By: Aidan Collins

Out of all the existential questions I ask myself in the shower, none is more important than the following: how can I use more water? Water is indeed the universal solvent, so shouldn’t there be billions of universal applications where I can use water? Of course there are and that is exactly why my family and high school district entered a competition to see who could use as much water as possible in order to win a free pizza dinner and bragging rights.

As the determined, intelligent individual I am, I had to consider all ways of winning the competition, and, to this day, I remain the poster child of our water usage cause. It all started with pure ingenuity and meticulous planning. At exactly six in the morning, I would wake up and brush my teeth, leaving the tap on for the entire hygienic process. Don’t forget, I am not stupid, so I’d allow the shower to run as well. Before I hopped in the shower, I would flush the toilet eight times just to get the bacteria off the toilet bowl walls. During the two hour shower, I would play some Russian EDM and doodle over my shower walls with erasable Crayola bath markers. Let’s not forget about my creative side, trust me, I’ll be the next Claude Monet. Before I head to school around eight, I always turn on all the outside faucets and leave the kitchen sink running. My father always dreamt of living on the beach, so the running water beautifully mimics the sound of the ocean water. A win-win right?

Now school is where the action really starts. 1600 bright young students all fueled by the potential taste of pizza. At the beginning of senior year, I had heard stories of students sneaking into the high school pool at midnight to syphon all the water into the drain. Absolutely brilliant I thought; however, how was I going to compete with 600,000 gallons of pool water? Until one day, the idea hit me, or rather I hit the idea. I crashed my car into all nine fire hydrants on campus. Absolutely glorious I tell you. I brought Italy’s Trevi Fountain to California. Although I had sacrificed my car, it was a small price to pay for the amount of fun we had that day at the newly constructed water park.

However, I was missing something; I needed to make a bigger name for myself. I reached out to several organizations and companies regarding my water usage ambitions, including You Can Trust Us, Craigslist, Tumblr, MovieStarPlanet, Realms of Minecraft, Absolutely Unsure, Depression Cooking, Social Security White Elephant, Openly Deceptive, Unbiased Opinion, and the Corrupt Cornell Clowns Treatment, better known as the C3T. Although I received more regards concerning my mental health—which was quite heartwarming since it is imperative to look out for one another during such tumultuous times—none were willing to participate. I was baffled, considering that I even used emojis and exclamation marks to come off as more friendly.

A couple replies did get under my skin, though. A resident from Flint, Michigan and Cape Town, South Africa had denounced my efforts as environmentally tone-deaf. I think I know the sound difference between gravel and sand, thank you very much. They stated that I was wasting an invaluable resource, committing a crime against humanity, and ignoring the disproportionate allocation of a basic human right. Are you kidding me? Is this a joke? If I recall correctly, Lake Michigan exists and so does the ocean surrounding Cape Town. Just drink and use those water sources, I replied. Anyways, there is plenty of water. For example, it rains plenty and if need be, we can always burn more greenhouse gases so that the glacier ice melts into water. If anything, we need to warm up the planet so that glaciers can contribute more water so that we can continue to enjoy water skiing, scuba diving, and swimming. I should stop combining dry ice with water in order to create foggy clouds, which protects us from the sun’s heat. The only crime being committed was their negligence and audacity to verbally harass a high school student who was changing the world for the better. I’m no superhero, but I know the Avengers would give me their highest honor. Maybe I’d be able to lift Thor’s hammer?

I knew the value of my cause: it was perfect, it was life changing, it was everything my neighbors needed to hear about. After school, I would go door-to-door, secretly turning on people’s outdoor faucets. Although people asked me if I was insane, insanity didn’t interest me. Using water interests me. People ask such superficial questions. Some neighbors even ran for the phone to call the cops. However, I was quicker. I would grab the phone, and tell them to not be shy. I simply wanted to talk about my water usage cause. Some agreed to join my cause, but only if I left their house and left their pets alone. It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission, as my therapist once told me; her crystals and essential oils were subpar.

As for my final grand attempt, I thought what better idea to pour buckets of dye into big water basins like at Raging Waters, Disney World, and SeaWorld. In order to get rid of the dye, the amusement parks would have to throw away the water and refill each basin back up. I poured electronic waste into rivers, threw garbage into oceans, and traveled on dozens of cruise ships just to deteriorate the quality of water. Like any positive feedback loop, dilution is the solution to pollution. Just add more water and the rivers and oceans are back to normal. My next step was to start selling explosives on Postmates and Uber Eats. Apparently, there wasn’t a huge demand to explode local dams, watersheds, and sewage systems. Unfortunately, my reign came to an end when the U.S. Navy caught me in the midst of exploding the Florida Keys.

I now see, from the light of my prison cell shower, that people truly don’t appreciate the savory, magnificent taste of a Domino’s Pizza. I find myself repeating in the dark hours of night: what would you do for a Klondike Bar? What was wrong about using so much water if there is plenty to go around? If the Kool-Aid man can bust down walls to serve beverages, I can sneak into your garage and smash open the water heater. Oh well, at least I have the prison showers to turn on, although Crayola markers are prohibited. We will see about that. Up up and away I go.