2018-01-31 / Editorials

Remember when water was simple

Other Voices
Mitch Clarke

(Editor’s Note: This column is reprinted from the Feb. 22, 2017, edition of the Early County News.) Even though I do it from time to time, I still have a problem paying for bottled water.

I have a perfectly good faucet in my kitchen, and if I turn the right lever, I can get a cool, glass of water. I know that it’s not completely free. But it costs pennies compared to the buck and a half it costs to buy a bottle of water at the 7- Eleven.

“But Mitch,” my friends say, “bottled water is so much better for you.”


Study and study, analysis and analysis, has shown the bottled water isn’t any different than good ol’ kitchen faucet water.

“But bottled water is more convenient,” they counter.

OK, I’ll give you that. The convenience is why I sometimes buy bottled water. It’s my job to fill a couple of coolers with drinks for our Georgia football tailgating activities. There’s some beer in there, some Coca-Colas and a lot of bottled water.

Have you been on the water aisle of the grocery story lately? It’s enormous. There must be 20 different brands represented at my Kroger alone.

Water used to be simple. There was well water. You dug a hole on your property until you hit water. And then there was good ol’ tap water. The city would run pipes to your house, and anytime you turned a faucet, water came flowing out.

I can also remember a time when you could drink water out of a creek. There was a creek in my neighborhood growing up. The water from the creek flowed into the lake which was behind our house.

Some days, we’d get really hot playing, so we’d go over to the creek, get down on our belly, stick our mouth to the water and drank.

But the best way to get a drink of cool, delicious water while you were out playing was to go to the backyard and turn on the water hose. You had to be careful, though. If the hose had been in the sunshine, the first water that came out of the hose would be hot, and no one thinks hot water is delicious.

Of course today, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone drink creek water. You never know what chemicals or pesticides – or other nastiness – has seeped into the water. And some people think it’s dirty to drink out of a water hose.

A couple of years ago, I was at a friend’s house. The husband was finishing up some yard work, and the couple’s three year old picked up the water hose and started to drink some water.

“Don’t drink out of that hose,” the mother hollered. “That’s nasty.”

I thought – but didn’t say – heck, that’s the only way I drank water as a child.

Today, as part of my new nutrition plan, I’m drinking a lot of water. Mostly, it’s from my home tap. Occasionally, to spice it up, I squeeze a slice of lemon or lime into the water. But after a while, the water gets boring.

Chelsea, my trainer, suggested I buy sparkling water. It comes in cans in the same section of the grocery store and in a variety of flavors like cherry lime and apple-cranberry.

“It’s like soda to me,” she said.

Clearly, she’s never had a soft drink in her life. But I was looking for variety. I bought two eight-packs of something called “La Croix.” Cost me more than $10.

For that, I could have bought a water hose.

Mitch Clarke, a native of Blakely, is the editor of AccessWDUN. com in Gainesville. He can be contacted at mitch.clarke @gmail.com. Read previous columns at www.accesswdun.com/blog/mitch.

Return to top