Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The real skinny on water

I had a job interview today, and when I got there my voice apparently sounded a little hoarse to the receptionist. It was probably only anxiety on my part, but she seemed to be a sweet old lady, and asked if I’d like something to drink. “Just water, thank you,” I replied, and a few minutes later she handed me what appeared to be a juice box.

Without thinking, I took a swig. And time stood still. My eyes bulged at the effort of swallowing, while my throat demanded an immediate and quite forceful ejection of its contents, which it took almost superhuman efforts to override. Meanwhile, I could feel a warm viscosity seeming to coat my entire esophageal tract. Once I stopped sputtering and gagging, I read the label on my juice box. What had I just done to myself? I’d ingested some honey-consistency lemon-flavored thickened water, that’s what I’d done. It claims to have a true water taste that you’ll enjoy, but that’s only if you like your water roughly the consistency of nearly-gelled Jello, with a touch of lemon—which believe me, only adds to the thickness, somehow. I kept expecting to spit out pulp, or something…maybe an alien baby. Product is also available in nectar consistency, but what that means will have to remain a mystery; I’ll never be trying any.

Don’t think I’ll get the job, either. I couldn’t stop doing this involuntary shuddering and making little scraping movements with my teeth, trying to get my tongue from feeling as though its thickened water coating was permanent, a sensation I’m still trying to shake. Next time I’ll be sure to ask for the unflavored, water-consistency water.