I may be slow but I’m not stupid.

While driving to work this morning I was drinking from a plastic water bottle and I thought back to a time when water didn’t come in bottles.

It’s true. There was a time when drinking water didn’t come in a plastic bottle and there were no water stores as there are now in Southern California. Back then we had to get a glass from the cupboard and get a drink of water from the kitchen tap or take a slurp directly from the bathroom sink.

I know, right? Unthinkable.

But, wait I can top that.

Kids in the 50s, defying death.

When I was a kid we used to drink from the garden hose, no matter that it laid out in the open for any stray neighborhood dog or critter to lick or pee on. We were thirsty and didn’t want to go into the house and get a glass from the cupboard. We just turned on the hose and slurped.

A few years from now I’ll have to explain what a hose was.

When I worked at KFBK radio in Sacramento in the mid-1980s my partner, Bob Nathan, told me one day that he had just invested in a new company that would sell drinking water in plastic bottles.

A Las Vegas oxygen bar where people are having fun while paying to breathe. Notice, we blurred out their eyeballs so as not to compromise their privacy.

I laughed at him. He might as well have said he just spent his retirement savings on bottled air. It was nuts. Who would ever buy bottled water? Or, oxygen?

Bob retired from radio years ago. I’m still slaving for the man.

About that same time another friend opened a “tanning salon” filled with weird sci-fi looking tables where people paid good money to take off their clothes and lie down and bake their skin to a golden turkey-brown.

Mind you, this was in California, where the sun is always shining for free.

Yet another friend went into the firewood business. She cut down trees on her property, cut them into fireplace size chunks and started selling them in cords, half cords and packages at 7-11 stores that would sustain a campfire or an evening in front of the fireplace for six or ten bucks.

All of these things happened more than thirty years ago. I may be slow on the uptake but I’m not entirely stupid.

That bottled air thing is looking pretty good about now.


Author: Dave

Dave Williams is a radio news/talk personality originally from Sacramento, now living in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Carolann. They have two sons and grandsons living in L.A.

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