Volume 91, Issue 47

Thursday, November 20, 1997

stars and strife


Humour column

On a hot summer day many years ago, my mother runs the tap in the kitchen waiting for the water to run cold. She is suddenly hit by a brainstorm and is forced to sit down. Why not keep a jug of water in the fridge at all times so we always have cold water? Great idea, mom!

We move ahead a few years and the jug has been replaced with a Brita. "Change the filters when the calendar tells you and you won't die," the packaging warns us. In mere minutes the Zanello household leaps into an age where tap water can be filtered and made safe for human consumption. It is advice showing what water truly is, which of course begs the questions: "What was that crap we were drinking before?" and "Will I be growing any extra appendages anytime in the near future?" Jetsons look out – we have Brita.

As if this wasn't bad enough, it was coupled with a desire for bottled water. Yes indeed, a few years later, bottles of Evian and Montclair filled our refrigerator shelves, each claiming to teach us what true water is like.

We would drink goat piss it seems, as long as there are picturesque mountains on the bottle and a catchy phrase like "Goat piss, the way water should taste." Yet all of these gadgets created by a tap water discriminating society do not even come close to what lay before my eyes as I visited home last year.

My family bought a water cooler.

At the wall, near the window sat the ultimate in fresh water. Scientists sterilized the plastic containers in laboratories high in the mountains, which were then shipped to lumberjacks in the forests of B.C., who caught the water directly from underneath a waterfall and airlifted it to our house within 24 hours so we could have the freshest water on the planet. And I have to tell ya, I taste no difference.

That's not to say that there is no difference in the house, hell that'd be lying. Our lives now seem to rotate around the water cooler. We drink more water now than we ever did, most likely because it doesn't need refilling like the damn Brita and it's not as expensive as the damn Evian. We all drink 10 glasses a day, double that between May and September. My favourite part is how every Monday morning my Dad and I will stand by the cooler and chat about the football games the day before and how our bosses are jerks. I've even caught my sister drinking water at four in the morning, just so she could hear the little gurgly sounds the cooler makes. The cooler has changed our lives and that's something I'm going to have to live with.

I don't understand what was wrong with the tap water to begin with. I never heard of any tap water related injuries; no tap water deaths making headlines.

"What killed this man, Robinson?"

"Overdose of TW, Sarge."

"When will these kids ever learn!"

That never happens. Right now I'm just waiting for the next big thing to come along. When I go home and it's not there because my parents have physically moved the house beneath a waterfall, everyone will be happy except me. They will finally have their precious pure water – and I'll be complaining about the leaky roof.

–Lee Zanello

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997