We feel the same way about the guy who invented bottled water as we do about the guy who cruises around in his new Range Rover with the speakers blaring the latest Drake album. We love him and hate him at the same time. How brilliant was it that some guy decided, “ya know what, I bet can I take this city water straight out of my faucet (that’s already purified and inspected), put it in a clear plastic bottle, slap a fancy sticker on it, claim its cleaner than tap water, and sell it at a 500x markup.” And yet, how offensive is it that he actually thought we were stupid enough to fall for it?
Unfortunately, the clever bastard was right.
Not only did he find a market of people who would buy the water when they needed a portable source of drinking water, he also found some people who would only drink bottled water. These hardcore bottled water drinkers can best be described as idiots, but if we had to split it by gender we’d say it’s an embarrassment for guys and for girls it’s a red flag.
For women with this red flag, we’re hoping it didn’t start at childhood, because like sports allegiances, religious preferences, and drug use, things our parents teach us at a young age are hard to forget. Unfortunately childhood is where an irrational fear of tap water starts for a lot women. They had a huge jug of Poland Spring on a free-standing dispenser in their kitchen and were told by their parents to use it for everything: drink it, cook with it, use it to water the flowers, splash it on your face, and put it in Fido’s bowl. Tap water was “gross” and only for rinsing dishes and filling water balloons. If they didn’t use the Poland Spring water their parents got furious because they’d have 10 gallon jugs piling up in their pantry because that damn delivery guy was bringing a shipment of water every 2 weeks no matter what. Every other week they’d have you bathing in Poland Spring just to get rid of the surplus. Bottled water baths aren’t exactly the reason for the red flag, but they suggest a privileged and over-protected upbringing that creates a sense of entitlement and an irrational fear of all things “public.”
For the women who got suckered in to the bottled water trap later in life, they’ve usually just been tricked by some marketing campaign or they had one bad experience when the tap water came out rusty, or stinky, or some other version of “yucky” that made them think all tap water was forever undrinkable. The truth is that one of the few things our government does well is provide its citizens with good, clean, cheap drinking water, right out of the faucet. Even though the labels on bottled water suggest they’re special with snow-capped mountains, polar bears, and glaciers set against just-that-perfect shade of blue, bottled water is no cleaner or healthier than tap water. Don’t believe us, check the fine print. According to this ABC news report,
Everest Water is not from Mount Everest. It’s from Corpus Christi, Texas. Glacier Clear Water is not from a glacier. It’s from tap water in Greeneville, Tennesee. One of Aquafina’s sources is the Detroit River.
Sounds delicious, right?
Our biggest fear is that when a waiter asks the bullshit question, “ma’am, would you like sparkling, still, or tap water” (without mentioning that sparkling water is $8, still water is $5, and tap is free, of course) you’ll always order either sparkling or still and that just pisses us off and makes us look like some d-bag who thought tap water was beneath him, when in fact, we would have ordered tap water even if the waiter had said that it gets poured down his back and luges over his ass crack before falling into our glasses. We would never choose to pay for water in a restaurant. Don’t make us.Tweet