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Me and my friend, Mike, used to eat his mother’s homemade beef jerky with the garden hose aimed directly into our mouths. The spices from the jerky were so pepper-hot that it was the only way we could enjoy the exquisite flavor without misery. Garden hose jerky is still at the top of my list of favorite food.

Of course, garden-hose water is on the banned list now, but we were kids who swam in cricks more often than swimming pools, ran around in rattlesnake-infested (vile creatures) country in the beastly sun of Arizona summers. We built forts in a rusty-nail junk yard. We thrived in danger.

I’m sure our guardian angels were the elite of the elite.

As a teen, some of my friend’s parents didn’t want them to drive their nicer cars to my house…it meant a dirty car and possible Arizona pen striping—something about the washboards and alignment…so not only was my way of living dangerous due to rattlesnakes, cat claw bushes and garden hoses, but the dirt road was a factor too.

Save it for the garden.

Save it for the garden.

Evidently, proper civilization is devoid of dirt, sticker bushes and snakes (I saw many of you partake of the garden hose—guilty!).

Some of this uncivilized living must have tattooed itself onto me. For several years, after I moved to “the city” (to my husband, the Phoenician, it’s still the country), I was designated as the evening bug squisher at work. These people were afraid of bugs! Once, I was called outside to confiscate a tarantula from the employee smoking area. OUTSIDE. They, with cigarettes to lips, carcinogens flowing freely into their bodies, saw danger in a tarantula outside.

I said no. And laughed. Or I might have rolled my eyes, but I let the tarantula have free reign in his home (Isn’t nicotine supposed to have a calming effect?).

Have you heard about the dangers of microwave popcorn? Ingested both in city and country, this delightful movie-watching snack can damage your brain. Why isn’t it on the banned list (air-popping it is the safe way to go)?

So danger might be a frightful beastie—to some it has fangs, to others, it’s a scratch in the paint or a tongue-on-fire, but either way, it’s always lurking about—we might as well focus on the good part and enjoy it like the child within us.

Are you also a reformed garden-hose junkie? Leave your confessions in the comments.

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