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Effortless writing. Notice how many times he contrasts the word soft with the word hard. It’s such an obvious and repeated gimmick that its like being hit with a sledgehammer. A velvet sledgehammer. For more from Delaplane, go here (internal link)

Postcards From Delaplane

September 11, 1956

This is National Soft Water Week. Sponsored by the Water Conditioning Research Council.

The water at my home is hard. If I write the council at 111 W. Washington street, Chicago 2, 111., they will send me “fundamental information on the benefits of softened or conditioned water.”

This is an attractive offer. I am conditioned to unconditioned water. I think what we need around here is a National Soft Life Week. I wonder if you could work that in? With the water?

Life, like our water, has been getting terribly hard lately.

Take a simple thing like warm weather. We had a spell of warm days recently. Like we get in the autumn. I mean the night stayed warm too.

Usually it chills up around here at night. But when it stays warm, we usually give the flowers a good watering. They don’t seem to care whether the water is hard or soft.

Water brings out yellow jackets in the early evening. Mosquitos in the late evening. I don’t intend to make things easier for either of them by softening the water. Let them take it the way it is. Hard.

Speaking of yellow jackets, I sat on one yesterday. It is still painful.

This is how hard life is around here. If you got stung ordinarily, it is a matter of sympathy.

But if you sit on one and get stung, it is comedy. Everybody in the neighborhood had a real good laugh out of this and the dog barked like crazy.

I resented it. I am a serious person, not a comedian, and object to being placed in a slapstick role. Also when everybody else is laughing, you are supposed to laugh too.

If you don’t, you have no sense of humor That is about the worst thing you can say about a person these days. “He has no sense of humor.”

I laughed. But I came within a whisper of braining a few of my fellow men.

It seems a fair extravagance to set up a council on conditioning water. When I am all out of condition myself. And could use a high-powered council to give me “fundamental information” on coping with everyday life.

Keeping one jump ahead of ruin is just about all I can do. And to ask me to think about softening my water when life is so brittle well, it seems frivolous.

“Much water goes by the mill that the miller knoweth not of,” says the proverb.

Kick that one around in a council meeting sometime. It is a sensible way of looking at it.

Whenever we do much watering around here, it brings the deer down from the hills.

You may think that is a rather lovely thing. But that is because you are softening water and not raising petunias. A medium-size doe can barber the flowers off a petunia bed in less than 15 minutes. And loves to do it.

There are a pair of does who come down almost every evening and stand around the yard waiting for a blossom to pop open. They have soft brown eyes and hard white teeth.

They drink out of the dog’s pan and I certainly do not incline to soften the water for them.

This is in no way to bum-rap your council. Or put a knock on soft water. I just wanted you to know what I am up against generally. So you could gear your program to my needs. Send the “fundamental information.” I am ready to be benefitted. Ready to be conditioned.

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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