I’ll drink to that

April 9, 2021



My water habit is just that . . . a habit. As I run out the door, I check to make sure I have my phone and water. The fact there are usually two other bottles already in my car’s cup holders doesn’t matter. It makes me feel secure knowing if I suddenly start choking to death or see a small fire, my bottle of water will be ready to aid. I remember a lady on a hike spritzed a curious bear with her water bottle which caused him to flee in fear, so it can be used as a weapon. I’m pretty sure it also melts witches. 

No matter how nuclear hot and miserably humid our Southern home gets, we’ll never have to worry about dying of thirst. Within the past decade or so, we’ve become the most hydrated society in the history of the world. 

In any carpool line, business meeting, study group or book club, you can find people toting their toss-away or reusable containers. A time traveler from 1950 would think we’ve just crossed the desert — on our hands and knees. 

Our skin should be dewy soft and glowing after all this hydration, but alas, I think we still look like a country who could use a good nap, therefore, many of us fill our bottles with coffee. 

In the ironic land of plenty, I once attended a do-good meeting where nice ladies were brainstorming ways to raise money for digging wells in a third world country where there was no clean water. You guessed it, we all sat around the table with our insulated cups and bottles of H2O. It was sad, thought-provoking and weird. “Cheers to clean water!”

Partaking in the American pastime of being irritated when I travel, I learned that some countries have plenty of clean public water fountains, while others don’t accommodate my red, white and blue need to constantly hydrate. Drinks and food are rarely sold “to go” and in many places like Paris, the public trash cans have been removed since terrorists like to use them as hiding places for explosives. After carrying an empty plastic water bottle around for three hours, I learned to behave like the locals. Slow down, sit down, order a drink to sip, then catch your breath while thinking about nothing in particular. It’s relaxed and the opposite of our “guzzle it down while you run” method. 

The irony to the hydration sensation is that my friends and I are in the stage of complaining how many times a day we need to run to the ladies’ room, and yet we still guzzle water like we’ve worked at the pretzel factory for a month without a break. (“These pretzels are making me thirsty!” said Mr. Castanza). 

The lost and found table at church recently held three jackets, four notebooks and 37 insulated travel cups. Those who lost their trusty sidekick of a cup must be near death and wilting like a polyester-swathed bride in August. We’ll add them to the prayer list and send a cheerful casserole right away, along with plenty of water. 

This story first appeared in Advance Publication Newspapers.

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