Tapping Natural Resources for Fun and Profit

Waterboarding might be too lenient (if satisfyingly appropriate) a punishment for Craig Zucker, the founder of Tap'd. Tap'd is a company that rented a Brooklyn warehouse, opened up a water main in it, and started bottling the stuff, which it now peddles under the tongue-in-cheek brand name. Zucker has the gall to wax environmental, babbling to the LA Times about how eco-conscious the company is. And then everyone seems to agree. The packaging — even as the company warns consumers about falling prey to the clever marketing gimmicks of other bottled water companies — carries taglines such as "The anti-bottled-water bottled water" and "No glaciers were harmed making this water." It all really only raises one question: Has the whole world gone insane?

The manager of Irving Farm Coffee in Manhattan says the store sells about 100 bottles of Tap'd a week, and stopped carrying Poland Spring to peddle the local stuff. "It's a step in the right direction," she says. A step in which direction? Why not just, you know, turn the spigot on the tap in store and serve the same stuff you brew the coffee with? Wouldn't that be hurtling in the right direction? Maybe it's just an elaborate joke to show people how absurd bottled water is, but once people start buying it, the joke's on them.

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