Wednesday, April 05, 2006


So I'm driving home from the office the other night after one of those interminable late afternoon/early evening telephone conferences. The Tuesday one has become a bit of a joke with we attendees; I sit there miming the act of biting my own arm off at the shoulder. When we hit the button to terminate the connection to the teleconference I say 'man that feels good' whilst miming a man beating his head against a brick wall who has just stopped. You probably have to be there to picture it; it's not easy miming the end of an action :-)

Which isn't to say that we don't take the action items arising from the teleconference seriously; we do, but sometimes (read most of the time) the meeting is so mind numbingly boring that it makes the idea of inspecting the padding of a coffin from the inside seem attractive!

Anyway I'm driving home and the car radio's on. Though a music fan I don't listen to music radio when I drive; there's not much I dislike more than finding myself halfway through a symphony when I reach the destination. I should be so lucky that the classical music radio stations here (or anywhere else for that matter) should play a symphony during the drive hours. Nope, they stick to the classical music equivalent of 1960's bubblegum. Believe me, there is much music in the classical genre that deserves no better description!

That's not to say that, on it's own level, 1960's bubblegum should be despised. I was a big fan of it at the time and I still indulge occasionally. The Lemon Pipers[^] did a couple or three great tracks (50 Year Void, Through with you and Dead End Street/Half Light). I have both the albums listed on that link as a single CD purchased in 2000.

On comes an ad for Dasani water, which is a product of the Coca Cola Company. It's supposedly spring water in a plastic bottle. I first saw bottled drinking water in Northern California in February 1982 on a long supermarket shelf at Longs Drugs. I was amazed. Why on earth would anyone pay a buck for a bottle of drinking water? This was two decades before I tasted Phoenix tap water and let me tell you, 55 cents a gallon is a bargain by comparison! :-)

We have an icemaker in the fridge which seemed, at the time we bought it, the ultimate expression of American consumerism. You have to be a non American to appreciate the sweeping nature of that generalisation :-) Not one of us can stomach the ice cubes it produces; we disconnected it at least two years ago!

As ads go it was run of the mill; something to tickle the surface of the brain whilst cogitating on a programming problem and letting the subconscious process the days events. Something about a bear with the ability to speak English describing the taste of water and how Dasani doesn't have that muddy bottom of the river flavour. We've all heard similar advertising crap before!

And then came the information that Dasani now comes in three (count em, 3) flavours. Lemon, Raspberry and plain ol' water flavour! That got my attention! Say what???

In a little over a century we've gone from unflavoured water to flavoured water to carbonated flavoured water to still water and now we're back to flavoured still water with a minor detour into carbonated unflavoured water which is still very much a niche market.

There's progress for you!

I won't be a bit surprised to see, if I make it to 90, an advertising campaign that reintroduces bubbles in water!

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