“Wade in the Water…Just Don’t Drink the Stuff”

“Wade in the Water…Just Don’t Drink the Stuff”

We live by the water.

We essentially live because of the water, and I’m not saying that in an existential kind of everything statement like “our bodies are mostly water, as is our planet, and hence we live because of the water.”

Though scientifically that may be true to an extent, that’s not what I’m saying.

We “live” as in make our livings, or exist in the lifestyle that our occupation provides us as a direct correlation to the water that surrounds us.

I mean would anyone really come to the Boardwalk if it didn’t parallel the Atlantic Ocean?  Do you think that Thrasher’s fries would taste nearly as good if you got them at the food court in a mall near Dundalk?  Are realtors of properties that offer a water view any more skilled at the act of real estate (did you notice that I didn’t say art) than those that peddle houses in landlocked areas; even though it’s obvious that people would prefer a view of tranquil water to that of let’s say, a water tower so real estate is priced accordingly, as is the commission checks earned by beach realtors.

We attribute the success that we have to hard work and personal sacrifice and many other types of things that we are cataloging for when the biographers come a knocking to write the stories of our lives.  Yet, I feel like we leave out parts of the story, such as being in the right place at the right time, or more importantly just being in the right place.

I’m sure if Fager’s Island was a restaurant in, let’s say Bangor, Maine, it may not be the hot spot that it is here.  Frostbite would put a damper on the good times offered at the deck party and the 1812 overture would more than likely be a funeral march for those who decided to watch the sunset outside.

I think that you catch my “snow” drift here.

It’s like this game that I like to play from time to time called “Could it Really”—all you do is walk into an area eatery, watering hole, bistro or what have you, and try to determine if the business would be a success if it didn’t have the mailing address of “Ocean City, Md. 21842.”

It’s like the “people game” but with an actual business so you don’t feel as much like a jerk for being critical because the only person that you are actually judging is the owner, who is probably rich anyway and could care less what you have to say.

So it’s all in good fun. Play it some time, email me with your results.

So anyway, we make our money off of people who crave to be near the water.  We drink the water (usually first thing in the morning to combat cotton mouth and just before bed to fight dehydration), and we play in the water, whether we are frolicking in the knee-deep surf, or doing a spot of fishing from our mini-yachts.

Yet, other than paranoid mothers of young children, older folks with nothing better to do, and perhaps the usually suspected tree hugging hippies, I wonder if anyone worries about what is IN the water that we consume, depend on, and are surrounded by.

The reason that I bring this up is that a recent study done by the Associated Press says that traces of drugs have been found in drinking water all over the country including its biggest cities and some scientists claim that it is much more widespread (which means that it could be in the drinking water of smaller cities and towns too).

AP reports that traces of drugs in water supply of over 41 million Americans.

I’m not just talking about Sudafed and No-Doze here either.

There are traces of pain meds, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and hormones in the water that we are drinking and no one is really sure what all this is doing to our bodies on a short term or long term scale because this is a new find.

So to dumb it down for those who I may have lost at Sudafed and No-Doze, we are all on drugs and though we can’t be sure what these drugs are doing to us, it’s probably safe to say that it’s in the “not that bloody favorable” category.

Hey we don’t know for sure if cell phones are going to give us brain cancer, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a good thing when I walk past my television while on the phone and the picture goes fuzzy for a moment because of the conflicting frequencies.

Not all municipalities test for prescription drug levels in the water, but up until this point, according to the AP, every single one of the ones that have, including the water supplies in New York and Philadelphia, have tested positive for traces of drugs in the water.

Drinking the water in Philly is apparently about as safe as drinking Mexican tap water as the study found traces of 56 different drugs in the city’s water supply.

New York in comparison found traces of 16.

So, the meds that the pharmaceutical companies are feeding us and making billions off of, are not 100% broken down by our systems, which causes waste, which goes into the sewage system, which flows into water treatment plants which can’t break them down either, and back into our normal drinking water.

If the treatment plants can cleanse our water of our own waste but can’t ultimately cleanse all the chemicals that are found in prescription drugs, isn’t that some sort of flashing neon sign that screams “Pills are bad for you?”

The drugs in the water aren’t just hurting us either.  It’s messing up our aquatic ecosystem as fish are not procreating as much and some of the females in certain genders are starting to get male parts too.  So if you needed yet another sign that pills might do bad things to us there you go: they give girl fish “man bits.”

Granted, I’m sure that Paxil encrusted Hermaphrodite Rockfish is one of the dishes that are sure to be added to the menus of all the hippest eateries in the country for 2008, but for those of us that like to catch our fish rather than having them heave themselves onboard because they are battling depression, we realize that what’s in the water might just takes the sport out fishing and there’s nothing good about that.

Maybe if karma is a real entity, the fortunes that are made by big businessmen by blatantly f-ing up our environments and local ecosystems will pay for these businessmen to literally get a taste of their own medicine when they order fish in a restaurant.

If it tastes funny, they’ll be reaching for their water to wash it all down, but that’s dirty too.

In conclusion, I just want to thank “big business” yet again for being the dirtiest of all scumbags, and I mean that in the most existential way.