This was brought to my attention when one of the people in the area that I was walking asked me if the water at work was safe to drink. I checked with Pink Shirt Guy to see what this was all about, and learned that Phoenix is having some issues with water, and stuff might start growing in the slightly grungy tapwater. I hadn't known that there were tapwater problems until I got to work, and the fact that I hadn't known disturbed me more than the thought that I could catch some dread disease from brushing my teeth if nasty little buggies take advantage of the extra dirt. (I drink Phoenix tapwater; it's not really something I'm afraid of, because I have the sort of immune system that can take certain things, and there are things that you have to do to maintain this.) What if it had been something more crucial that I'd missed? What if I'd been ill already, or elderly, or young, or had someone like that in the household?
The water was a theme at work. The same guy kept asking questions about the water that I wasn't able to answer, so I was running back and forth to the Pink Shirt Guy about it. There was a sign on the coffee machine in the supervisors' break room; evidently that uses tap water. The specifically-for-drinking water in the workplace is industrially filtered, and therefore safe.
After the shift ended, Pink Shirt Guy had looked up some of the possible things that might start growing in the water. He started listing off a few, and since he didn't remember all of them, he started adding in preposterous things, culminating in something that may have involved monkey butts or aardvarks. "Giardia?" I asked, from off where I was fishing random paper clips out of the plastic pockets in the interviewing booths.
"Probably," he said from where he was sitting behind his desk in the administrative area at the center of the room.
"Also known as Beaver Fever," I added for good measure.
"I'd be ashamed to go to the doctor and say I had Beaver Fever," he observed.
"It would probably make it worse if I were to say, 'get your mind out of the gutter, it's the kind of beaver that chews wood'," I smirked.
Since he'd been in the bullpen and I'd been off to one side of the room, out of direct line of sight, we'd been carrying out the conversation in theatre voices. (Not an inside voice by the elementary school definition, not an outside voice, but meant to carry over a furnished room.) Everyone else demonstrated that they'd been listening by stopping the side conversations and making appropriate noises.
"I was referring to the rhyming aspect of the disease," the Pink Shirt Guy said with amazing dignity under the circumstances. Yeah. Rhyming. Yeah.
After I got home, I wound up setting up and subscribing to indymedia_azphx and indymedia_az. The signal-to-noise ratio is probably going to be skewed towards the noise vs. a Large Corporate Media Feed, but that was the most interesting, reliable, and local source of news I could think of. Relevance is everything.