Ok, I’m gonna admit upfront that I’m being ridiculous. Novels are fiction, so there is absolutely no reason for this to annoy me as much as it does. But, as is often the case when you encounter something repeatedly, it simply does. What’s more, once it’s sneaks into your (or my) awareness you start to see it everywhere.
What is it that I’m seeing on the pages of so many books that I feel compelled to write a whole blog post to complain about it? Characters that get thirsty and then go to the fridge to grab a bottle of water.
I know, you’re probably confused. It’s such a small thing. But it has started to feel like every book I read lately, that’s set in any sort of contemporary setting—be it paranormal, urban fantasy, romance, comedy, etc—has at least one scene when someone grabs a bottle of water. But why bottled water?
Sure, plenty of real-world people drink bottled water; some might even keep it stocked in the fridge at all times. But I’d be willing to assert it’s far more common for thirsty people in their own home to drink water from a tap, a refrigerator filter or Brita or PUR type container. In other words, get a glass of water. How many of us really always drink bottled water at home?
I keep imagining these imaginary characters filling their imaginary land fills with billions of imaginary plastic bottles (or worse, their imaginary oceans). I want to run in and give them an imaginary Nalgene and scream, “It’s reusable.”
You see this on television too, but I’m willing to excuse it on set. I realise a sink would require plumbing, which most sets don’t have. Similarly, I suppose an author could argue that getting a glass of water, as opposed to a bottle, requires a character know where the glasses are and then to get one before filling it. It takes more words, more description, sure. But if that’s really the reason, it’s just plain laziness.
With some places banning the disposable plastic bottle, I’d like to see it go the way of the cigarette. Few newly written characters smoke. It’s just not cool anymore. Could we perhaps see fictional characters becoming environmentally aware and forgoing the Evian anytime soon? I sure would hope so.