Sic Semper Tyranus — Water Bottles

I am no longer a fan of water bottles purchased by the case, thrown in the shopping cart as an afterthought, and left in the trunk of the car just in case someone gets thirsty. I am not interested in the fact that the walls of said bottles are really thin, and thus use less plastic. I care even less about the recuperative powers of artisan spring water, considering that the supposed spring water is pumped from city water supplies in factories, the water being drawn from Lake Michigan. I know I have peed in Lake Michigan more than once, and I don’t swim there very often. And I think fish pee there as well.

Using my own family as the basis of all my research, we as a society have gotten lazy and stupid about drinking water. Hydration is important, but not important enough to remain a part of the insanity that is the bottled water industry. It’s marketed as being important and affordable, but when they started adding vitamins, as they did with Lucky Charms, to make it seem healthful, then they are turning back on the original premise of bottle water being more pure than tap water.

When I was a kid, my brothers and I often got thirsty in the car when driving around with our parents. We would complain. My mother would tell us to hold up our cup, and she would press the imaginary button on the non-existent fountain in our car, and she would make a hissing sound intended to remind us of water poring into a cup. But we didn’t have a cup. The cup was imaginary, just like the fountain and the button. Her worry and concern for our thirst was also non-existent. We didn’t have water in the car, so we were going to have to wait. The only things we had were thirst, sarcasm, and my mother’s bad sound effects.

We survived, though, in spite of these deep hardships. Granted, we as a society spend more time in vehicles. We also use seat belts more regularly than when I was a child, so there’s an increased chance that we’ll survive a crash, especially one where the car rolls down the side of a ravine and is not found by rescuers for several days. In that scenario, it is important to have fresh water with you, preferably by your side in case you are pinned into your seat and unable to access the trunk where there is a shrink-wrapped case of water bottles at the ready.

Wall Drug, the tourist trap somewhere in South Dakota, exploited the no-water-in-the-car mentality with cryptic, intriguing signs placed along interstate 80, encouraging children to nag their parents during road trips to go drink the “free” water at Wall Drug. The venerable bumper-sticker slogan, “Where in the World is Wall Drug” can be reasonably replaced with “Who Cares About Wall Drug” simply because every middle-class car in America has a three day supply of bottled water in the trunk just in case of a roll-over accident.

So what’s my point? I am now using a more permanent water bottle, one with a wide mouth that should be easy enough to clean. I keep it hanging around the house for those moments when I’m going for a ride, and I think I may want to use the trip for hydration as well as travel. If I’m truly around the house, I use a glass and maybe crack a little ice into it for style.

If given the chance, Nestle, or whichever greedy corporate entity it is that has set up water bottling factories in the Great Lakes States, would likely pump every drop of water out of the Great Lakes, and send that water, one bottle at a time, to whoever is willing to pay for it. If that happens, the land bridge between America and Canada will be established, and we’ll be at risk for invasion by the Canucks. Although that nightmare scenario is unlikely, I’m still tired of paying more for water than I do for gasoline when I stop at Speedway.

I know my mother would have brought water along if it were socially acceptable back in the 1960s. She did her best, and the lousy sound effects distracted us enough that we forgot about our thirst for the moment. My mother, God rest her soul, did take us to Wall Drug. Once there, we had a cool drink of water. It was yummy, perhaps because we had waited, and had the opportunity to anticipate what that water would be like. She also bought the bumper sticker.