I'm calling it "water". That's right: It's not just for flushing dead goldfish and washing cars anymore. Apparently, you can actually drink the stuff. Yeah, I'm amazed, too! Who knew?
Since I've pretty much given up soft drinks and other caffeinated beverages this year, I've been searching for replacement liquids to quench my thirst -- decaffeinated teas and coffees, chocolate milk, margaritas, Quaker State, anything. But now I've stumbled upon this water thing, and -- get this -- it's absolutely free!
Well, it's free in most restaurants. If you get it out of a plastic bottle, it costs about the same as a diet soft drink, and since saving a buck or two was one of the reasons for kicking my caffeine addiction once and for all, I'm not willing to pay for water.
And, yes, I'm an addict, a caffeine addict. I guess as far as addictions go, it could be worse. I suspect kicking this is going to be easier than that time I gave up meth. Wait, no, that was math I gave up. I gave it up in eighth grade. I wouldn't know a quadratic equation now if it bit me in the backyard.
The newspaper business got me hooked on caffeine because I never had normal hours back when I was a full-time journalist. When you have day shift following a night shift, caffeine is a necessity. And when you're a sportswriter covering a football game that ends at 10:45 p.m. and your deadline is 11 p.m., you need every boost you can get.
Ultimately, it's my fault that I got hooked and my responsibility to get unhooked. But it's not easy. Supposedly, massive headaches are common, but I've just had a mild throbbing pain just like I get whenever I try to think. That's why I do it so rarely. Another potential side effect is irrational irritability, and I've been fortunate to avoid that, as well.
Sorry, my Pet Rock was getting a lit
tle out of control.
Anyway, this water stuff is available in all sorts of places. The kitchen sink. The refrigerator door. Fountains at the park. Grandma's water hose. Minnesota. And if you don't like the taste or non-taste of water, you can add little flavor packets to a bottle or glass of water. I now keep a stash of my favorite flavors -- lemon, orange and opossum -- in my office so that I can keep that water flowing through me all day long.
I must say that the water intake has done my body good. I've shed enough fat to make a whole new governor of New Jersey, and my skin is glowing although that could have something to do with that new Oil of Chernobyl lotion I'm using.
Wait! What's this? I put my water in the freezer overnight to keep it cool and it has hardened into a very cold solid substance that I bet I could use to make other glasses of water even colder. Eureka! I bet if I set some water in individual compartments in the freezer, they also might turn into this substance. Might even be good if I threw it into a blender with my margaritas.
That just might be the frozen concoction that helps me hang on.
-- Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent whose "Best of Chris Johnson" is now available from Amazon's Kindle Store. Follow him at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting.