New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rain of Terror

The Wicked Witch of the West is exactly my type of woman. She always carries an umbrella and dreads water.*

I grew up very rarely drinking water. This is so puzzling to many, but I have a hypothesis. My parents, growing up poor, saw water as the drink of those unable to afford milk. Of course, once we reached a certain age, we were told that milk was no longer needed for growth, leaving us with nothing to drink. See?

When dying of thirst, I do drink things like carbonated beverages or fruit juices. Excepting in restaurants, I can never bring myself to drink water, and if suggested, the prospect seems so distasteful and unsatisfying. Better just to avoid the entire dilemma - I often go most of the day without drinking.

I have one friend who has the same camel-like character. Our shared dislike of drinking water and ability to go long stretches without drinking has been a bond and great source of private jokes.

Today, a water bottle seems to be de rigueur for young people. It is a standard accoutrement - bags are manufactured with mesh holders for water bottles. Observe anyone under 30, and a water bottle is not too far away.

Any good thing is marketed to death. Water and even the concept of drinking itself are the targets of promotion. There are proponents of superhydration, where copious amounts of water are consumed in a day - a gallon or more. Inconceivable to me.

I don't care much for water getting on me either, and there's nothing like an umbrella as a weapon against precipitation. In the suburbs, where transport and shelter is never far away, umbrellas do not have the importance that they do in a city like New York, where walking the streets is the norm. I do like showers, swimming and the beach, but I really dislike getting wet when clothed. It is so obviously repellent to me that I have often been asked, "Do you think that you are going to melt?" To which I always reply, "yes."

So many questions I am asked about my aqueous dislikes. Things I would never have to explain to the Wicked Witch of the West, who shares my feelings about nature's Rain of Terror :)

*It is never clearly explained why the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz is killed by water being dumped on her. There is much speculation, but most who have investigated this question believe that the witch's dryness is what led her to melt when doused with water. The best hint seems to be a passage from the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

The Witch did not bleed where she was bitten, for she was so wicked that the blood in her had dried up many years before. 

Photo Note: This photo was taken at 50th Street and Lexington Avenue looking northeast.

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John Rice said...

Water is a good thing since we are mostly water. I live in Georgia close to Atlanta and we have water wars with the neighboring states. It seems that some of your prior posts with pictures of trash in the waters around the area might have a negative effect on the way you feel about water. I lived in Saranac Lake as a youth with my father in the Air Force. It was a beautiful place for a kid. We had water everywhere. It was clean and pure. I like water better than anything else that has to be sweetened and carbonated to drink. The effects of drinking those drinks over a lifetime can be harmful. Look at all the obesity in this country.
I won't continue with this and much more could be said.
I do want to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts and pictures of the big city. Its a pleasure to read about and see what goes on in a place so unlike anywhere else I've ever been. The cultural mix is so interesting.
Thanks for what you do.

time traveler said...

Hello Brian--I can't help but wonder, does this lack of water intake have any effect on kidney function or food digestion?? Speaking for myself-I drink water ALL the time and very often I will just grab a orange juice for a sort of treat..Very interesting post-but you certainly could do MUCH better than the Wicked Witch of the West..

Jimmy said...

Nice photo, sir. You perfectly caught the gloom outside of your umbrella perimeter. The weather here is the same today. But hey, after several weeks of 30+ temperatures, it's quite a nice change! Thanks for sharing

Just dial said...

For what falls from the skies for free, people freely fork over more than what Europe pays for gas. History will look back at this phenomon and laugh.

Brian Dubé said...

John Rice - Thanks. I do love water though and grew up in New England. We looked at plenty of water - my father was a fly fisherman and was passionate about lakes and streams. We just never drank the stuff :)

Brian Dubé said...

Time Traveler - I certainly do worry about not drinking enough, although I do eat a lot of fruit. My father died at 92, his mother at 99, both in very good health until the end. So it does not look like major hydration is a huge factor. I hope.

Brian Dubé said...

Jimmy - tx.

Mike - I could not agree more. NYC is renowned for its quality. Everyone drinks it in restaurants but still there is a huge trade here in bottled water. Such a waste.

Unknown said...

Interesting article. Bottled water may be worth a lot more should our drinking supply be contaminated in one way or another. My latest novel, Rain of Terror, is about man's response to a virus that is water borne. What happens when you can't drink the water? Nice photo too!