Sunday, February 27, 2005

The True Genius of Bottled Streams

Out in the woods, we elk quenched our thirst from the cool, running stream waters. In this society place people have bottled the streams to take it with them. Initially, this seemed like a grand plan. People carry their bottles of water, large and small, everywhere, providing constant refreshment. What a time saver to not have to run to a stream whenever a tongue gets parched!

Eventually I discovered these bottles for sale, which I found alarming. Stream water was always free, and these portable streams cost more than other beverages. Perhaps the cost was to due the heavy labor of removing bugs and dirt from the water, though it never really bothered me back home.

I considered purchasing a bottle with the $2 I earned from posing with a tourist, but then I noticed something even more ingenious. According to a mall security guard I asked, it was called a water fountain. At the push of a button this fountain provided bug- and dirt-free water, for free! These fountains appeared to be everywhere.

So why do people pay for water? I scanned through an archive of microfiche on the subject and discovered that prior to the 1980s very few people paid to drink water from bottles (some may have put their own free water in bottles themselves). Perhaps there was a serious health advantage to this “special” expensive water. Yet, I noticed that there was a healthy population of octogenarians even in the 1970s. For that matter, even a hundred years ago people lived to ripe old ages. So apparently free water wasn’t a mass murderer.

It seems to me that bottling a stream isn’t genius at all. Convincing people to pay for it, now that’s brilliant.


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