Category Archives: Radical Stories That More People Should Read

One Bucket of Ice

DSCN1548     I tried to do my day with on one bucket of ice. That is to say, I meant to use the amount of water in a bucket of ice for my whole day on account of hearing about the reported 13 millions gallons of water Californians have wasted due to the so-called “ice bucket challenge.”
I don’t know anything about the ice bucket challenge—what it’s purportedly raising awareness for, or whatever—I just think it’s all ridiculous what people will think about versus what they never will.
Thirteen is a lot of millions of gallons of water, especially in a state so dry. But I’d bet we [Americans] waste that much water to keep our kegs cool in parks every week. People don’t think about that. What’s worse, how many hundreds times 13 million gallons a day are being wasted fracking for gas. In some places in this country people can’t even drink water from their taps because it’s been poisoned for gas-extraction purposes. Why aren’t people tearing down Exxon billboards over that?
Some floozy got ice water poured over his shimmering pecs? Please.

These be monstrous times. But I strive to do my meager part, to at least not add more to the monstrosity. And so it goes that I found myself trying to use one bucket of water for the day.
What a ludicrous concept that is, eh?
It doesn’t really matter how big your bucket is, be it one gallon or ten, one’s success or failure in this endeavor is really more dependent on what their definition of ‘use’ is.
Let me explain.

I was brought from my silent slumber to the porcelain goblet by my urge to urinate. I did, and I didn’t flush. I didn’t want to blow my whole bucket so early, with just one flush. If I waited, my girlfriend would probably use and flush it later. It doesn’t count as my use of water if I don’t flush it, even if I pissed in it, right?
That’s how I played. I didn’t have much of a choice. I’d rather pee on a tree honestly, but I live in the city and people would complain. To be completely real, I live in a hood where there’s enough piss on the street as it is. So I urinate into a bowl of fresh water. But I’m not flushing, not this time.
A look in the mirror reveals that sleep has left me a tad stale. But I wont be showering today. Lucky for me, my girlfriend likes the way I smell, so I’m not too concerned.
I use precisely 3 drops of water to moisten my tooth brush, and when I’m done brushing, I use literally a handful of water for rinsing. I put maybe 10 drops of water through my beard, and while I’m combing it out, I notice a blemish. I spend about a minute forcing the puss-filled content of a pore to prematurely evacuate my face, and I reach for a tissue to wipe it away.
But I hesitate.
I hadn’t thought about the tissue. Although the kind I use is made of sustainably harvested bamboo & sugar cane husk, it certainly required X amount of water to produce mechanically.
Am I using the water if I use the tissue?
I consider this one deeply for a sec. I reason that I can only be held accountable for the amount of water that was used to produce the portion of tissue that I use. I tear off a half of one tissue and guess that amounts to an eighth cup of water. It’s not science at this point. I am probably underestimating.
By the time I leave the bathroom and make it to the kitchen I feel I have definitely done enough thinking to warrant a cup of coffee.
It’s a trap! But I realize too late.
The coffee beans have already grown. They’ve already been harvested, transported, sold, roasted, sold again, ground and moistened. The cups of water I personally poured into the coffee maker has already began to drip before I remember…
Each cup of coffee requires about 900 cups of water to produce.

It wasn’t necessarily me, who used all that water. But it was my will and desire that brought that coffee into my kitchen. There comes a time when a man must stand up and be accountable for all that he takes. This was my time.
So I’m well beyond 13 buckets, and I haven’t even started breakfast yet. At this rate it seems I’ll use 13 millions buckets of ice by this time tomorrow.