Sunday, February 03, 2008

More Things that Have Changed

Is it weird to be so nostalgic? Well, maybe it is, but I can't help it. Remember life before these signs? The ones that tell us how long it will take us to get places, and if highways are closed and small children are missing? In those (not so long ago) days, we had to listen to traffic radio, or even more astonishing, just patiently wait to see what the future had in store: would we get to work in time? Who knows! Would the off-ramp be closed when we tried to use it? Hopefully! Are children missing? We'll find out tomorrow when we read the paper!

Bottled water in general, flavored water in specific:

Water used to come out of a tap. In one flavor: water flavor. If you wanted fruity flavored liquid, you drank juice. If you wanted vitamins, you took pills that had essential things in them and called them, well, vitamins. If you wanted carbonated beverages, you drank some variation of tonic water, bubbly water, soda, etc. If you were really posh, you might drink that water from a water cooler, or as I only knew to call it from my excellent grasp of the Spanglish language, a garafon. I mean, what would life be with out all of those water cooler jokes? So I imagine that water coolers probably existed for a long time before my knowledge of them- in offices and fancy pants mansions- but they came into my peripheral vision slightly before water bottles. I think those filters on the tap came before water bottles, too. Who really wants to drink recycled Oakland sewer water, when you can drink recycled Oakland sewer water that has gone through a filter you can actually see right there in your own kitchen? Then water bottles appeared on the scene, and there were only one or two brands of them. The labels promised fresh and clean water straight from the purest sources- no sewers, no sinks, only sky to snow to alps to meadows to bottles. So, we all started drinking this bottled water, because we need to be pure. So pure that plastic started accumulating in the landfills in an alarming rate, because while we all own cups, glasses, and mugs, and water from the tap is virtually free, we preferr(ed) to purchase water in its own reusable (but not often reused) container. Enter smart marketing people who realized the potential of selling other things in these reusable (but not often reused) containers: Vitamin Water, Mint Water, Flavor Water, Caffeine Water, etc. Seriously, if I didn't know better, I would think it was a joke. This stuff is so powerful, you'd think water was way past out of style. Maybe water has gone out of style. Maybe it's toxic and somehow people know that only flavoring (like Kool-Aid, vitamins, and color) will kill the poison? Granted, I drink Diet Coke like it's going out of style, but not because I can't get enough of this flavored crap. Doesn't anyone use Nalgenes anymore?


Principal and Founder said...

I actually like bottled water (especially the small cute bottles!) I think it tastes much better than tap water. Also, should we ever have an earthquake, you'll be looking for those emergency bottles asap.