Buying a simple garden hose isn’t so simple anymore. You need to almost be a professional shopper in order to make sure you’re not getting ripped off by all of the so-called LAST HOSE YOU’LL EVER NEED! claims out there. By the way, if there is an opening somewhere for a Professional Shopper, kindly accept this as my application.
One used to go the the hardware store and buy a hose. “How long do you want?”, the geezer behind the worn, wooden counter would ask. You’d tell him. He’d show it to you. You’d pay for it. And until you used it, that was your relationship with the hose world. That was it. End of story.
Now you have to decide if you want a metal hose, a hose with a liner, a contractor’s hose, a cheap-ass hose, a black, red or green hose, a hose that shrinks to the size of a straw when not in use or the hose you saw on TV that promised to revolutionize hosiery. I may have that wrong. But you get my drift.
After reading several pages of reviews, scanning the specs and availability, this is the hose I decided on. There appeared to be some trouble with the first edition of this hose but now it’s “new and improved”. I asked a woman working at the store what she thought of it.
“Oh, the first run was crap. People were bringing them back constantly but now they’re selling really well and not coming back.”
What’s the warranty? “A full year. Just don’t let it freeze outside and it should be fine. But even if you let it freeze and something goes wrong, bring it back. Everybody does. People bring them back once a year just to get the new one.”
That seems kind of sleazy, I said, if there’s nothing wrong with it. She agreed. But everybody does it. Not me, I said. She also told me that for five dollars more I could get the most dependable hose known to man. It’s a heavy-duty, red contractor hose. It has a lot more weight but will put up with a lot more abuse. What did she take me for? I’m not going to abuse my hose.
The new hose is hooked up and still has that new-hose smell. It’s easier to handle and to wind back on the hose holder attached to the back of the house and unlike the hose it replaced, it doesn’t leak all over the place. That’s all I ask. We are overwhelmed with selection in just about every area, even when all you want is a hose.
Note: I wrote this post on Father’s Day, the first Father’s Day without my Dad. Mom and Dad always read my House Proud columns in Sun Media papers, and Dad’s most frequent comment was, “I can’t believe you can write a whole article about a little thing like that!” He meant it as a compliment. So, this one’s for you, Dad. A whole article about a hose.