Water Under the Bridge

Slip n Slide

As I grow older it seems I am taking more time to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m going.  Although I strongly believe in water conversation, I wasn’t always so inclined.  Really, most people weren’t. Back in the day water wasn’t really looked upon as a resource.  It was, well, just water. This wasn’t the case for my parents who grew up in the Oklahoma dust bowl era but for me, a kid in the 60’s, water was just fun!

Remember throwing water balloons?  What a great waste of water. Just fill those little, colored, latex globes to the point of popping and then hurl them at the nearest prey. Who would have known that car with the one headlight was a police cruiser. Good thing I could run a little faster then!

How about the Water Wiggle? Now that was a conservative use of H2O.  Not!  It was just a high pressure jet, on the open end of a water hose, covered by a goofy little plastic face with colored string for hair. Turn the water on, full blast, and let it beat the heck  out anyone in a 20 foot radius. What could be more fun?

Who could forget the Slip and Slide? A yellow, plastic sheet with a water hose hooked to one end and holes throughout.  Leave the water running all day for a slick, polyurethane runway.  Perfect for that head-first body launch and freestyle water roll!  A few of us had to learn the hard way that this toy was designed to be one way street. Surfers sliding from each end, at the same time, somehow meet in the middle. I think that may be what is wrong with me today.  No wonder so many people think water is so plentiful.  This is how a generation learned its value.

Finally, the water bed! Truly a well-designed use of agua. Gallon for gallon the most enjoyable use of our most precious resource.  I’ll let you peruse your own memory bank on this one. I am keeping mine to myself.

Now that I have made it down to the end of memory lane I guess I check my rain barrel, adjust my soaker hose and reset my “smart controller”. It’s back to conserving water, but I still remember when water seemed to be limitless.

Mark Hopkins

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  1. Thursday, 8:57 Martha Golea

    Mark, this is great. I literally laughed out loud at the water bed line. Little hydrophobic Martha never liked any of these toys too much back in the day, but some of the new technologies coming out seem like toys to me! The iPad apps for calculating sprinkler run times and operating smart controllers remotely from anywhere in the world…just think of all the fun you could have hacking into your siblings’ smart controller and turning the sprinklers on during a neighborhood barbecue! Not that you would do that…

  2. Thursday, 10:16 Mark Hopkins

    Martha…with a smart controller, I would have been just like 007.

  3. Thursday, 2:55 Pam

    OMG! I used/enjoyed every one of these water-guzzlling products and never thought a second about where the water came from or went to. The more water the better for the Slip & Slide – the “slippier” the better. Thanks for taking me for a walk down my water-soaked memory lane 🙂

  4. Friday, 3:49 Mark Hopkins

    Thanks Pam! Sometimes it’s fun to remember when. Maybe they will come up with a “smart” slip and slide!

  5. Tuesday, 12:51 Alan Harris

    Mom thought those water toys were just a waste of water and money. Why would anybody need them when we had a perfectly good oscillating sprinkler we could turn on and run through? Every 20 minutes Mom would come outside to move our version of a water toy until the Zoysia lawn was adequately watered at which time water playtime was over.

  6. Tuesday, 5:33 Mark Hopkins

    Alan, you’re one of the original water efficiency experts!

  7. Wednesday, 1:03 good essay

    why this kolaberi.

  8. Thursday, 5:01 Colleen


    I really enjoy your writing voice. This blog made me walk down memory lane and start to think twice about all those crazy toys I played with! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  9. Friday, 5:23 Mark Hopkins

    Thanks Colleen!

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