The Magazine

Poland Springs Eternal

Water, water everywhere, and a cooler, too.

Jun 28, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 39 • By JOE QUEENAN
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The bill for the latest shipment is now a month old. It’s only about five bucks, because now I only pay for renting the cooler. But pretty soon I’m going to stop paying that. In short, I’m putting the ball in the water company’s court. It wasn’t my idea to start this relationship, and I shouldn’t be the one responsible for the emotional fallout from canceling a contract in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s. I was doing my best to help, but this just isn’t working. If the water company is okay with leaving the cooler here, I’ll give it back to them during Jeb Bush’s second administration, when I finally work my way through the seven gallons in the back room. 

Last week, a friend wondered aloud whether bottled water that’s been sitting around for more than a year might not eventually turn poisonous. My friend is an idiot when it comes to science—but so am I, so he might be on to something. Either way, I’m not touching that water. I don’t like water anymore. Now I’m afraid even to let people into my office for fear that they’ll spread rumors that I’m a survivalist. 

So in the end, my heroic attempts to jump-start this moribund economy have blown up in my face. I tried, I failed, and now I’m finished. This well has run dry.

Joe Queenan is the author, most recently, of Closing Time: A Memoir.

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