan and Travis, plus my sister Grace and I went into the workshop one fine evening. Travis hooked up the compressor to the tank and set up the gauge while the rest of us talked and joked around.
Now, at this point, I began wondering: what would happen if the tank was filled to its max? Are you wondering the same thing? What if it just couldn’t hold another square inch of air? Then what? What would happen? Travis informed us what would probably happen as he went up to the tank to check to see what the gauge was reading. The cap on the top would pop off. Or else it would explode.
Yeah right, we all thought. Explode? Sure.
But after ten minutes or so, the tank started expanding. It was a plastic cube of a tank, encased by metal bars in the form of a giant grid. The plastic started overflowing around the bars, making huge square bulges. Then when it seemed that the plastic couldn’t swell any further out of the bars, the metal bars themselves started to bend, expanding with the plastic, trying to make room for more air.
If this wasn’t enough indication that we should turn the compressor off and stop filling it, the tank started making loud popping sounds, pushing out every dent and crevice that dared to take up space where the air was forcing its way in.
Grace, and I (being wise) hid behind the door of the workshop, while Travis went up (not being as wise) and checked the gauge again. The sounds were getting louder and more frequent, and Grace and I were informing Travis and Ryan that they should probably be getting behind the door, when Ryan interrupted with the marvelous suggestion of,
“Travis! Get a video!”
“Oh, good idea! Nothing’s going to happen, though, right?” I said.
“Ehh, probably not. The cap will most likely just blow off. But just in case,” he replied.
So Travis hurried over to the nearby table and started setting up his iPhone where he could get a clear view of the (extremely unlikely) explosion. Grace and I were getting more and more nervous as he took five minutes (or so it seemed) to set up the phone.
Travis wanted to see if the tank could hold up to 20 PSI.
Guess what? It couldn’t.
Seconds after Travis got behind the door, the tank exploded into the air, the bottom blown out from under it.
We are extremely curious as to how high it would have gone if the rafters hadn’t stopped it mid- flight.
In the video, you can hear me yelling at Travis. You can’t hear Grace because she ran out the door as soon as the sound of the explosion reached her ears. Ryan is standing there in shock. And Travis is laughing uproariously.
Travis said afterward that the chances of it exploding were extremely slim. He thought that the air would surely force the lid off before that happened. Ah, well. It was a good try. And now we know why people generally buy their sprayers instead of making their own. Better luck next time, Travis!