Ode to a hose
By RALPH HARDIN
Evening Times Editor
So, there’s been this “debate” of sorts going around on social media that I’ve been sort of following: The Great Hose-Drinking Generation vs. The Bottled Water Babies (I came up with that title).
For many of us 40-and-olders, it was the good ol’ days when the neighborhood was our kingdom and a garden hose was our trusty companion, always ready to quench our thirst.
Back then, the argument goes, we didn’t need fancy filtered water or organic hydration solutions. No sir, we had the hose — nature’s drinking fountain. But somewhere along the line, the hose became a topic of controversy.
Parents began fretting, experts started opining, and the great “drinking out of the hose” debate was born. So, let’s dive into this refreshing subject and explore the hilarious world of kids and their love affair with hoses.
To understand the fervor surrounding hose-drinking, we must first acknowledge the transformative power it possessed. That simple, unassuming garden hose was a magical conduit that could turn even the most ordinary backyard into an oasis of hydration. With a twist of the nozzle,
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water would burst forth, like an ecstatic geyser, ready to satiate our youthful thirst. It was like sipping liquid joy straight from the source—no cups or glasses required. Of course, the learned among us knew to let it run for a minute because that first few feet of hose contained sun-heated fire water.
Kids these days ( and by “kids” I mean the under-40 crowd) are aghast at this. They argue that drinking from the hose is unsanitary, claiming it’s a one-way ticket to a world of bacterial infections and stomach troubles. But let’s be real here, folks. If we worried about every microscopic organism lurking around, we’d all be wrapped in bubble wrap and living in a sterilized bubble. Besides, our immune systems were like highly trained secret agents, ready to take down any unwanted intruders that dared to enter our bodies.
Drinking from the hose was merely a test of their mighty powers. We also swam in ditches and had no idea what “sunscreen” was.
It was a different time…
I mean, our parents never said, “Don’t drink from the hose, you’ll get sick!” They, and by “they” I mostly mean our mothers, just wanted us out of the house. Outside, it was a lawless wasteland. Inside, there were rules, so we didn’t complain too much. We were daredevil pioneers of the backyard, with a thirst for unfiltered fun.
Of course, the hose wasn’t just for drinking. It was a versatile tool that could transform any game or activity. It could be a makeshift water cannon, spraying unsuspecting friends from a distance. It could be a limbo pole, challenging us to twist and bend in an aquatic limbo dance. And let’s not forget the classic “hose slip ‘n slide,” where a well-placed hose turned a mundane patch of grass into a slippery paradise.
Did anyone else stick the hose into the end joint of their swingset and turn the whole deal into a homemade water ride? If you angled it right, you could turn the hot plastic slide into a waterslide.
Oh, the wipeouts, the laughter, and the grass stains that lasted for weeks—those were the marks of true summer warriors.
So you whipper-snappers can have your bottled water and your life of luxury. I’ll still drink from the hose if I’m outside and thirsty. I think it’s time for a comeback. Let’s embrace the spirit of the hose.
Let’s toast to those carefree days of childhood, when the only worry was who would get to turn on the water first. Let’s appreciate the resilience it built within us, the shared memories it created, and the sheer absurdity of it all. After all, life is too short to deny ourselves the simple pleasures that once brought us such delight.
So, the next time you see a group of kids outside on a hot summer day, aid them in their quest for liquid refreshment and laughter. Offer a sip from the hose, relish in the nostalgia, and remember that sometimes, the simplest things can bring us the greatest joy.
Disclaimer: The author of this column takes no responsibility for any potential side effects resulting from hose drinking, including but not limited to unexpected hose pranks, bouts of laughter-induced hiccups, nostalgic flashbacks to childhood… or bacterial infections.