And Not A Drop To Drink…

we need water!

The residents of Tampa, FL got a rather unpleasant surprise on Friday when the local squirrelsinnewswater treatment plant suffered a power outage that briefly shut off the flow of water to the entire city of nearly 500,000 for an hour.  Even when the power was restored, a 48 hour boil order was put into effect for everyone in the service area.  So why am I posting about this here?

Guess who the culprit is believed to be….

The usual suspect

The usual suspect

Here is the story from Tampa Bay Online (which will also be the source of all italicized quotes in this post) that someone on my message board made sure to bring to my attention.  Apparently an unknown rodent, believed to be a squirrel, chewed through a wire on a utility pole 25 feet in the air.  Definitely sounds like a squirrel to me… I know of two squirrels who sacrificed their lives in my backyard to ensure I spent a few hours without power before.  Of course, everyone is quick to blame the squirrel for this catastrophe, but let’s be sure to give equal time to the failings of the humans involved in this….

TECO crews were at work on the line when a switch at the water plant that should have helped absorb the sudden change in power failed, knocking the plant offline at about 1:30 p.m., Jacobs said.

It's your fault!  You left the door unlocked!

It’s your fault! You left the door unlocked!

Oops!  You’d think something that’s making sure half a million people continue to get clean drinking water would be tested more frequently to make sure it’s working.  The squirrel can’t help it, chewing on things is just his nature.  Once again, man has failed to outsmart the wily rodent!

Of course, people don’t like to boil water.  Hell, a lot of people these days don’t even like to drink the water when everything’s working fine and dandy.  Stores around the Tampa area were cleaned out of bottled water before you could save Evian (That’s “naive” spelled backwards).  Score another victory for the bottled water industry, who have people completely doped into thinking that any liquid that doesn’t come out of one of their sterile plastic containers will cause you to suffer a violent, traumatic, and slow death.  I’ve poked a stick at the bottled water obsession in the past.

Good to the last drop!

Good to the last drop!

I must be really weird, because I can’t stand the taste of bottled water, let alone tolerate spending the money on it.  According to my last water bill, I pay approximately $3.83 for 750 gallons of water from the faucet.  You would need to take out a loan to buy 750 gallons of bottled water.  Really, does anyone even bother to do the math here?  I don’t care if the water is chunky and smells like Rosanne Barr took a bath in it… that’s a damn bargain!  My town has notoriously nasty water, but I still drink it every day, and it hasn’t had any ill effects on me!

dragnet blueboy

Now all that lead paint I consumed, on the other hand…

Many restaurants in the area closed down, since without clean, running water, you can’t make fountain soda (aka liquid crack).  Hospitals were scrambling to find Perrier to clean out their dirty bedpans.  Perhaps most alarming, Tampa may have to do without overpriced coffee!!!

As a precaution, the Starbucks store on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa disconnected its large water reserve tanks from the city system. That tank has several hundred gallons and should last for some time with their drip-coffee system. Other drinks use high-temperature steam that would sterilize the process.

Though there’s no decision yet, Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing may have to interrupt its daily production, said spokesman Geiger Powell.

The brewing process starts by boiling water and grains, he said, and the entire process is sterile through bottling. But the question is what to do between production runs.

“The issue is when we need to clean the tanks,” he said. “If we can’t use the water, what then? In the meantime, we can’t clean out glasses or growlers, and for the whole weekend we’ll be using plastic cups in our tasting rooms.”

The water for this coffee was filtered through a pair of kidneys.

The water for this coffee was filtered for your protection through a pair of kidneys.

All is not lost for folks in the Bay area, however.  The Gasparilla Distance Classic’s two footraces will go on as scheduled with plenty of bottled water for the runners.  And most importantly, the boil order will not shut down the re-enactment of one of the most iconic moments of 1980’s theater….

The defining water-bucket moment in “Flashdance The Musical” will still splash the stage at the Straz Center through Sunday thanks to a 25 gallon reservoir that can be refilled with bottled water. In an iconic dance number, leading lady Emily Padgett leans back on a chair, pulls a chain and is drenched by a bucket of water.

“Water for ‘Flashdance’ is safe,” said Paul Bilyeu, director of public relations at The Straz Center.

Getting showered with pathogens and parasites.... oh, what a feeling!

Getting showered with pathogens and parasites…. oh, what a feeling!

Never has $50 worth of bottled water ever been put to better use…..

We can’t end this post without discussing the closing line of the article….

As for what kind of rodent caused the outage, TECO officials could not say.



About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
This entry was posted in Squirrels In The News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to And Not A Drop To Drink…

  1. pantherbutts says:

    uncanny commentary … as always.

  2. pishnguyen says:

    Admittedly a huge inconvenience for all the human types in that city … but I’ll hazard a guess that things didn’t go so well for the poor squirrel, either. So long as Flashdance can continue as planned, what more does anyone need? 😀

  3. paulheels says:

    Collecting rain water for the garden, using solar power to pump it. Told the wife at our next house we are gonna collect rain water for toilets. One day I hope to step up to all rainwater provided water.

    Don’t pick on Roseanne!

    Bottled water is a racket and ain’t worth a damn.

    Squirrels real the havoc of hell on transformers back in my hometown.

    This was way better than reading it in a newspaper!

    • Now there’s a great idea!


      That’s the truth!

      Yep, we get a lot of that in my neighborhood too. At least they haven’t made a transformer ‘splode before. The transformers in my old neighborhood were good at randomly blowing up for no good reason at all.

      Thanks! The news would be easier to take with a little warped humor added in….

  4. gentlestitches says:

    Ah yes you are a true hero ES. You shone a much needed light on the bottled water racket. All it needs is for a few smart squirrels to start saying “that emperor has no clothes!” In Australia we have a drive called “BYOB”or bring your own bottle. My utopia has clean water for all creatures to drink on every corner. Also those ‘toons were very entertaining and my ATTD enjoyed seeing the 2 pussycats “get a guernsey!” Could they be Odie and Biskit perchance? and perhaps the other one is the late heaven dwelling pussy cat?

    • You are correct on Ody and Biskit! The other cat is Merv, who belongs to the squirrely Beebs for whom that picture was originally drawn. Merv can be seen in all his glory posing with my squirrel girls here:

      • gentlestitches says:

        My son is a fan of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in wonderland and points out Merv has the same markings. Perhaps he is smiling on the inside?

Jabber Away...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s