My H2O

Breakfast was almost over and the morning news had morphed into an infomercial for a salt-free water softening system.  I had pretty much tuned out the actors who were doing the sales pitch as Bill, Mom and I munched the last of the sausage links and mopped up the final drops of egg yolk with English muffin remnants.

The man and woman in the ad droned on and on about how adding salt to water was very, very bad and how reverse osmosis was very, very wasteful and how their system was very, very good and perfect in every way.  Mom finally piped in.  “You know if you add salt to water to soften it, it tastes salty when you drink it.”

“And you know this because you’ve had a water softener at one time?” I asked.

“Well, no, but everyone says so,” she rationalized.

“We had one in our Boise house and it didn’t taste salty at all,” I said.  “By everyone, do you mean the two people on the TV?”

There was silence for a minute or two while the spokespeople explained how osmosis wastes 80% of the water as it is squeezed through its obviously poorly designed system.

“You know,” Mom said.  “Osmosis wastes a lot of water.”

“Why?  Because of what those people in the infomercial are saying?” I asked.

“Well, they seem to be experts,” she rationalized.

“Mom,” I sighed, “it’s a commercial for their water softening system.  Of course they’re going to say osmosis sucks.  This isn’t a scientific study.”

Well, I know that,” she huffed.  “It’s just that they know more about it than we do, so they must be right.”

“Oh sure, and when a conman calls from Nigeria to tell you you’ve won three million dollars in a raffle you never entered, he must be right too since he’s the raffle expert,” Bill commented.

“Well, probably not, smarty pants,” she said.  “They’re just scammers.  But if it was Publisher Clearing House, I’d believe them!”



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