Several weeks ago, I received a bill from Thames Water, the utility company responsible for the public water supply in Greater London, which basically caused me to clutch my pearls, sit down, and fan myself all in one fell swoop.
This was due to a couple of factors:
1) Until the bill arrived, I legitimately did not know that water was a separate utility to be paid for in the UK.
2) They charged me all at once for both the year I've just spent in my flat, and the year ahead.
3) Apparently, Thames Water considers London water to be worth roughly the same price as liquid gold.
In other words: OMJizzle, was that a large bill.
Once I'd smelling salt-ed my way back into consciousness, I read through the bill more carefully and realized that in addition to billing me, they were also promising me a lower bill for next year if I had a smart water meter installed in my home.
As you can imagine, at that point I was all over the idea of a lower tariff like white on rice! So I called and scheduled an appointment for installation, which happened to be for this morning.
In the interim weeks, I'd actually gotten rather irrationally excited about this forthcoming meter I'd soon be sharing a home with. Think about it: A smart water meter! My water was going to get smarter! No more of this gauche, ordinary, stupid water! Stupid water was not for the likes of me!
So when the friendly water man showed up this morning, I veritably welcomed him like a knight in shining armor. "Please, please come in!" I exulted, "Can I get you anything? Glass of water, perhaps - hahaha!"
I let him do his investigation of sorts in the kitchen, figuring he was checking where best to install my sexy new smart water meter.
Only after about five minutes, he came out with bad news: There would be no smart water meter - or, in fact, smart water - for me. As far as I understood his explanation, while my personal boiler controls the hot water in my flat, the cold water comes from a communal tank shared the building. Thus there is no way to meter consumption.
I hope you can understand how heartbreaking this was, when I'd been looking forward to it for weeks! No smart water? What was next - no Santa Claus?
"Ok...." I trailed off at the nice man, trying to control my quivering lower lip. "Thanks for trying."
"There's still good news," he told me: "I can note that you live alone and don't have the specifics for a meter, which means your tariff should still go down."
"Oh - well, sure!" I exclaimed. (I mean, let's be honest. That was the part I really cared about anyway.)
So, stupid water? Looks like you're here to stay. Stay thirsty, my old friend.