Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Note: I realize I quoted a poem about an ancient mariner, death, curses, etc., but it seemed appropriate considering recent events in Boston where newspapers and news stations hail, “Don’t drink the water.”
Oh, Boston. Oh, glorious Boston. You have sucker-punched the populace, stanched the flow of coffee to our veins, broken our pipes and boiled our water. When will you be well again, Boston? Twenty-four to forty-eight hours, perhaps. Like the water, it remains unclear.
When headlines start focusing on the city’s want of coffee, it says something about the Boston culture; it highlights a Boston in need of caffeine fixes and constant buzz. The idea is readjustment, a quick change in livelihood due to a catastrophic event. This “water crisis” is simply a miniature representation of how our culture reacts to stress. We plunge into discomfort rather readily. We follow instructions; we do as we’re told. Crisis makes us listen. Our independence, if but a moment, fades in the communal worry surrounding potential sickness. Also, we finally gain a sense of respect for water. We cherish it as if it were gold. But when the faucets no longer drip with worry, water will again be used without restraint. All it takes is “the water is safe to drink” and it will be an end to caution and an end to the strange sense of community that once existed in shared dirtiness and a shared desire for a latte.
The Water Crisis presents: Inconvenient Activities for Alexa
- Teeth brushing
- Hand washing
- Bathing (forget the occasional bubble bath)
- Drinking from the tap
- Ordering soda from a restaurant
- Making coffee or tea or Kool-Aid
- Washing clothes
- Cleaning dishes
- Preparing ice
*It is time consuming to boil the water, wait for it to cool, then somehow get just enough out of the pot to clean the toothbrush without spilling all that hard-worked-for water into the sink. I just don’t have that kind of time in the morning.
staunch: steadfast or resolute
The defense’s case holds water.