What a smart purchase I once believed this to be. A little spiral hose that would coil right up on command, and then spring into action whenever I had a watering task for it. In the small side yard off my kitchen door, where I had just planted a new garden that would require extra TLC, this would be perfect. Or so I believed.
In fact, it turns out that a hose that is already predisposed to this level of coiling and twisting will–guess what?–turn into a hopeless, tangled mess the minute you take it out of its cute little package. My heavy-duty, no-tangle, no-kink garden hose gets tied in knots. Why, oh why, did I think this one would be any better?
Watering is usually a very pleasant, meditative task for me. I don’t do it often; we suffer from six-month droughts and I force my plants to tough it out, giving them a drink only once every few weeks. But when I do water, I stand out there with the hose, enjoying the forced vacation from the phone and the computer, contemplating my lovely if disheveled garden and thinking of little else.
But all that changed with the acquisition of the Piece of Crap Spiral Hose. Now I fight the hose, attempting to unwind, untangle, and unkink it without spraying water all over myself, backtracking every time it curls back onto itself, creating as many tangles as I remove. And so when water actually does flow from this miserable piece of plastic junk, I stand there fuming and compiling long lists of punishments I’d like to inflict on the person who allowed this thing to exist in the first place.
So, Inventor of the Cheap Spiral Hose, here are the curses I inflict upon you:
- You will never, ever able to get a decent parking space again. Ever. So much so that people eventually refuse to go out with you on the ground that your Parking Curse will cause their hair to go all flat in the heat during the long walk from the car. This includes getting ready to back into a parallel-park space just as someone comes up from behind and slides in to your spot. This will happen often.
- Suddenly not being able to find pants that fit anymore. What happened? You’ll never know.
- Your next-door neighbor will buy the same brand of cordless phone that you have, turning your private line into a static-filled two-party line.
- The little magnetic stripe on your credit card will stop working and your attempts to get a new one from your credit card company will not succeed. You will forever hold up check-out lines as clerks call their managers for assistance. There will often be extra humiliation as the clerk assumes that your card is being rejected because of your poor credit history.
- All of your pens will run out of ink at once, forcing you to go buy a whole new batch, knowing that they, too, will all run out of ink at once. Well-intentioned plans to stagger the usage of the pens in order to avoid this situation will fail.
- On the most miserably cold, rainy mornings, you will wake to find yourself out of milk, which you absolutely require in your coffee.
- Attempting to renew magazines online will only result in your getting two copies of each issue for half the time, with twice the number of renewal notices arriving by mail. Multiple phone calls will not solve this problem, except to make you grow to hate the magazine, which is depressing in itself as there are so few decent magazines anymore.
- Cool former college roommates will come into town for a visit, look through your CDs, and point out that you haven’t bought any new music in ten years. You will be too humiliated to even craft a convincing lie about how you download your tunes now.
Oh, wait. I think I just described my life. I wish all this on the aforementioned Terrible Inventor, only worse, and more so.