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A few years ago I wrote about my never-ending search for the perfect garden hose, meaning one that did not continually kink.
I wrote about how tired I was of spending a significant amount of money on a hose that supposedly would never kink only to have it do just that every time I used it.
So last spring I was thrilled when I began to see TV commercials for a new kind of garden hose that was supposedly magic.
This 25-foot hose came in a package and was wadded up so tightly you could hold the entire hose in the palm of your hand.
When the man in the commercial hooked one end of the hose to his outdoor spigot and turned the water on, the hose magically expanded to its full 25-foot length.
It reminded me of the little “snakes” we used to get for July 4 celebrations when I was a kid. They were little black cylinder-shaped objects that when ignited by a match would, thanks to some mysterious chemical reaction, turn into long snakes made of ash.
Granted, not very effective for watering flowers, but definitely cool.
When the man on the commercial turned off the water, the magic hose began to shrivel up until it was nearly as small as when he first hooked it to the spigot.
While I was impressed by this hose’s magic expanding and contracting act, I was even more taken by the commercial’s promise that this hose was very light and would never kink.
Light is good. We have lots of plants at the back of our yard, and it takes about 75 feet of hose to reach them. Rolling 75 feet of regular garden hose back onto a reel is hard work.
We decided to spend $20 for one of these miracle hoses. If it lived up to the promises made on TV, we would buy more.
I hooked it to the spigot and turned on the water. Sure enough the ball of hose quickly expanded to its 25-foot length. It was extremely light and never kinked. So we bought two more.
Yes, $60 is a significant investment for garden hoses, but even at 75 feet it was extremely easy to maneuver around the yard. And no kinks and no need to roll it back onto a reel.
All was well until one day in August when my wife, Brenda, was out watering flowers. She hadn’t been out very long when she came back inside and said, “We have a problem.”
She told me how the water pressure had suddenly dropped. When she turned around, she watched a spot on the middle section of the hose suddenly grow into a huge water balloon before quickly popping.
Funny, they never showed that magic trick on the TV commercials.
Upon closer inspection of the blown-out section, I discovered that our magic hose was nothing more than paper thin plastic tubing wrapped with loose-fitting material.
Needless to say, I was heartbroken. Yes, the hose was light and never even thought about kinking. But it exploded after fewer than 20 uses.
We have continued to use the remaining two sections of the magic hose, but I don’t expect them to last past next spring. Another $60 wasted on garden hose.
But no more. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me 10 or 12 times, shame on me.
From now on the only garden hose I’m using is Mother Nature. She, too, is extremely light and never kinks. She’s also free.
I’m turning all watering duties over to her. If she wants our flowers to live, she’ll water them; if she doesn’t, she won’t.
Doug Showalter can be reached at 379-5625 or
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