I love cucumber fruit water!

November 15, 2019

I must admit that guzzling water is one of my favorite things to do. I stop at every water fountain I pass, and I do not take tentative sips. When I was a kid, I would heft my undeveloped body onto countertops and dip my head under faucets. I drain water bottles. I wish I owned one of those hydro-backpacks with a water sack and straw attached to it.

Does all that make me sound like a gluttonous freak? So be it. I love drinking water. There is just something so indescribably pure and refreshing about drowning your gullet in crystalline liquid. It irritates me when people call water “tasteless.” Clean, fluoridated water tastes like angelic bliss. Regardless, unless the water is especially foul, its taste is not important. It is the experience of hydrating oneself, the subtle dopamine rush that comes with fulfilling of a basic animal necessity, which drives me to quench again and again.

All of that said, it should come as no surprise that my favorite feature of the dining halls is the fruit water. There is a lot of disparity in quality between the Sherman and Lower Usdan fruit water dispensers, but I’ll get to that near the end of this piece. As a concept alone, the fruit water embodies three all important aspects of an ideal water drinking experience: sustainability, transparency and coldness. Allow me to elaborate.

The fruit water is sustainable

No plastic bottles, paper cups or aluminum cans are necessary in the operation of the fruit water dispenser. All a dining hall goer needs is an empty glass and a yearning for delicious water. Given that diners can fill their cups at their own discretion, the fruit water should also be a wasteless form of water consumption. Realistically, most of that water is probably dumped down a drain.

The fruit water is transparent

If you have ever gotten your water from the Sherman soda fountains, you know exactly what I mean. It’s cloudy. While I am sure this cloudy fountain water is perfectly healthy, the tainted look of it throws the entire experience, and soda fountains are kind of gross in and of themselves. The liquid comes from the depths of an unseen machine that may or may not be cleaned never. There is probably all kinds of bacterial plaque buildup in those things.

The fruit water dispensers on the other hand are literally transparent vessels from which water enthusiasts can gaze upon their prize in all of its stagnant glory. Is it the same water that comes out of the sink? Probably, but the ability to survey it with my own eyeballs makes all the difference. It is also fun to watch the water level slowly drain as it pours into my glass.

The fruit water is cold

The fruit water carries with it all the pleasures of ice water without the annoying ice. In a strawless world, ice water sucks. It sloshes everywhere and makes your teeth cold. I feel deeply emasculated when the ice chunks tap against my philtrum during deep, glass tipping quaffs. The fruit water dispensers achieve the pleasantly chilled temperature of ice water while withholding the ice itself via a tap. The office “water bubbler” system is just an ideal way to distribute temperature controlled water.

The fruity taste of the water is a negligible feature. I enjoy the lemon water when I am in a spicy mood, but I generally ignore the blood orange. The melon/cantaloupe does nothing for me. Occasionally there will be strawberry flavored water, but I have found this to be very rare. My favorites are cucumber and mint. I find that these flavorings add a crisp, back-of-the-throat touch to the water that I quite enjoy. These flavours also don’t usually come with any pulp, which is a big bonus.

Unfortunately, the fruit water dispensers have their own problems. It is practically impossible to get a good amount of water in Sherman, as the taps only release water in a trickle. Some kind of gunk that nobody has bothered to clear out is blocking them. I have noticed a newer dispenser with a higher liquid throughput on occasion, but it isn’t employed consistently. The taps in Lower Usdan are pretty great by comparison, but they are a little out of the way. In past years, they could be found right next to the soda fountains, but they have been relocated to the vegan station (real water connoisseurs actually enjoy this change, as the vegan area is rarely crowded). I have also come to enjoy the apple cider tap that has been sitting next to the fruit water for the past month or so; hopefully that is a permanent feature.

Water is great. Water is life. It is my wish to convince as many folks as possible to drop the lame, sugar-infused, overcarbonated, hyper-corporate Coca Cola liquids and return to the beautiful simplicity of H2O. The fruit water dispensers are a great place to start! If you have a soda problem and are looking to reform yourself, the fruit infusion might be just the transition you need.

As an aside, Skyline is the worst dorm for two important reasons. Firstly, it is a tasteless architectural monstrosity designed to impress investors and prospective student tour groups that was built over the foundation of a really sick century-old castle. Secondly, its high tech water fountain design is horrible and obviously not meant for human consumption. Trust me, I have tried.

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