I’m not exactly sure why this bothers me so much, but it does. So, I’m leaving it here in the hopes of helping myself feel better…?
Here in the developing nation of Guatemala, in which I live, we are subject to…er, I mean, graciously provided with global “news” coverage from basically two sources: CNN and Fox “News”. Often, as a form of entertainment, when there are no reruns of Seinfeld to watch and we can take no more of the non-stop episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, my husband and I will turn to Fox “News”… just for the fun of it. They always have these special segments called “Fox News Extras” … “And now here’s something our international customers might find interesting”…running between the “actual” stories. These are canned spots that they play over and over, presumably because they think their international customers are no brighter than their domestic ones. One such fascinating story that has been cycling through lately is about on-demand water heaters. The dude telling his tale goes on and on about how amazing these new-fangled, fancy mechanisms are because they are efficient and green and can still do the job of providing Americans with the high-quality hot water they deserve!! This space-age technology is apparently able to heat water instantly as it gets pulled from the pipes through this little box that just hangs there on the wall! There’s no huge tank sitting around to keep water heated at all times of the day and night! He goes on to say how traditional water heaters are so inefficient because they use either gas or electricity around-the-clock to keep the water hot so it’s ready when someone turns on the tap (just in case you weren’t already aware of that fact). But, now, with this amazing new technology, you don’t need that anymore…yada yada yada… aren’t Americans so wonderfully ingenious and still saving the planet?!?!…
The irony of it is this…here in the “developing world”… on-demand water heaters are all people who are fortunate enough to even have hot water (or running water inside their homes at all for that matter) ever use!!!!! (insert dramatic music here) The idea of a huge tank of hot water that just sits around your house being kept hot for you all day long is virtually unheard of. Every morning, all over Guatemala and other places just like it, husbands (mine included) get up, open the gas to this highly-advanced new technological wonder and when someone then turns on the hot water tap, the water is instantly heated for the time that it is being used and that’s it. Amazing!
I think the thing that gets me the most every time this “extra” bit of “news” comes into my home is the smugness with which this guy presents his marvelous new invention the on-demand water heater. Just another example of “aren’t Americans so wonderful…they have now come up with a way not only to keep their lavish lifestyle alive but also to be able to do so while still considering themselves the saviors of the planet! Surely, surely no one else could ever be so brilliant!” Errr…well…except the “backwards” peoples living in Central and Sounth America who have been heating their water this way forever….