Scented candles, hydration bottles, couch pillows, air beds and puppy pads are just some of the things I’ve covered that have become insanely popular items, but that nobody apparently “needed” when I started my retail career at Mecca in 1998. So what miracle of bullshit marketing easily made it to the #1 spot on my list? It’s something you probably would have never even considered, because it’s so ubiquitous today that, like smartphones, you probably just assumed it’s been around for your entire life now….
And my #1 item that was no big deal in 1998, but that is a major consumer category today is……………
In 1998, the few sections of the beverage aisle not reserved for SODA housed those gallon jugs of water that went by such strange descriptions as “spring water,” “distilled water,” and the always funny sounding “Artesian water.” Bottled water as we know it today did exist, but in smaller packs and with a very small shelf capacity that held about as much bulk water packages as we’d sell in 20 minutes in 2021. When the Y2K scare hit, we were inundated with pallets of….. no, not Aquafina and Ice Mountain, which were hardly household names in 1999… but with many pallets of that water in a jug. The funny thing is, as odd as it seemed 22 years ago to have that much water on hand, that’s basically what we have to keep on hand of the packaged waters DAILY now to keep up with demand! So many people have fallen for the bottled water racket over the past two decades, that if it were taken away, most people would likely die of thirst in their own homes that had perfectly good running water…
And yes, it IS a racket to pay for something you can get for pennies from a tap….
Your tap won’t kill you, folks. Get off the plastic!!!
And now that we’ve had our share of minerals and chlorine for the day, let’s get on with Share Your World! Questions, as always, by Melanie…
Is there inherent order in nature or is it all chaos and chance?
This was asked recently, and I’m still on the side of chaos and chance. And my life’s had a lot of chaos and chance to prove that point in the past few months…
What is infinity?
SHADOW: More dumb earthling questions, I see. Allow a vastly intelligent Umbreon like myself to count to infinity for you slow witted humans…
I don’t think that will be necessary, Shadow….
SHADOW: One……. two….
No, please Shadow…
SHADOW: Three….. four….. five…
SHADOW: Six….. seven….
Alright, it’s secret weapon time…..
SHADOW: Eight…… nine……
MITZI: Like, hai Umby Wumby!
SHADOW: Ten….. must not let…….. Eleven……. my Pokeballs get……. Twelve……. overloaded….
MITZI: Is that, like, inifnity in your pocket or are you just totally happy to see ol’ Mitzi?
SHADOW: Thir………t……..eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen……. NOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo!!!!!!
MITZI: Mitzi, like, can totally take you to infinity and BEYOND!!!!!
Does observation alter an event?
I guess if Medusa is a witness. Nobody will be leaving the scene of the crime if she gets a good look at them….
Do you like balloons?
Who doesn’t? Even Buster likes them….
Yesterday Sunday was America’s Birthday, does your country celebrate a “Founder’s Day” or other traditions like that?
Let’s make this a post a ESN comic three-fer!
love the buster-loon! good revenge for geting $$5 for a bottle of water ;O)
And Buster probably got the water from the faucet anyway. At least his windfall bought him some nice gloves…
YES, YES and YES on the bottled water scam. “You can lead a human to water but you can’t make them drink unless it’s in a bottle”……well, maybe that’s not QUITE the saying but it applies. Thanks for the flashback ‘toons too. Love Buster’s “experience” with the glove!!!!
Nothing is more refreshing than the all natural taste of plastic! Although it appears Buster prefers the taste of latex…
Well we all know Buster has a number of “problems” !
Oh those bottled water plastic waste producing, “resource” my ass. I mean yes, I don’t drink tap water but I have a water filter and try to use a reusable bottle when I can. Ubiquitous indeed!
A filter makes more sense than buying case after case after case of bottled water. I end up with a pretty big pile of soda bottles every week, I can’t imagine how many water bottles the average family empties (or half empties) out in that time…
I use bottled water, my husband doesn’t. He thinks it stupid. But … our regular tap water stinks, and tastes horrible. I’d have to hold my nose and try not to throw up if I had to drink tap water.
We have some supposedly nasty tap water as well (I live in an industrial area), but it’s all I’ve drank since I was a kid… even the year we had the drought and it tasted like straight chlorine. I guess I can’t brag about it keeping me in good health anymore!
It is hard to remember a time when there wasn’t an entire aisle of bottled water. I’m amazed people buy enough to make bottling it worthwhile. I keep a couple of cases on hand in case of a contamination issue (when I was a teenager, a deer carcass somehow found its way into our water tower) but I can’t imagine drinking it all the time. Our water is so full of chlorine that filling the bathtub makes the house smell like an indoor pool. But I just filter it and try to not think about what might be floating around in the resevoir. Like dozens of Buster’s kin in various states of decay….
People will come in and buy 3 or 4 packs of like 35 bottles each! it’s insane! While all the focus last year was on the TP, the bottled water counter actually emptied out first when people thought the world was ending. I like the nasty water straight from the tap and keep a 3 gallon pitcher of it in the icebox…. not that it would last me long if Buster found his way into the water tower. But then I’d just drink soda!
I like your plan of drinking soda in any kind of water shortage emergency! I need to find a place to hide a stash of it. Or, just kick my freeloading kids out so they don’t guzzle it all down the day I buy it.
BTW, I’m embarrassed and ashamed that I spelled reservoir wrong in my prior comment. I used to be really good at spelling but then middle age happened to my brain. Lately I’ve been having trouble even remembering what things are called. It’s so embarrassing!
Thank you Bill for Sharing Your World! The bonuses for ‘us’ of course (us being those out in the trees watching the fun) are the ‘toons and the ‘unnecessary product of the week” segment. The thoughtfully presented answers are just more of the goodness to spread around! I guess most everyone does love a balloon, just don’t try that pulling it over your head thing at home…. poor Buster. But he was a lovely shade of blue at the end. I’m hoping you’re feeling much better, although it seems I’ve missed a few posts somewhere and worried a bit. Have a fabulous week!
Well, the unnecessary products of the week are done, so I don’t know what I’ll do for my intros now. If I wasn’t being cutesy, I might’ve related the story about how the bank used to give out un-blown up balloons to us kids every time my parents went through the drive thru. Lots of cheap fun for kids that had nothing better to do! You can’t even get a scrap of paper free from a bank today…
I’ve never fancied Artesian water. I heard the people in Artesia poo in it upstream.
There’s nothing quite like Mitzi to provide a distraction…
Don’t tell the Artesian water people that, or they’ll upcharge for the “chocolate flavoring.” Mitzi has a nice way of shutting annoying people (and critters) up….
Too many city water departments and the bureaucrats that run them can’t seem to deliver safe drinking water, people in the bottled water biz have over-marketed the stuff as the only way to go. I cringe every time I pick up a discarded bottle while walking the dogs. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised, people don’t pick up their dog’s poo either. 😬
Well, at the the poo has a chance of biodegrading sometime within the next million years. As for that unsafe drinking water…. bring it on! It tastes a heck of a lot better than that plastic tasting bottled crap…