Last fall, our garden hose sprang a leak. Being that it was fall, and snow supposedly soon would be falling, I ignored the leak.
I mean, I did what every other red-blooded American would do. I did nothing. Bah, it’s almost winter.
Soon enough spring arrived, and despite all of the rain we seem to be having, we needed that extra-long hose to water plants. And the small hole in the hose created quite a large plume of misting water. On the patio. On the car. On me.
I did what every other red-blooded American would do. I found a roll of duct tape, and wrapped the hose in it until I could get an emergency repair kit. The thing is, the duct tape did a fine job of stanching the leak. Instead of a giant mist, the leak was reduced to a giant drip on either end of the tape job. Worked for me.
And I watered to my delight. Until a second leak developed about a foot away from the duct-taped leak. I was beside myself. How could the hose have a second leak so close to the first? It didn’t make sense.
We have a fine long garden hose. I haven’t measured it, but I would guess it is 50 to 70 feet long. It rolls up nicely into a plastic box that now is hidden by bushes.
The leaks are in a strategically bad stretch along the length of the hose, about a third of the way from the end. If the leaks were at either end, give or take 10 feet, we’d be fine. Just cut the end off and put a new threaded end on it. We could live with a hose that is 10 feet shorter.
But these holes are in such a spot as to render the whole hose useless, if I am intent upon trying to repair it better than two bands of duct tape.
In fact, I bought a five-eighths-inch “Repair Hose Mender,” which isn’t quite clear English. “Hose Mender” would be suffice. The word “Repair” is unnecessary. That’s what a hose mender does. It repairs the hose. But something was lost in translation between the manufacturer’s home office in North Salt Lake, Utah, and China where the Repair Hose Mender was made.
I don’t have a problem buying things made in China because China makes so much stuff that you would drive yourself to distraction by only buying things made in the United States. I prefer to drive myself to distraction over other things. Like repairing this hose.
But China is a big country, and I’d like to know the name of the city or province where the Repair Hose Mender is made. I have a world atlas, you know. And I’m interested. But we are left to guess. Dang.
The Repair Hose Mender comes with no instructions – other than not spraying it on electrical devices – and using it to repair the hose defies intuition, as in: Do this, then that, then this, then that, and your Repair Hose Mender has mended the hose.
The Repair Hose Mender comes in three pieces: Two green pieces with holes in the end, and one tapered black piece that is threaded on both ends so you can screw the green pieces almost completely together. I am assuming one end of the black piece goes in one end of the hose and the other into the other end of the hose, and when you screw the green caps together the hose will be mended.
But it doesn’t make any sense.
I don’t see how it could possibly work.
It’s not like I made a big investment in my Repair Hose Mender; it cost $2.68 plus tax. When I am watching TV, I play with it. I unscrew and re-screw the green pieces, over and over again, wondering how it will mend my hose. It’s kind of become a stress ball instead of a Repair Hose Mender. I’ve almost given up on that aspect of the product. Screwing and unscrewing is soothing.
And the hose mostly works just fine with the duct tape.
I need that extra third of hose to reach around the garage.
And I’m not about to cut the hose, which would render it all but useless, like my neighbor’s hose across the street. I need to be absolutely certain the Repair Hose Mender will work before I do anything drastic. In the meantime, I’ll stick with it as a stress mender.
• Dick Peterson, who lives in Woodstock, is a mental-health advocate, freelance writer and a former Northwest Herald Opinion Page editor. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.