Alibi V.14 No.16 • April 21-27, 2005 


I think buying bottled water is completely retarded. (Well, not retarded because using retarded in that context is totally gay.) I mean, it's a waste of money, plastic and diesel.

We have perfectly decent water in this city. Drink from the freakin' tap. Why, why, why would you buy a piece of planet-killing plastic that contains water transported from Fiji or France or, in the case of Dasani, a tap near you? (Yes, Dasani is nothing more than filtered tap water.)

That's not to say that there's anything wrong with tap water here or in say, New York City, where the tap water is actually very good. Much better than the unreasonably overtreated water I grew up with in northern Virginia. You know how the bathroom smells when you're washing a white load and you've dumped way too much bleach in the machine? That's how northern Virginia water tastes, like it's going to make your insides bright white and germ-free. But hell, even that water is made palatable by Brita filtering—or years of conditioning.

Occasionally I'll find myself driving around in the middle of summer, dying of thirst and I'll stop in at 7-Eleven and buy some water, but I feel like such a pretentious asshole every time. Walking around with a $2 bottle of Evian like I'm Gisele Bundchen rehydrating after a particularly difficult purge—it's embarrassing.

Recently, some very nice houseguests left most of a 12-pack of Aquafina in my fridge, and it's been driving me crazy for weeks. I'm thirsty; I want to drink water. I can go get a glass and fill it right there in the sink, or there's water ready to go in the fridge. If I crack open an Aquafina I feel ridiculous, like rich people who don't cook but buy six burner Viking ranges because they think it'll make their spaghetti taste better. What's the solution, though? I'm supposed to just let the stuff sit there forever on principle? They've already extruded the plastic and wasted gas driving it all over the country. I might as well drink it. Better in the privacy of my own home than somewhere else where I might be seen.

The only exception to this rule, of course, is sparkling water. The water that comes out of my tap does not have bubbles in it. If it did I'd have to apply the same rules as above. In the olden days, folks had seltzer bottles that used cartridges of NO2 to make water fizz. But there's no way I could either a) convince someone in a store I was actually going to make seltzer with the nitrous cartridges or b) not sit on my sofa, drinking still tap water, watching “South Park” and huffing the entire box. Wait, NO2? It's CO2 they use to make seltzer. See? I've already killed too many brain cells with those damn things.