I used to love water, which is why I bought a house at Sunset Bay, along the north shore of Lake Erie. Back then, water was good. I swam in the lake and sailed on its surface. In the cold of winter, I fished through lake ice for perch. Until my knees went creaky, I paddled a canoe through the waters of Algonquin Park for five or six summers in a row.
I enjoyed water so much that just for fun, I would take two cubes of frozen water and make them float in a glass with Scotch. That was so much fun, sometimes I would do it twice.
But then came global warming and extreme weather, and water turned on me like it was coming through a hose held by riot police. The year 2013 has just been officially declared as the hottest 12 months in the history of the world. By mid-summer. the lake water was no longer cool and refreshing. By August, the water was too warm for me to swim in and the algae grew faster than ever, piling up on the beach and rotting. Every day, thousands of tons of ice fall into the ocean from the Arctic Ice Shield. That being the world’s air conditioner, the summer can only get more oppressively hot.
I was happy to feel the water cool down in the fall and then … then the Arctic Vortex hit like that iceberg that got in the way of the Titanic. It was like a cruel meteorologist, say Al Roker forced us all into a big meat freezer at gun point and didn’t let us out until April. It was always 20 something below zero and the wind was 50 and 60 miles-per-hour coming off the lake.
Suddenly, everything that used to be water became ice, including the pipe that runs from my outside cistern into the house. It froze and burst and froze again, so I didn’t have water for five months. Late spring, when the ground thawed, I was able to install a new and very expensive water pipe and heat line.
When I say I had no water, I exaggerate, because one day the float on my sump pump broke away and I had lots of water, 10 inches of ground water in my basement. The gas pilot light sits five inches off the floor so the furnace blew out as well. No water to drink or wash with, no heat, and then a skating rink in the basement.
My plumber came to my house at least 30 times during that period. One day he showed up when I hadn’t even called him. He said he was experiencing separation anxiety. The last time he was here, he told me his wife gave him an ultimatum: “It’s either me or that guy who hates water! Make up your mind!” He says he’s still thinking about it.
When it comes to the Great Lakes, scientists predict that if we don’t stop the wastage and the spillage, some day we will deplete the world’s largest supply of fresh water. I’m all for it. The sooner the better. I hate water.
There was so much ice on the lake, in March a fisherman the next bay over drove his ATV one mile out onto the lake and couldn’t find water. His ice fishing auger only went down three feet!
I thought frozen water was my mortal enemy until I watched the Toronto Maple Leafs trying to play hockey on it. Then I didn’t feel so bad. Those guys have reason to hate ice even more than I do!
I went to Portugal for a couple of weeks, where the weather was uncharacteristically cold and the waves off the Atlantic hammered the coastline and smashed walls that have been there for centuries. In the north, an American surfer set a world record by riding a 78-foot monster wave into the coast near Nazaré. A couple weeks later, a plumber from Devon, England broke that record by two feet. Water, it seemed, had followed me to Portugal and it was trying to kill me there too and make it look like an accident.
I turned on BBC News and the bottom half of England was under water. It rained for three weeks straight, the worst downpour on record since 1915. The Thames River overflowed and if you didn’t have water in your basement, it meant you lived in a second floor flat. Water, it seemed was trying to kill all of us, not just me.
The winds are stronger, the waves are higher, and because of global warming, the water in the oceans is rising. If you have not been to Key West, go now while it’s still there.
Trust me, water is out to get us. We need to replace it immediately with Kool-Aid or Diet Coke, something that’s not quite so sticky. Or, it may all be one big conspiracy engineered by the world’s industrial, military complex. All this has made me fearful and crazy, but just because I’m paranoid, it does not mean that water is not really out to get me.
From now on I plan to avoid all water – fresh, salt, distilled, whatever – except for those frozen cubes that pop to the top of scotch in a glass. That’s so much fun!
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