Friday, June 22, 2012

The Thing

Over a decade ago,  I worked at a big hardware; I was rummaging through the hose fittings on my break, looking for a way to make the north side of my house look less like the barren desert that it was. And as it was coming on to summer, I had also in mind the little pvc stand misters that were so wonderful for keeping one's personal space cool on hot dry days.

Then I saw this.


After work, I bought it with my employee discount, and took it home to try it out. Unlike the sweet little pvc stand mister, this fiend put out a four-foot high geyser of drenchiness -- too vigorous for the back patio.

But I reasoned that the output might drift along on our prevailing west wind and soften the hardpack clay soil of the north side of the house. Using some wire, a hose, and a tomato cage, I built a rig to float that mist about three feet off the ground.

Unfortunately, the pressure acted like a jet and kept knocking the tomato cage over, and there was the problem with eddies of wind gusting the spray onto the windows (the water is so hard here that water splotches on the windows are verboten.) Also, the dog, though he loved water and being sprayed by the hose, was not at all amused by a high-pressure cloud of soaking mist. Failed experiment.

The Super-Mister Thing was put away in the shed and subsequently lost under piles of junk. I even forgot where I put it, until we had a spate of 100+ degree days last year. I began looking for it as we cleaned the garage, got rid of tools we no longer used, cleaned out the accumulation of dusty junk in the shed ... and there it was, coated by gunk that had leaked out of some can above it. I scrubbed it up and put it away in a safe place, and forgot where that safe place was.

We found it again this spring (it had been carefully tucked into a basket of miscellaneous art supplies,) and when the temps spiraled up to 106, we put that Thing on the end of the hose, draped the hose across the top of our Stanley sawhorse, and put our chairs about twelve feet downwind. While the rest of town roasted in a convection oven climate, we were cool and refreshed -- and the dry spot on the front lawn got some badly-needed water.

Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, Orchard Supply -- none of those hardwares carry it any more. But I did find it here. And I'm not going to misplace the Thing again.

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