For my birthday I got a traveling sprinkler. Yes, you read that right—a traveling sprinkler. It was quite a surprise because I sure was not expecting something that I had to use to water the lawn as my major birthday gift. It is like me giving the wife pots and pans for her birthday. Birthday gifts should be something fun and not something that is equated with work . . . taking care of the lawn is work. Now I appreciate the thought behind the sprinkler as it is meant to keep me from working as much on watering the lawn—I don’t have to get up and down moving the sprinkler as it moves itself. None of the family wanted me to work too hard and the sprinkler was the answer to a question I never asked. So, yeppers, I moved up in the world and got a traveling sprinkler for my birthday—yee haw!
After the shock wore off in a couple of days and the temperatures reaching an unseasonably high of 90 degrees it was time to give the traveling sprinkler a whirl around the yard. After spreading the new 100 foot hose I had to buy so that the sprinkler could work I hooked that baby up. I fiddled around for a few minutes with the arms to get the right amount of distance for the yard. I then backed off and turned the water on. With precision and beauty the sprinkler began its work . . . around and around and around the arms flew throwing water . . . and I waited. I waited to see the sprinkler travel after all it was a traveling sprinkler. I wanted to see that booger move across the yard.
So there I sat . . . and sat . . . and sat. Around and around the arms flew. After fifteen minutes it didn’t look like it had moved but I had convinced myself that it was notoriously slow. The wife and youngest son came out and waited too—they wanted to see the sprinkler move. They saw nothing. No movement. They decided that it had to be more than notoriously slow . . . they were sure that it was not moving. I poo poo’d the idea. I told them to pick a landmark and come back in five minutes and it would have moved, after all it was notoriously slow!
So they left . . . thirty minutes later it still hadn’t moved, but where the water was hitting was doing a good job of watering the lawn. Before they got back I ran out quickly and moved it a couple of feet. When they got back they were impressed even though they were sure they could not see it move. Doubters! It was my birthday gift and I believed! But the truth of the matter is that it was not moving. Without my help—which was going against the principle of even having the sprinkler in the first place—the darn thing was not moving. Of course the logical and manly conclusion when things don’t work is that someone sold us a broken sprinkler. That had to be the only answer for its poor movement—it was broken. Now I not only got a sprinkler for my birthday, I got a broken sprinkler.
Being manly about the whole situation I did what any good man would do—I turned off the water and proceeded to kick the sprinkler. That was a big mistake as the thing is made out of cast iron. My big toe was not too pleased with my manly move. As my toe throbbed I stared at the birthday gift. Then I had a brilliant idea—read the instructions. You know those papers that came in the box with the sprinkler! Amazing what one can learn from reading the instructions. It wasn’t broken after all . . .
. . . it wasn’t turned on. It seems that once I did the settings I was supposed to push the little black thing on top to activate the traveling mechanism of the sprinkler. And so I did. In a matter of minutes it was moving across the yard—water flying everywhere! I was in awe. In the hour of light remaining the rest of the yard was watered. It is amazing what can be accomplished when one knows what he or she is doing. Stupid instructions . . . manly men don’t need instructions . . . or at least I thought they didn’t.
Now that I know that the sprinkler actually does travel across the yard—it isn’t such a bad birthday gift after all. Kind of boring, but the neighbor has one too. I’m thinking some Saturday morning he and I need to race our sprinklers to establish the “fastest sprinkler” in the neighborhood. It beats watching the grass grow. I just might really like this gift after all. Hot rod sprinklers . . . what will they think of next!