Bottled Water: 1976

Born in 1973, I guess I knew what bottled milk was, but bottled water?…..  I’m still getting used to the idea.

In 1976, my brother, Steve, didn’t know what bottled water was either.  Since we came from a town with reliable tap water, why would the idea of bottling it cross our cave dwelling minds? Bottled water to Steve, and many others, was as inconceivable as a man landing on the moon.  He heard it had happened in 1969, but similar to others, Steve requested moon rocks to confirm it.  Bottled water was no exception.

My brother, Steve, was in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1976 Wrestling Olympic Trials.  As a former National Collegiate Wrestling Champion, he was qualified for the trials.  Clearly, his opponents would be formidable, but according to him, not quite as intimidating as the tap water in Cleveland.  While staying at a local Cleveland Sheridan, Steve, after a lengthy workout, tasted the water in his hotel room.  His description of the water was less than delightful.

“It was a milky substance tasting as though it had also ran through a 1927 garden hose.”

After a call to the front desk, Steve informed the clerk, with detail, something was wrong with the water, and other guests should be notified before drinking it.  The desk clerk’s response was simple.

“You didn’t drink any of that water, did you?”

“Well, Yes!”

“Sir, everyone knows they shouldn’t drink any of our water out of the tap.”

“Well, I’m not everyone!  What the hell am I supposed to drink?!!”

“Bottled water, Sir.”

“What the Hell is that?”

“It’s water in a bottle which has been distilled and packaged for consumption when common tap water is filled with human waste, as well as many other animal’s less than agreeable releases.”

“Ok.  Can you send some of that stuff up here?”

Steve never qualified for the Olympics, but he is still alive and drinking tap water.




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