IT WAS A CASE OF WATCH WHAT YOU WISH FOR -- IT MIGHT COME TRUE .

On a steamy, dog-day evening in Washington, a young couple walked down the street. He was dressed in khakis and a white polo shirt; she, in fine white linen. Only the shine on his face and the "wet look" to the hair on her forehead and the back of her neck revealed the tony couple's discomfort.

As they walked toward a restaurant near Dupont Circle, she was loudly voicing her complaints about the heat and wishing for rain. Her wish inspired him to give an embarrassing rendition of the Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain."

Hearing the chorus for the third time, a man sweating over his garden picked up his hose, aimed and just as quickly dropped the hose. The couple, once crisp in their elegant summer finery, now looked like two soggy pieces of Wonder Bread. Attempting anonymity, the gardener bent over his flowers, trying to avoid the searching eyes of his victims.

The woman recovered from the shock more quickly than her partner. She spotted the man, his garden and the hose, and ran toward him. By now the gardener was becoming conspicuous by trying to hide. He turned to face the soaked woman. The expression on his face was a mixture of compunction and just plain fear. Witnesses to the scene prepared for a street battle.

"Hey," he began, trying to sound conciliatory, hands held before him as apology and defense.

"No, listen!" she cried, laughing. "Would you mind doing it again?"