Friday, October 26, 2012

#39: Athens' Water Sucks, it Really, Really Sucks!



Water is the lifeblood of all living creatures. A human can live for more than a month without sustenance in the form of burnable carbohydrates, but without water, most would perish within five days. Water is not only pertinent to survival, but experienced boozers say that pleasure on a grand scale is an unbeknownst phenomenon to those that have never woke up after a night of binge drinking and inhaled the loveliness of a beer bong filled with ice cold H2O. That is, unless, the water came straight from the faucet of any house within at twelve mile radius of the 45701 area code. Athens is home to many intricacies, but none are more loathed than the seemingly acidic rain that flows from the kitchen sink in every home.

Drunk, or Athens?

Athens: Athens is a small town; host to only a few thousand people between June and August, many of whom were born and raised here, and continue to call the majestic city home. Athens County is also one of the poorest counties in the state of Ohio.  According to the 2010 census, more than thirty percent of households in Athens County live below the poverty line. Why then should tax payer money go toward supplying the local college kids with tastier drinking water, especially considering the disrepair that those same students leave the sleepy mountain town in every spring? Athens’ “townies” are used to the water.  They have no problems with the disgusting liquid that flows from the spigot, and those that do have issue are smart enough to attach a Britta filter to their sink.

Drunk: College students are imperative to the survival of the city of Athens. It is a deep, dark secret that most don’t like to bring up, but it is a fact nonetheless. College students amassed at the gates of College Green demanding cleaner, fresher water would have a monumental impact on the local community’s decision making, but that hasn’t happened. Instead, Ohio University students are content waking up every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon, taking a long drag off of their kitchen tap and saying, “Mmmm, I love the fresh taste of liquid aluminum in the morning.” Only one reason can be attributed to the cavalier attitude toward the destruction of the building block of life: The only person more desperate for a luke-warm glass of water than the typical OU student was James Franco in “127 Hours.” The reason students long so dearly for refreshment? When the weekend starts on Wednesday night, mass amounts of the most pleasurable diuretics in southeastern Ohio flow down the gullets of more than fifty percent of the campus.

Verdict: OU students can complain all day about the disgusting water conditions that they face, but until they stop clamoring at the water fountains in Jeff Hall, seeking relief from a well-earned cotton mouth on Sunday morning, no relief is in sight. Which is exactly why this week’s “Drunk, or Athens?” is an obvious call: DRUNK?       

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