Occasionally you may see a meme posted on social media by ol' Uncle Henry or Gramma Blanche or some other geriatric, generally 66 or older, that boasts about drinking water from a garden hose.
|Nam vets protest|
These coots (no offense) are members of my generation, so I'm in a good position to explain this Golden Moment.
Your history books, unless they were published in Texas, will tell you that My Generation played a role in the fight for Civil Rights, the ending of the Vietnam War even though it will never really end, expanding the professional and personal options of women, and in the sexual revolution that encouraged females to contribute more to that dialogue than "just close your eyes and think of England."
But what we most enjoy showcasing is that we drank water from garden hoses and "turned out fine." Which reminds me of another of our historic achievements: We elected donald trump. Mostly us. Old people, evangelicals and such. So called.
Historians are still uncertain about a causal relationship between drinking from a hose and electing a golden-shower president, but even minor lead poisoning can "mess you up," as they say on the streets.
We are proud of that particular water source because we learned too late that it's horrible for you as indicated here and here.
Anyway, we can always dismiss these facts as "fake news," since my generation doesn't care all that much about data, logic, empirical evidence, rational thinking, informed assessments and projections, all of that Mister Smarty Pants stuff.
Some of us claim that "ain't no tastier water than garden-hose water," but if that were true, some unscrupulous capitalist (pardon the redundancy) would have made millions by marketing "Garden Hose Delight: Spring Water Flavored by All Natural Plastic, Rubber and Lead, with a Smidge of Grasshopper Poop."
We are quite fond of combining denial with gloating and smugness.
We love making fun of you losers with your Tide Pod fixation and vaporing and crybaby political correctness, while dismissing the power, courage, integrity, organization, endurance and energy you demonstrated as you officially instigated the Gun Safety Revolution -- just as we dismissed our own revolutionary spirit, which evaporated long, long ago, swapped for a comfy lifestyle and all the things that don't last.
You know what else we did? Smoked unfiltered cigarettes and turned out okay. Didn't have seat belts even when the driver -- a parent, an older sibling, Uncle Henry -- was driving after having "one for the road," and turned out okay. Didn't put our babies in car seats and they turned out okay. But I don't think we have memes for those.
We're selective, even when we read Leviticus.
So, kids, that's pretty much it. Try to add some mythic level to our silliness, maybe think of it as a form of cleansing or baptism or you could even toss in some serpentine associations.
But please don't remember it as our glorifying an act of ignorance that looks so brave and innocent in retrospect.
An Old Man
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