This spring, my sturdy garden hose reel-on-wheels sprung a leak. While I pondered how to replace it, my next-door neighbor Marketa built a treehouse, planted corn, created a patio and redid her front porch
When I apply verbs like “redid” to myself, like when I recently “redid” my living room floor, I mean called, hired, scheduled, paid. Marketa, on the other hand, literally uses her hands.
Sure, she’s a Skidmore College professor, but how does she know how to do these real things?
She Googles them.
Hey, I’m a college professor, too, even if it’s one class a semester. I can wield a Phillips screwdriver! I can Google! I’m not going to replace that reel, by golly. I’m going to fix it!
On YouTube I found a video of a guy taking apart the reel, revealing the cleverly designed inner workings. I copied his steps with minimal aggravation, removed the leaky plastic pipe and carefully saved all the screws, hoping to remember where they went. I tried to patch the leak. No luck. The part needed to be replaced.
I bought my Ames Reel Easy (“Reel” Easy, get it?) for about fifty bucks not that long ago, though probably longer ago that I think. But it didn’t take long (thanks, Google!) to find the product specs and an online order form. I entered the requested info, including my mailing address. Then the page disappeared without asking for my credit card. Arghhh! Frustration!
The next day I called the manufacturer and immediately reached a real person. Oh, your order went through, she assured me. We send replacement parts for free.
What is this, some kind of trick?
The piece arrived as promised, though when I put it together I realized the leader hose connection leaked too. But this time I knew the drill. A nice new part arrived in a few days, like magic. The repair was real easy.
I’d never heard of Ames and didn’t realize I owned something they made. I Googled the company and found they’ve been making hand-powered landscaping tools since 1774. That’s not a typo; they’re older than our country.
Here’s to another 200 years, Ames. And, Marketa, let me know if you’d like me to water the corn while you’re away. I fixed the hose reel all by myself.