There’s a bucket in the shower.
And one in the kitchen.
Tomorrow there’ll probably be one in the lavatory.
It’s National Water Week.
Did you know that there is exactly the same amount of water in the world as there was a million years ago? And that if you go to the tap now and pour yourself a glass of the stuff, it will have been down the throats of dinosaurs, dodos, and dogs several hundred times before.
It will also have exited those same creatures in a variety of ways – all of them unsavoury and not fit for discussion.
And if we don’t start treating the damned stuff with more respect it won’t be long before we’re drinking each other’s, says my wife.
They already do it in London, she says, where the entire city’s water is recycled from lavatory to tap on a daily basis.
But they’re Poms, I tell her, and they keep coal in the bath, and they don’t count.
But we are Leading The Way, she says.
We are using the kitchen water to flush the lavatory and the shower water to water the garden. I don’t know yet what we’ll be using the lavatory water for, but if there’s any truth in the cyclical nature of life we’ll probably be showering in it.
More precisely, I am doing these things. My wife is the environmental Nazi, but I am the one with the strength to carry the bucket.
It does no good to tell her that Townsville is already doing the right thing; that we used 1.4 million litres less last financial year, even though there were more people connected to the supply.
It’s the principle, she says.
And the principle is that it’s National Water Week starting tomorrow and we have to Do Our Bit.
Never mind that we’re also in Bushcare Month, Accountancy Week, Downs Syndrome Awareness Week, World Mental Health Week, and National Nutrition Week; or that Carers Week, Candle Day, National Bird Week, Queensland Children’s Week, World Disarmament Week and United Nations Day are all about to happen.
We’re doing water.
Apparently the bush can go to hell and birds all over the nation can look after themselves — unless they’re short of water presumably, in which case we’ll be there with a bucket.
I am tired. I am tired of Causes and Doing Good. I intend to live my life being kind to children and old ladies and thinking warm thoughts about the human race when they give me cause.
The rest of the time I am going to snarl at causes. This does not mean I am going to chuck water around like… well… like water, I suppose.
I am going to be responsible with it all the time. I shall turn the tap off when I clean my teeth and I shall put the plug in the plughole when I wash up. But I refuse to feel guilty about water or anything else.
I mean… I can’t set an example on everything! There aren’t enough days in the week! You saw the list above, and I didn’t even mention the last couple of days, which included World Sight Day, International White Cane Day, World Food Day, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and the beginning of Ramadan, which, if you didn’t know, is a month of fasting.
Meanwhile I have to empty all the buckets. It’s so… depressing. Where’s Frivolous Use of Water Week? Or Pig out at the Pub Month?
Even the beer doesn’t look so attractive now I know most of it has been in (and out of) a dinosaur.
Come to think of it, it’s even the right colour.