A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

My Photo
Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, March 20, 2008

When in America, Don’t Drink the Water

Anne Marie and I have been struggling for many months now with constant fatigue. We thought we had pinpointed the problem to a variety of sources. It could be due to her insomnia, a symptom of menopause.

Or it could be due to our excessive weight. We believe we have a diet like most Americans – three square meals a day – but we seldom patronize the high fat, fast food establishments.

Or it could be due to my apnea. As for myself, I have just graduated from a CPAP to a BIPAP machine to help me get a better night’s sleep. So far I’ve noticed a little difference, but there are many days that I feel tired most of the time.

Now a new study has given us a new probable cause for our exhaustion: our drinking water. The study found a variety of substances normally found in prescription drugs in the nation’s water supply. Terrific! We don’t smoke, we drink occasionally, but it turns out we’re getting stoned from the stuff coming out of our kitchen tap.

Some of the drugs cited in the study include prescription and non-prescription drugs that found their way into our water systems either through human urine or just from consumers throwing them down the drain. The anti-depressant Prozac was among 82 pharmaceutical products found by the scientists conducting the study. This conclusion opens up a whole new set of issues. For example, will we need a doctor’s order just to turn on our faucets? Who in hell is going to enforce that? DEA? Homeland Security? The Culligan Man?

What do we tell our visitors to this country? As international travelers, Americans have been told to avoid drinking the water found in our destinations due to the possibility of picking up strange diseases to which we are not immune. Well, finally, America has joined the ranks of the older, more established societies in the world because we too now have shitty drinking water. This could also be another argument for the anti-immigration forces. Oh yeah, we may have better opportunities here, but now our water is just as bad as the water in your home country. You may want to think twice about crossing our borders, but if you do decide to come here, then BYOB.

Another study examined the quality of water being used by American troops in Iraq. The water used mainly for laundry and hygiene – but not necessarily for drinking - was found to be “discolored” and odorous. The water may have produced a variety of illnesses from skin infections to diarrhea. The study cited the contractor in charge of supplying the water with the problem. The contractor, KRB Inc. (yes, the subsidiary of Haliburton, which VP Dick Cheney used to head) has denied that its water is tainted. Imagine, our fighting men and women are putting their lives on the line in foreign lands and they get the same water quality that the people back home are getting. At least there is some sort of parity at play here.

One solution is to stop doing studies. I realize studies have the purpose to find a solution to an identified problem, but did we really need to know this? Now I can see why the Bush Administration has disavowed the discipline of science for seven years: studies are full of bad news! This is very disturbing, so disturbing that I think I need a drink to calm my nerves. I could fix something at my bar, but on second thought I think I’ll just have a glass of tap water.


Post a Comment

<< Home