It appears that the CamelBak Advertising department reads my blog. Their new slogan is "hydrate or die." I noticed this on a Camelback worn by a fellow traveler this weekend at the airport and had a brief moment of panic.
First some background: I'm not a drinker. I just hate it. Why pour liquid into your belly when you could fill it up with something delicious like Hot Pockets or ginger snaps instead? Plus it's inconvenient to have to go running to the bathroom like a maniac multiple times a day. So I have declared my body a liquid free zone. Water is boring, bathrooms are gross, and I've evolved. I know 70% of the human body is supposedly made of water but my body has adapted to something more like 30 or 40% because I must only get a cup of water a day (those darn fruit are full of it!).
But the Camelbak mandate struck a long-forgotten chord. I had a conversation this weekend with a woman who told me that her husband had gone on a hike without proper hydration and his body had shut down on him. The water moved from inside his cells to his bloodstream to maintain the needed amount of blood. As dehydration continued, his body tissues began to dry out, and his cells shriveled and malfunctioned. She said it took her husband three years to get over it. So I was worried. Hydrate or Die might be more than a cute little catch phrase for Camelbak's Advertising Department. It might actually be true.
I've tried the hydration route a few times in my life, each time with devastating consequences. The highly embarrassing sound of water sloshing around in my belly, the discomfort of waiting indefinitely for the one-holer in a nasty gas station and the absolute horror when instead of being able to enjoy my $30 meal at a nice restaurant, I inadvertently fill up on water because of overattentive waiters and their relentless water pitchers. I hate the stuff. It plagues me with its huffy threats of dehydration and metabolic malfunctions. And yet the hypochondriac in me can't help but worry.
But it's no use. My water days are over and if Camelbak really means it, I guess I better just Die because there's no way I can go back to the liquid dependancy water demands of the rest of the world. I won't be intimidated by its claims of omnipotency, true though they may be. We've all got to go someday and I'm happier to die defending a principle rather than a random disease that springs up out of nowhere and kills indiscriminately. I should send a letter to Camelbak recommending a new slogan "Hydrate or Die a Pleasant, Comfortable, Dry Death." The latter sounds much nicer to me.