It’s a Rite of Spring kind of thing...rolling out the garden hose and hooking it up once again with the exterior spigot at the back of the house, once the fear of killer frost and frightfully cold overnight temperatures is finally behind us. I didn’t get to do it until two weeks into the season, and even that was based only on optimism (unwarranted optimism, as it turned out.) April spent nearly all of its 30 days raining and chilly, leaving me with little urge to venture forth to pretend at ritual flower bed preparation.

May finally arrived, and with it came a dress rehearsal for late November/early December. My carefully placed garden hose combo--half “no kink” and half spiral — lay like a dead snake against the east side of the house along the back of the flower bed that was being repeatedly assaulted by snow and/or freezing rain. The spiral half was attached to the faucet and coiled its way carefully past the sad little display of perennials peeking timidly out of the frosty soil. Tulips were already blossoming before the snow fell, and I’m pretty sure I heard tiny little flower voices muttering an impressive stream of language not suitable for polite company.

A year or so ago I wrote about the rose bush in this flower bed, and the havoc it wrought upon my tender flesh as I tried to nurse the spiral hose behind it. It was a horrifying, traumatic experience as I relearned a lesson taught to me by my own ignorance as a toddler decades before: roses have thorns. I cleverly filed that information away last Spring, and brought it to full use this time around, suffering nary a single scratch through native brilliance and magician-like manipulation of the many spirals in the hose as it wove its way to the meet-up with the “no-kink” half of my flower-watering arsenal.

I’ve told you all of that to tell you this: I am now the proud owner...albeit badly bruised and psychologically scarred... of an all “no kink” garden hose assembly. Here’s why:

Last Sunday afternoon was a marvel of creation, made for outdoor puttering and project doing. First on my list was the planting of seven Gerbera Daisies in resplendent colors in the only expanse of soil devoid of anything already growing in the bed on the sunrise side of the house. It would entail the second use of my lovely garden hose this Spring. The first was two days before when I spent the afternoon on my knees at the front of the house in a labor of love, planting 72 cascading wave petunias. Well, it wasn’t ALL love...I had occasion to curse quite descriptively twice, and flung my accursed trowel half way across the front yard once.

Back to Sunday: I might have taken the frantic dive-bombings of a prospective mother robin as an omen that all might not go well as I dug into the open space under the electric meter box on the side of the house. Her nest, now serving its fifth generation of mother robins, sets on top of that meter box, and she called me everything but a decent human as I worked my way along the ground beneath her nursery, flitting restlessly from one tree to another “Chit-Chitting” at me and my ancestors all the while. No calmly spoken words of assurance could convince her I wasn’t going to snatch her eggs from the nest.

Mission accomplished, it became time to open the garage door and unwind as much “no kink” hose as I would need, go to the spigot and crank that baby open to douse my daisies.. I may as well have stepped into the bathroom and turned on the shower full blast. Within about a second and a half, I was little more than a drowned rat, thanks to no fewer than six pinhole leaks pummeling me from the first three coils of the spiral attached to the spigot. It felt like six neverending cold, wet darts being jammed into my torso as I struggled forward to turn off the deluge. It only got worse when I arrived within arm’s reach of the righty-tighty knob...the miserable beast of a hose had contrived to loosen at the connection point just enough to drive a powerful geyser straight into my face and up into my nose like a Covid-19 swab.

My dedication to a task is a curse...I forced myself to endure these unfortunate slings and arrows so I could water my daisies with what little fluid found its way through the rest of the hose combo to the business end of the deal.

With that part of the ordeal completed, I strode purposefully back through the battery of leaks and geysers to turn off the flow and rid myself of the dagnabbed spiral hose. Of course it was wet and slippery and my left hand lost its grip and slammed into the side of the house with a sickening crunch. There sets an enlarged, blackened bruise on the side of that hand just past the wrist. My anger was beginning to forget about boundaries as I ripped that filthy hose loose and ran madly along the side of the house trailing twenty-five feet of worthless coils behind me...until it snagged itself on the rose bush, nearly jerking me backward off my feet.

You’re far too decent to have to read any further details of what came next...suffice it to say this: I won. And mother robin added some new words to her vocabulary. And now I have an all “no kink” garden hose.

Contact Lloyd Davis at ldpsu74@yahoo.com

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