Seth Brown | The pun also rises: Water you thinking?


If bread is the staff of life, water is the enchanted broadsword plus-2 of life. Water is way better, and absolutely essential to being alive. Not only do we need to consume it and use it, but we human beings are roughly 60 percent water, which means that if you turn on your faucet, what comes out is actually a more of an approximation of me than not.

That fact may not be the best way to start out a dating profile, but it is enough to convince most people to drink tea instead of water. Joke's on them, taking water and making it slightly more bitter only makes it a better approximation of me.

My point is, water is important. Whenever there's a problem involving water, it can seriously mess up your life.

For example, due to climate change and a rapidly disappearing reservoir, Chennai, India is suffering an extreme water shortage, with the city's 9 million residents now on meager water rations and worried about getting enough clean water.

Another example is that a couple weeks ago, my water heater broke.

While obviously the problems facing Chennai are much worse, I will admit that last week when I took a shower with ice-cold water, there was absolutely no part of my mind that was thinking about the misfortunes of Chennai. I generally sing in the shower, but this is the first time I can recall most of the lyrics being unprintable in a newspaper.

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People recommend cold showers for all sorts of things, from waking up to dealing with hangovers to cooling down. But it turns out there's a large difference between a cool shower and a cold shower. A cool shower with water below room temperature can be very refreshing after you've just power-walked up a large hill in the summer heat, which if you're me, results in a lot of wheezing and sweating like a soggy pile of bagpipes. (Which makes sense, because walking up that hill nearly kilt me.)

You get in the shower, you feel refreshed, and you say, "Cool." Hence the name. An ice-cold shower, on the other hand, left me saying different four-letter words, as I crowded against the far wall trying to dodge the icy dispenser of death until I ducked briefly into the stream intentionally to attempt to cleanse myself while vulgarities fell from my lips like the torrent of glacial waters falling from above.

After that, I decided to just ask friends to shower at their place, or, failing that, to smell slightly worse than usual. But at least the cold water was able to get me clean. Not so for my dishes, especially the plastic containers which merely laughed at my pathetic attempts to remove their grease with cold water and soap. We took the opportunity to sample some of North Adams' many fine restaurants.

Still, I reminded myself that this was a minor problem. I may have had no hot water on tap, but I had drinkable water, unlike people in Flint, Michigan. It could certainly be worse. I could still turn on my tap and get drinkable water, which is important since according to the Internet, I'm pretty sure you're supposed to drink 68 cups per day.

All of this made me appreciate when my hot water was finally fixed last week, and I took random mid-day showers just because I could. "I appreciate you!", I yelled at the water coming out of my shower head.

Which I guess if you think about it, is 60 percent like me just talking to myself.

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor writer, the author of "From God To Verse," and is very glad to have hot water again. His website is


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