herald

Wednesday 16 August 2017

A flat fee for the water we use? Time to turn on all the taps then

We're being told that for the next nine months our water will be metered, but we'll be charged a flat fee.

Next year, in other words, someone is going to send each of us a piece of paper that says 'congratulations, you used enough water to float the Dublin-Holyhead car ferry, but we're only going to charge you for six showers and a toilet flush'.

Doesn't that kind of set a target for us to consume as much as humanly possible?

It'll be the water-use version of Christmas dinner - consequence-free consumption.

So just like when you're having your fourth plate of leftovers even though you stopped being hungry five hours ago, we'll all end up showering compulsively until metering kicks in mid next year.

We'll be a nation of prunes, all wrinkly and clean, with lawns lush from watering, cars sparkling and dogs with coats like Timotei commercials.

The kids will grow gills, the toilet will flow like a fountain, we'll wash saucepans in the bath.

All the while we'll leave taps running all night just to make sure they're ready when we arrive to brush our teeth.

Then, when they send us the bit of paper showing what we should have paid for all this we can go to the pub and play Top Trumps with each other.

Picture the scene.

Punter one: "You ran up an imaginary bill of €46,000 on daily baths?

Punter two: "That's nothing, I hit €57,000 by washing my entire house twice a day..." How long's a perch?

At first glance British prime minister David Cameron seems smart enough.

Clearly we shouldn't rely on first impressions, because this week he declared that children there should be taught in imperial measurements.

If he really believes this would be a good move for his country's children, then he shouldn't be allowed out in public unsupervised.

The metric system makes sense. A kilogram is the weight of a litre of water. A gram is 1,000th of a kilogram. Likewise, a millilitre is a litre divided by 1,000. A kilometer is 1,000 meters and a meter is 1,000 millimetres. It's simple. Clear. Regular.

Unlike the alternative. If we go right back to the source here's how imperial measurement started: "Three dry round grains of barley make an inch, 12 inches make a foot, three feet make a yard, five yards and a half make a perch, and 40 perches in length and four in breadth make one acre."

Brilliant suggestion Mr Cameron. Going imperial will prepare your youth perfectly for the modern world.

They'll all now be able to answer the types of question employers ask of graduate engineers: "How may perches of fibre optic cable are needed to carry 4000 pints of data across 76 acres of city using cable one and 13/16th inches thick?" In case you're wondering, the correct answer is 9 furlongs.

Fat chance that's true

We always think propaganda is something spread to the unwitting citizens of foreign states, usually to turn them against 'evil' foreign powers (like the US).

Well, maybe - just maybe - we're sometimes victims of it too. Take Kim Jong-un (left), the happy little basketball fan that runs North Korea.

We know he has been out of the public eye for a month or so. That's a fact.

What may or may not be a fact is the report that the reason he's out of the public eye is he's become so fat, his ankles broke.

Yup. That's what they're saying. Kim Jong-un has put on so much weight that his legs gave way under the stress.

Really? Honestly? Are we meant to buy that?

Promoted articles

Entertainment News