I’ve never really understood the whole concept of bottled water. With the obvious exception of disaster areas and other places without suitable drinking water, most folks in the Western World have easy access to potable water.
Yet many arm themselves with plastic bottles as if embarking on a trek across the Gobi Desert, or through Death Valley instead of a trip to the mall. Let me emphasize, that’s a trip in an air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned mall that probably has a few water fountains and certainly has numerous stores and restaurants that sell water should dehydration set in.
This obsession with carrying water first came to my attention about twenty years ago. People were dropping in the streets from dehydration and … no, wait. That’s not true, no one was complaining. I believe it began more as a fashion accessory than a physical requirement. Lugging around plastic bottles, hauling them out for a slurp of warm water seemed to be the trendy thing to do. Not me, if I get thirsty I’ll avail myself of a few sips from a drinking fountain; and no I don’t care if a dog may have been there first.
These respites from a dry mouth used to be everywhere. You had to let the water run for a little while in the hope it would get cold. Unless you were fortunate and found a refrigerated device; the occasional hum as the compressor chilled the full reservoir, producing a refreshing drink capable of causing an ice cream headache if sipped too fast.
Imagine if all the employees at the J.C. Dithers & Company brought bottled water to work. Where would Dagwood Bumstead and his colleagues gather to exchange gossip?
Many years ago Johnny Carson did a skit about bottle water. It featured Carson dressed as a stereotypical Frenchman – striped shirt and beret – filling small green bottles from the back of a toilet. The bottles looked just like Perrier bottles; I wonder if there was a lawsuit!
Of course the biggest problem with bottled water is what to do with all those bottles after thirsts have been quenched. Chuck them in the trash? I don’t think so …