The Watergate Scandal

The sound of the bell rings through the air and the counter doors are raised. The ladies behind the counter grab their tongs, do some stretching and limber up somewhat. Every second Wednesday I report for duty, large coffee in hand. The first few shifts I did were done in complete panic. I mean, who takes a $50 note to school? Who can give correct change for such currency?

They start first in a trickle, and then the tidal wave comes. You look out the sea of school uniforms and cannot help but notice the testosterone being delivered to you in wafts, along with fluffy moustaches and the faint hint of body odour.

Welcome to the high school canteen! It is a snap shot of a generation who are going to be responsible for assessing us medically as we slide into old age, those who will get to sign the papers to put us into aged care. Those who will be spoon-feeding and wiping our asses. I have seen the future people, and it looks ok to me.

The boys range from teeny tiny, sneaky voiced muppets all the way through to real life human men who could be easily mistaken for being a part of the teaching staff. There is an obvious nod to the influence of Kim Kardashian when it comes to the female students, with their long, curtain like silky hair framing eyebrows that have been whipped into a perfect bushy shape, which is the fashion at the moment it seems.

You get the customers who are peaking far too early and the ones that you know are beginning to blossom into a card-carrying member of the decent human being race.

And then you get the surly year eight girl who gives you the hairy eyeball because you insist that she says please when she orders her hot cheese roll.

Oh the machinations of secondary school, where your social status can be flipped on one’s head, just because you wear an inferior brand of shoe.

Apart from all of that, I want to share with you a tale which indicates to me what is wrong with the entire world, and why something so simple becomes confusing due to the fact that the big cheeses in the cracker factories keep pumping out unnecessary items for us to consider including in our lives.

A boy, of about sixteen I guess, comes to my counter.

“Can I please have a water?”

And so it begins….

“Coconut or aloe?”

Looks at me puzzled…

“Carbonated or still?”

Shifts in his shoes…

“Flavoured? Sugar Free?”

“Large or small?”

It is here that he asks about the price difference.

“One dollar!” I tell him. He opts for the large.

“Can or bottle?” for our canteen now sells water in cans. It is a NEW LINE from the good people at Mount Franklin.

Ok so after a while we narrow the options down to a bottle of PUMP water.

“Would you like the original range or the new PUMP PLUS which has not calories but DOES HAVE natural electrolytes?”

He was not feeling the natural electrolytes vibe.

“Which flavour Pump Water? We have lime, berry, orange, lemon or plain.”

After our exchange, he handed me $3 and I gave him a bottle of plain water, large.

Now, thinking back to my own experience of high school canteen, there was no water that could be bought. That is because it wasn’t even a thing until the late 80’s and we scoffed at the idea. These days, in Australia alone, we spend $2 BILLION dollars on the stuff.

That confuses me enough, let alone trying to add different types of water into the mix.

And that is why we are all so stressed. We have too much to choose from.

When it comes to water, how do you drink it?

And did you know, according to the water industry, you are supposed to drink 2 litres a day?

No wonder those companies  are fucking loaded!