The Los Angeles Times points out that a lot of idiots in New York are paying $1.50 a bottle for city tap water. To our surprise, there is no law against Craig Zucker — who started his flim-flam career selling $1 golf shots with a million-dollar prize for a hole in one — bottling local water as “Tap’d NY” and re-selling it.
Zucker claims that he filters the water before bottling, so it will be less poisonous than the free water with which generations of citizens were hydrated before the world went mad, but other than that there’s no advantage to his product except convenience. The company does encourage buyers to refill their Tap’d bottles from public sources, which is like liquor companies telling us to drink responsibly. People like author Elizabeth Royte have been trying to get New York to reduce bottled water use by installing more public drinking fountains, but the whole air-and-water-should-be-free thing is kind of out of date, and we doubt the cash-strapped city will spend money to discourage consumerism.
There are only two things that can arrest this mortifying fad: common sense — which left us some time ago — and the New Depression, which will probably revive the use of public fountains, and re-accustom citizens to tap water when it is served at soup kitchens.