California has been going through a drought, of sorts, for the last four years. I say “sort of” a drought because, depending on who you talk with, the state’s water worries are pretend, man-made, or a parched precursor to the End of Days.
In a period of introspection — which could have been fueled by low blood sugar or gin and tonic on an empty stomach — I came to a stark realization. My life can be summed up as a lawn sprinkler.
There are different kinds of sprinklers; the rainbird kind that go spit, spit, spit and then chatter back, the little soaker hoses, the small circle plastic rings that shoot a halo of water, and the old oscillating back and forth sprinkler. Each sprinkler has it own personality type. Betcha didn’t know that. It’s hidden in an old, out of print version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual — DSM 2.3.
The rainbird makes noise. It begs for attention and if you listen to the sprinkler’s mating call you can hear the distinctive chirp, “Me, me, me, me…lookatme, lookatme, me, me, me.” The rainbird is the ego-driven peacock of watering implements. Not the most efficient, but looks like it’s doing more than it really is.
The plastic roll up soaker hose is the sprinkler equivalent to Eyore from Winnie the Poo. “Why do I bother? I’m just gonna lay here and wet myself.” Often found in knotted piles, the soaker hose is dependent on others to move it and tell it where to water. Dogs will use the soaker hose as a chew toy. This device is sold under the Pathetic, Loser and Disposable brands.
The Halo sprinkler wants to go unnoticed in the world of wide open spaces. If I do my job, here no one will notice me and everything will be all right. Of course, the halo only waters a small circle of lawn and leaves the rest dry and parched all around it. The halo is often found in that bottom of a flooded yard because it went unnoticed as the introvert of sprinklers.
The old oscillating sprinkler casts an even amount of water on each back and forth movement. Slightly hypnotizing, the sprinkler slowly moves from one side to the other, with OCD like precise action. You can run through this sprinkler for fun and irrigate the lawn at the same time. When the sprinkler gets the slightest out of balance it tends to fall over and writhe on the ground like an oxy-fuelled howler monkey.
I tend to find myself somewhere between the soaker hose and oscillating sprinkler. I’m trying and doing the best I can. And sometimes, trying has to be enough. I can’t control the kinks in the hose which will occur from time to time, nor can I do anything to prevent changes in water pressure. The only thing I can do is water my little patch of lawn…
What sprinkler are you?