I wonder if there is such a word as "wower". If not there should be. You know, like, "Wow, look at that!" Whatever "that" is would be a "wower". Well, we recently had a genuine wower.

Where we live is near the vast Pacific Ocean and often look out to see water as far as the eye reaches. Ironically, on land, water without the salt is in short supply and we need to be really miserly when it comes to water usage. The water company provides us with incentives to do so by increasing the per unit cost as the amount used increases. Our monthly water bill usually hovers around 20 US Dollars, which is about 14.7 Euros or 27.3 New Zealand dollars or 2400.91 Japanese yen.

We don't consider this too bad unless we were paying in Japanese yen, which would involve a lot of counting. However we did get a bit of a jolt when we opened last month's bill. The total for the month of April was 408.92 US Dollars, which is about 300.63 Euros or 554.43 New Zealand dollars or 49,090.44 Japanese yen!

I suppose we should be grateful we don't live in Japan but on the other hand, if we lived in Great Britain we would only need to pay 205.12 British pounds.

So, you may wonder how we got to use that much metered water in one month. That puzzled us too and we were about to run a test to see if there was leakage some place when we remembered an obscure event. Our house has an artist's studio attached to the garage. It has a small bathroom. We don't use it often but last month someone used the bathroom. We had forgotten it has one of those "Jiggle the handle to stop the water" features and the water ran there for a few days. That put our water usage up to 30,000 gallons or 113,562.35 liters for that one month. That's a helluva lot of water. $408.92 worth to be exact.

Since we don't want to move just to find a better currency system we have decided to stay here and in the future we will try to remember to "Jiggle the handle."

An expensive education indeed. Wow!

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
May 7, 2007

PS.I just checked the dictionary and found the definition of "wow" to be "Used to express wonder, amazement, or great pleasure." I want it clearly understood that my "wow" only expressed "wonder and amazement" and in no way should be interpreted to mean anything near "great pleasure".