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Author: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  September 10, 2007

Topic category:  Other/General

"Water, water everywhere."

Hereís another one Iíve come late to. It has to do with a recent story about bottled water and the fact that a couple of millions gallons of the stuff thatís produced locally basically comes directly from the tap.

Which is pretty much what I suspected all along.

Not that it bothers me.

Someone wants to sell bottled water from a tap? Fine with me as long as the water is safe Ė which it is.

Someone wants to buy pretty much the same thing you can get from a faucet? Fine too as long as they donít try to convince me that the stuff that does come from the faucet Ė which Iíve been drinking for 58 years now Ė is going to hustle me to my grave.

I guess thereís a (very dominant) cynicís gene inside me because, a while back, I was at the local supermarket walking down the "water" aisle. For whatever reason I started reading the labels on all of the bottled water and it got me thinking along the same lines as when I drive by subdivisions.

Iíd see names like "Quail Hollow" on signs in a place where there were no quails (or hollows, for that matter) anywhere around. Iíd see other signs with names like "Mountain Vista Meadows" and thereíd be no mountains, no vistas (hard to have them when the houses are built within armís reach of each other), and certainly no meadows.

So I was walking down the water aisle and as I read labels that said: "Pure Mountain Glacier Arctic Spring Brook" water, the first thought that came to my mind was that someone was doing a darned good job of advertising.

If, about now, youíre thinking that Iím not in synch with everything thatís going on around me, Iíd have to agree. I still donít own a cell phone. My coffee maker has only one button on it and its labeled "On/Off." My connection to the Internet is through a dial-up modem I bought years ago and I couldnít find my way around an I-Pod on a bet.

Thus, whenever I see someone walking around with a bottle of water Iím reminded of comedy routine I recently watched. Paraphrased, it went something like this: "What? Youíre worried there might not be an oasis between Seattle and Everett and that, if you miss a turn, weíre likely to find your sun-bleached bones somewhere along I-5?"

Given all of this, if I get thirsty while Iím out, I just head for the nearest water fountain. If Iím at work, I go to the nearest water cooler. If I donít like the looks of the water cooler, I find the nearest sink and fill my cup there. If I want to keep water at my desk, I fill a plastic bottle. If I want that water cold, I might toss in a few ice cubes from the lunch room freezer.

Iíve been doing this since I can remember and will probably be doing it for a long time to come. Worse, on hot days at home when my wife has declared that the grass needs to be cut, the weeds pulled, the hedges trimmed, and the leaves raked, Iíve been known to take a drink directly from the garden hose.

Still here. Still healthy. Still happy.

The idea of paying a couple of bucks for something I can get for free just doesnít show up on my radar and, aside from being contrary, thereís a good reason for that. Like you, I pay taxes to have a ready supply of water that wonít turn me green when I drink it.

If, after paying those taxes, I find that Iím getting something that needs to be "nuked" before itís fit to drink, then Iím going to get awfully upset and the questions Iíll have at the next town meeting are likely to be fairly pointed.

Again, no argument from me as regards business owners bottling the stuff or consumers buying it. Itís the American way. Find a demand. Develop a product. Sell it and please the customer.

Itís just that, if there are as many people like me as I think there are, those same business owners could probably make even more money selling garden hoses as a sideline in the summer.

Larry Simoneaux

Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Copyright © 2007 by Larry Simoneaux
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