Friday, April 15, 2016

Box o' water.

Seen in the supermarket, and purchased:


Because when I saw it I was immediately reminded of Robert Benchley's classic essay, "Why We Laugh -- Or Do We?" in which he analyzes what was then said to be a popular joke:

A man who lived in a boarding house brought a horse home with him one night, led it upstairs, and shut it in the bathroom. The landlady, aroused by the commotion, protested, pointed to the broken balustrade, the torn stair carpet, and the obvious maladjustment of the whole thing, and asked the man, confidentially, just why he had seen fit to shut a horse in the common bathroom. To which the man replied, "In the morning, the boarders, one by one, will go into the bathroom, and will come rushing out, exclaiming, ‘There’s a horse in the bathroom!’ I want to be able to say, ‘Yes, I know.’"

What I wanted to do was slip this carton of water into the fridge and wait for Mrs. Key to say "There's a box of water in the fridge!" so I could say "Yes, I know."

Unfortunately she did not do that. She did say, "Is that a box of water in the fridge?" which does not lend itself to the answer "Yes, I know," thus ruining the joke. To make the situation even more dire, she had heard of the outfit, the name of which actually is Boxed Water Is Better. They claim (not without reason) that shipping their drinking water in cartons rather than plastic bottles is more environmentally friendly.

I had to judge it on two crucial criteria:

1) How did it taste?

2) How did the carton function?

And the answers:

1) Like water.

2) Poorly.

Really, from the start the carton affected the taste of the water, not by changing the flavor but by making me reluctant to drink it. The cap, a typical plastic cap as on many cardboard milk cartons, snapped open with no resistance at all; it bothered me that it seemed to have already been opened. I'm sure it hadn't been, but once your mind goes to that someone-peed-in-my-box-of-water place, it's hard to bring it back.

Would be tricky to pee into, in fairness.
And while I could mush the carton into a cup holder, it did not go all the way to the bottom, and in no way fit as well as the evil plastic bottle next to it.

I don't want to judge the product by the cap issue, as one cap does not a product make. And other cars may have more forgiving cup holders that can accommodate a square bottle, and at least it got in -- but if I spent a lot of time commuting in my car, it would actually be an issue.

So good luck, Boxed Water people. I'm willing to overlook my objections and applaud your motives. But as a setup for a joke, at least in my house, it sucked.

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