Don't drink the water and don’t breathe the air

Winter has certainly arrived across our Nation.  This week Colorful Colorado and the West is getting some much-needed snow on our mountains, which means there will be rain events further east and south. All much appreciated after last summer's drought.

I used to go snow skiing and really enjoyed it but always liked the Spring sunny days for doing so. Friends are sending me loads of pictures of people bundled up like a Babushka in Siberia, but I cannot tell if you are having fun or not as there is not one square inch of skin showing let alone a smile to indicate such. Brrrr.

Now while we can escape at least the worst of winter's chill by going to Texas, some people go even farther south and cross the border into Mexico going even as far south as Cancun to bask in their perpetual sunshine. Ever since ever, people have been warned about drinking the water in these foreign lands and country singer Brad Paisley does a take-off on that fact in a song. In this song his travel agent warns him to not drink the water down there to which Brad responds, “I told him that's OK I ain't going down To Mexico to drink the water anyway.”

This is the place in the song where the crowd whoops and hollers and takes another shot of tequila to support that same decision. This also leads to them later putting their face in a porcelain bowl where faces were never meant to be placed at all.

This newer song is kind of a repeat of an old song by Tom Lehrer way back in 1960 and he went just a step farther:

 If you visit American city,

You will find it very pretty.

Just two things of which you must beware:

Don't drink the water and don't breathe the air!

And people got a kick out of that too as there was a larger truth to it as the water and air pollution had gotten bad everywhere across even America back then that we all knew it was dangerous for our health. Thankfully the Clean Water Act came along and at least most of the worst seemed to be cleaned up but now it seems that there were some spots that lacked attention and fixing. Now Ol’ Dutch always knew there were some bad spots still in need of remediation or “fixing” as it were, but it appears that the pollution may be worse than we knew.

Of late, if you watch any television at all, we are reminded every 30 minutes or more often of some new findings about exposure to bad water or bad air at our jobs in the past. And of course, there is an attorney on every corner that wants to get us huge compensation for our exposure to such things.

Way, way back it was DDT although back then no one knew enough to sue the manufacturers for using this poisonous mix of chemicals. And we all were exposed as the cities would drag fog emitting machines down the streets in the evenings, hosing us all down to try and eradicate mosquitoes.

But that was all government issued fog and so I guess no one ever got compensated for that. But the new things they are finding have led to a huge round of lawsuits for exposure to such things as Roundup and other herbicides that have been applied like Ben-gay on my grandma’s arms before bedtime. Now there was some heavy exposure let me tell you what.

So, people were signed up and I guess the number of litigants started to fade a tad on herbicides so now we are being told of some bad water at Camp Lejeune. The military has never been known for really caring what their troops ate or drank so this comes as no real surprise to any of us.

And not to be out done, now it appears that all of us who slaved away in the railroad industry have been exposed to bad air in the way of asbestos. Go figure?

Of course, the answer to such things is to immediately call the number on the screen whereby you will be signed up for some cash settlement which will absolve the railroad from all liability and line the pockets of said ambulance chasing idiot at 40% of your settlement.

I am not sure really what to do about that if anything but the forms they want me to sign are scary enough and so I have decided at least from now on to just take that old advice and just not drink the water and not breathe the air.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at