I got this photo from Tom and Lisa when they were in Paris with my granddaughters. During a bike ride, they stopped to fill their water bottles with E’au de Paris. O-de-Paree: the name glides nicely off the tongue. But E’au de Paris is not just a euphemism for the city’s tap water or a new line of fragrances from Paris Hilton. Six fountains distribute free, fresh sparkling water in the capital, using a temperature-controlled carbonation system.
So why do the French want Perrier-like water gushing from their fountains? It’s an environmental thing. Each Frenchmen drink 40 gallons of sparkling water annually, which produces an enormous amount of plastic bottles. This is an attempt to curb the waste.
Well, bravo to the Parisians! Having come up with free bubbly to slake the public thirst and save the planet, they might earn redemption for having invented the ultimate throat quencher—the guillotine.
A Sip of Memories
This being an election year, I’m reminded of the time in the 70s when my daughter, Robin, ran for student council president on a platform to put root beer in the school’s water fountains. That bit of nonsense was enough to eke out her first electoral victory in the hotly contested junior high school run off.
I mention this as a tip to those running for Mayor next year in St. Louis. Possibly one of the candidates will be bold enough to offer sparkling water in the fountains of Forest Park. What a treat that would be! And the campaign slogans are endless: Bumper stickers reading: “Feel the Fizz.” Visored caps that say: “Make the Park Bubble Again.” Or buttons touting: “We Sparkle Stronger Together.” (You might strike that last one.)
The Mississippi River provides us with some of the best purified drinking water found anywhere, which, when pumped with CO2 could bring fresh fizz to Forest Park fountains. Go for it, candidates.