When a box of bottled water samples from Mineral Wells arrived at the office this week, I claimed it immediately. I’m an unabashed snob who grimaces at tap water. At home I filter it through my PUR contraption before considering a drink. When I’m out and about it's the bottled variety, even when there's a fountain handy. I dig Smart Water (“the water with all the answers”), so why not give Crazy Water a try?
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Crazy Water is drawn from springs and wells in the town famous for hosting health-seeking starlets and magnates in the early part of the twentieth century and ghosts today (or so they said on a cable program). They--the real people, not the spooks--traveled to Mineral Wells for a taste of the stuff that supposedly cured an old woman of dementia sometime in the late 1800s...although technically, anybody living on the Texas frontier before the days of air conditioning was a little off. It comes in a few varieties: No. 2, which has the lowest mineral content and is billed as “fine table water,” No. 3, pulled from 360 feet below the ground and rich with bicarbonate, calcium, chloride, fluoride, magnesium, potassium, zinc and other minerals. The very stuff school nurses keep on hand, but in one package.
Then there’s Crazy Water No. 4, which is, well, unique. Described on the label as “full-bodied,” it boasts the highest mineral content and thus is billed as the most powerful health-inducing elixir. Yes, elixir: their web site recommends 8-16 ounces a day and testimonials include claims that it annihilated arthritis, acid reflux and kidney disease).
Here are the results of our office taste test for Crazy Water No. 4: Dave Faries: “It tastes just like my grandmother’s water, from a well. It’s redneck water in a bottle…“ He also detected all the complexities of clay. Merritt Martin: “It tastes like rocks.” Noah Bailey (swirling it around in his mouth like a Cabernet, then nodding): “I like it.” Michelle Mathews: “Salty. Metallic. Tastes like blood. You know, if you have a cut in your mouth?” Jesse Hughey: “Baking soda – I can tell because I drink lots of Alka Seltzer for my stomach…”
Then there’s Wilonsky, who is looking to leave Unfair Park to become Crazy Water’s new spokesman: “Oddly, I like the taste - salty! And whenever I feel kinda lousy, the stuff seems to make me feel a wee bit better. Placebo? Dunno. Regardless, I digs - the No. 4 too, the strong one. Everything else isn't quite right.” And, he adds, his kiddo is already an avid fan. So are these folks on youtube. --Megan Feldman