My musings on different political topics relevant to America today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Week without Water

So I just experienced what no American should ever have to experience: a week without water.  It was absolutely terrible, it was so terrible in fact I thought I would chronicle my journey for you.  It is a gut wrenching tale of water gallons and stinky, greasy bodies.  This is not for the faint of heart.  Do not read this if you cannot stomach the idea of perverse odors secreting from our toilets, or dirty dishes stacked sky high.  Only read this if you can stomach the atrocities i logged in the upcoming paragraphs.

I will always remember how it happened.  My brother and sister walked into the house.  Their faces expressed bewilderment.  I did not react in any particular fashion because they always acted this way.  However once I heard the vile words slip out of their mouths, the world collapsed around me.  They said, "water is gushing out of a pipe outside." That was our water supply! And it was broken! That meant only one thing, we would have to cut it off.  We would be stranded on a lonely island with little water, until some courageous lads could fix it.

Thus the week of horrors began.  We now had to buy gallons of water from the store to use for everything, from washing our hands, to showers, etc.  Going to the bathroom took on a much uglier countenance.  The 5 senses were offended every time one went to the restroom.  Refuse piled high in the toilet, and the only way to avoid the stench was to murder the scent with Febreze.  We had no choice but to leave the refuse, for the toilets could not flush.  Then while holding your breath you had to wash your hands.  However doing it by yourself was quite a chore, for you had to multitask between pouring water on your hands with a water bottle, to soaping up with a soap bar.  The worst part was rinsing off the soap suds afterward.  Then you had no choice but to grasp the water bottle with a soapy hand, forever leaving the bottle uncomfortable sudsy.  Nevertheless this whole process was much easier with two people.  Then, one simply poured water while the other washed.  It simulated a sink quite well.  I was quite happy.

Sort of what washing our hair looked like.
Showers were impossible.  They simply did not happen.  However you could wash your hair and face.  It took teamwork.  One poured water on your head while the other applied shampoo and thoroughly washed his head and face.  It was good fun dumping water on your partner's head and watching them yelp from the sharp cold sensation they felt when the cascading waterfall enveloped their head.  Then of course it was my turn.  Their heads were then avenged.

We would occasionally turn on the water, but only temporarily.  This would allow us to take showers and flush the vile refuse down the toilets.  Both of which we were eternally grateful.  Nevertheless there was a catch.  The showers could only be 5 minutes max.  Our dad said so.  I had never taken quicker showers in my life.  I literally applied shampoo and washed my body and rinsed off in two minutes.  They were not very enjoyable showers, but they were showers nonetheless.  

The odd thing about it all was as the week progressed, I became acutely aware of how much less water we were using as opposed to before.  Not only that, I realized how little water you actually need for most things.  When I had water I probably wasted endless amounts of water just washing my hair.  When we did not have running water, I used maybe half a gallon.  Every activity that required water, I noticed this.  I realized that I used way more water than I needed.  I realized that I easily could have used less.  Not only that, I realized that I waste a lot of water simply because I absentmindedly leave the sink on.  

In Texas we had a drought last summer.  If everyone had used the amount of water my family had used over the last week every week, there would have been no water shortage.  If was not even that hard to adjust honestly.  It would be great if we could flush the toilets regularly, but besides that it became easy to get along with less water rather quickly.  Indeed, I found it hard going back to using water willy nilly once we regained access to running water.  

I am not saying people should be water Nazis and judge everyone for using too much water (whatever "too much water" is anyway).  Rather, I am just saying that try to be a bit more conscious how you use water.  We use far more water than we need to in America.  I know how many of you feel.  You hate others telling you how to use your water.  I know I did.  I always asked, "Well we have plenty of water.  Who cares."  Often we do have plenty of water, however that does not make it any more okay to waste.  You might have plenty of food, but that does not mean you just throw away food whenever.  So why do we have that attitude with water?  One thinks twice before throwing away a jar of peanut butter, but we never think twice before throwing away a gallon of water.  We have been blessed with both, lets take neither for granted.

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