A Splash of Insight


“Honey, why are you so wet?”

Those were Karen’s words as she came through the door last night. It was a simple question, but it had a complicated answer  – one that wouldn’t fully reveal itself for several hours.

It had started yesterday afternoon, when we had spoken by phone. She had planted some flowers, tomatoes and basil Sunday, then discovered that the hose in the back yard didn’t work property so she’d had to use a watering can on them. Anyway, she asked Monday if I’d either fix the hose, move the curly hose from the front yard to the back or go get a new one.

Fair enough. Shortly after we spoke, I went out back and spotted the problem. The back yard hose is a flexible one. Which means it is just flexible enough to kink up at any turn without really providing advantages other than being easy to carry when you need to move it. Which we usually don’t. Karen had cleared the kinks she saw Sunday but inevitably clearing one causes another – it’s really a crappy hose, to tell you the truth. Anyway, I cleared a couple that had popped up and successfully watered the flowers, vegetables and spices in the back yard. Problem solved, and I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Three or four hours later, I decided to water the flowers out front. Shoulda been easy. There’s a curly hose out front that’s always been much more reliable than the flexible one. There was, of course, a flaw. Several of them. The curly hose had at least three leaks that sprayed me big time before I could shut it off and replace it with a harder one I’d gotten last year.

I was soaked. My shirt and shorts were wet, my hair was dripping, I had water on my glasses.When Karen got home, she figured I’d gotten wet in the back yard. No, I explained, I’d taken care of that hours before. The problem was the holey curly hose.

She smiled. And that could have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t.

After we’d eaten, we settled down in the living room, to watch a little DWTS – I don’t care if it isn’t cool, I like it, and I can’t wait for DanceCenter tonight. During a commercial, I stood and made a confession.

“Honey, I didn’t just get wet this afternoon because of the holey curly hose.”

“Oh?” she said, knowing something bad was coming because I hadn’t told the whole story immediately.

“See, when I went out front to water, the holey curly hose wasn’t hooked up.”

Up until last year, it was always hooked up. Because it was curly and wasn’t holey and didn’t take up much room. But I’d bought a sprinkler last year in an effort – largely successful – to improve my lawn. And hooked it up to a harder hose that could stretch where I needed it to go. And left it hooked up.

“I just turned the water on, and the sprinkler came on, and it got me two or three times before I could get the spigot turned off.”

She laughed, Garrett howled and I felt better, though pretty embarrassed.

And I resolved, from now on, to look before I sprinkle.

“Humor is the affectionate communication of insight.” – Leo Rosten

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