When is technology going to invent an easy-to-use garden hose? I’ve tried them all: flat, round, expandable, indestructible, flexible, steel-coil, rubber, polyurethane and even pantyhose. They’re all difficult to use, heavy, stiff, cumbersome, kinky and a big pain in the grass.
A hose full of water is heavy and stubborn. It fights me like an angry anaconda, wrapping its coils around my ankles and tripping me. I have to tug, lug and slug it around the yard to water my spring-planted grass seed. It retaliates by getting stuck under vehicle tires, knocking over flowerpots, sweeping toddlers off their feet and pinching itself around the corners of the garage.
I respond by whipping it up and down, sending angry shock waves undulating along its length, trying to unkink the kinks and showing it who’s the boss. Instead, I knock over more flowerpots and occasionally my wife.
The water-stopping kinks are always at the far opposite end of the hose, where I can’t see them. So, I have to backtrack along the hose until I find the kink, unkink it and help my wife to her feet.
Meanwhile, because I forgot to turn off the nozzle, the unkinked water flow resumes, sending the nozzle bouncing around, careening off vinyl siding, a picnic table and spraying water through an open window, and all over my wife, who by now, is angrily marching to the garage to get a shovel to smack me in the head.
Nozzles aren’t much better. They break easily and leak after a few uses, because their cheap washers are obviously made of sugar or some other water-soluble material.
Nozzles have many settings, from “mist” to “biblical flood.” I mostly use the powerful “jet” setting that produces a laser-like stream that can blow grass clippings from sidewalks, destroy sandy ant nests in the cracks of my driveway and shoo away neighborhood dogs that are pooping in my yard.
That’s why I own a Yardman 44-caliber, heavy-duty, orbit 10-pattern nozzle that’s so powerful it comes complete with a 10x power scope, holster and silencer. I could use it to dig a Panama Canal in my backyard.
Worse than unruly hoses are cheap hose caddies. I must hold mine down with a bent knee, turn the spool crank with my right hand while struggling to neatly guide the hose onto the spool with my left hand, but it ends up being a mess of knots, crossovers and crossunders that will take me until next spring to unravel.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the hose, the nozzle is being dragged across the lawn and driveway, bouncing and popping along, as pieces of it snap off and fall in its wake.
When I try to unroll the hose, I get one-third of it off, before the lightweight caddy falls over and plays dead. I let out a streak of cuss words that causes flowers to wilt and leaves to fall from the trees.
By the time I get the hose unrolled, unkinked, lugged around and the leaking nozzle screwed on tightly, the birds have eaten the grass seed.
Several years ago, I bought one of those “magic hoses” advertised on TV, which shriveled up like an accordion when not in use, and guaranteed to never kink, bend or pinch. If I left the water on while not using it, it ruptured with a loud pop and sent water shooting into the air. I tried several others and they all ruptured. Magic hose my butt.
Technology has given us cordless phones and computers. It needs to invent a hoseless nozzle that provides water flow without a hose.
In the meantime, I have to go water the lawn and do it quietly, cuz my wife has that damn shovel again.
Jim Pfiffer’s humor column posts every Sunday on the Jim Pfiffer Facebook page, Hidden Landmarks TV Facebook page, West Elmira Neighborhood, SouthernTierLife.com and ElmiraTelegram.com Jim lives in Elmira with his wife, Shelley, and many pets. He is a retired humor columnist with the Elmira Star-Gazette newspaper and a regular swell guy. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.