Today’s Sun-Herald has a piece entitled “Turning Water into Wine“, which reports that the prestigious Kable’s restaurant in Sydney’s Four Seasons hotel has launched its first “water menu”. Here you get a tantalising array of choices for how to flush your money away. My favourite is a 750mL bottle of Cloud Juice rainwater from King Island for a mere $20! At first I thought it must be a joke, straight out of an episode of Penn and Teller‘s take-no-prisoners, nonsense-busting series, Bullshit.
Of course, I should not really be surprised. Bottled water is big business these days. Elizabeth Royte, author of Bottlemania, estimates that globally it is a $60 billion dollar a year industry. It is safe to assume that the beneficiaries of this industry are even now concocting new ways to convince us all to pay ever more ludicrous sums for the privilege of imbibing a glass of humble H20.
Halfway through the Bullshit segment, Penn and Teller set-up a sting in a California restaurant. A water menu was created featuring bottled water with fancy names and fancier pedigrees. Patrons were assisted in their decision-making by “the world’s first water steward”. Despite the fact that all the bottles contained the same tap-water, dinner guests waxed lyrical about the delights of these exotic watery treats. I can imagine the same thing happening at Kable’s. Reality imitating satire!