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Nasty Water And Dirty Words by Ray Printer Friendly

Every once in a while, Austin water starts tasting like shit. It’s because of algae in a river where the city gets its water from. You see stuff on the news about it, they keep saying it “has a grassy taste to it,” or that it “tastes a little like soil.”

That is all bullshit. I’ve eaten grass, and I’ve eaten dirt. To be honest with you, neither one of those things tasted exceptionally bad. The dirt was sort of a bitch because of all the little rocks in it, but it didn’t taste all that bad. Austin water right now, it tastes bad.

It smells like rotten vegetables and sewage. It smells like a stagnant pool of muddy water that has moss growing on the surface and a dead rat rotting just underneath. It tastes just like it smells.

Like I said, it’s bad.

Some people don’t notice. I am not one of those people. Last time this happened, we went out and bought a Brita water filter.

Oddly, the most profound effect this has had on me is that I’ve really cut back on my drinking since the water got all rank—my drinking of alcoholic beverages, as well as the drinking of regular water. If you know anything about me, you probably know that I drink my liquor straight, sometimes with a water chaser. If I’m at a bar, I’ll chase my shot with a beer. And if I’m feeling all piratey and shit, I’ll drink a big glass of rum with lime in it. That’s pretty much how I’ve been drinking booze since I was eleven—tried and true, baby.

But now that the water tastes like something I should be vomiting up the next morning instead of drinking the night before, it’s really screwed with my habits of imbibing.

Plus, my mom came to visit over the weekend, which also puts a damper on your drinking. Unless you enjoy being shitfaced around your mother, which I don't.

At the end of her trip, we were at the airport and my princess had to run back to get something out of the car. My mother and I were standing there talking, and she looked all guilty and said, “I don’t read your site.”

I looked around conspiringly, and said, “I know you don’t.”

My mother often compares the words I write to pornography. To my mother, porn is pretty much the worst thing there is in all of the world…possibly a little higher on the moral ladder than the senseless killing of infants, but below the senseless killing of anyone else.

My mom’s not a big fan, is what I’m saying. Which is fine, because half the shit I write, I would be horrified if my mom read it. Sometimes she feels to need to assert that it isn’t that she doubts my talent, it’s just that…well, that she’s ashamed.

Not of me, but of the things that I write. And I tell her that it’s all right, that I don’t expect her to read the things I write, and it’s all good. I always get a kick of how she words her shame, though. For instance, her shock and disapproval ended up being the tagline for the August, 2005 issue (you can read the anecdote if you scroll down to the first post of that month—I would link to it, but I feel like I’ve already done more than enough pointless linking tonight).

“I think you’re a good writer,” she assured me. “I love getting emails from you.”

“It’s okay, mom, I understand.”

She looked around the airport garage, making sure no one could overhear. “It’s just that…well, everything I’ve ever read on your website, I would never tell someone, ‘My son wrote that!’”

“Probably better that way.”

“You should write more nice stuff.”

“No I shouldn’t.”

“I always like your perspective.”

“Thanks, mom.”

And the reassurance talk was over for one more trip.

Anyways, I don’t remember what the point of all that was.

It’s raining like a mad bastard at the moment, which means that I’ll probably be losing either my internet connection or my electricity in a matter of moments, so I guess that whatever point I was trying to convey is now lost.

Chances are, it wasn’t important, so don’t any of you worry, okay?


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