Our Town – February 12, 2015

The Soupster and Curley love water.

The Soupster and Curley love water.

Laura Rhodes was nicknamed Curley because of her luxurious auburn tresses, so “Curley!” was what the Soupster called out when he saw her near the shell of the old library, watching the construction workers.

“The library is going to be fantastic, when they finish it,” Curley said as the Soupster stepped beside her. The two exchanged pleasantries.

“A great library is a real blessing to a town,” said the Soupster. “’Course we got a lot of blessings in this town.”

“Our Town — our whole region — has the greatest blessing anyone could ask for,” said Curley.

“And that is?” asked the Soupster.

“Water,” said Curley. “Plenty of clean, fresh water.”

“You should have been a hydrologist,” the Soupster told Curley, who baked wonderful almond and lemon cakes and was – in the Soupster’s eyes – already an alchemist.

“I’ll answer up to the title of hydrophile,” said Curley, producing an aluminum water bottle and unscrewing the cap.

“Water-lover,” translated the Soupster.

“Water is a unique substance, with a combination of properties shared by no other,” Curley said, as if she was channeling a science text. “I love water.”

But the Soupster didn’t mind. The Soupster loved water, too. Even the freezing stuff that had been bouncing off his hat brim all morning. Even that water he loved a little.

“Water is the only natural substance that can exist in all three states of matter at the temperatures normally found on Earth,” Curley said, steam coming from her mouth as she spoke.

“Solid, gas and liquid,” echoed the Soupster.

“Most compounds are heavier when they are solid than when they are liquid, but not water!” said Curley. “Ice floats. And it’s a good thing it does, or many a body of water would be frozen from the bottom up. Instead, the ice helps insulate the water beneath and allows many organisms to survive the winter.” She took a swig from her bottle.

“Water is unique in a bunch of ways,” Curley continued. “It takes a lot of energy to boil liquid water and you also have to remove a lot of energy to freeze liquid water, compared to other liquids. Water molecules stick to themselves and that gives water a high level of surface tension. It’s pretty hard to break the surface of water, and that helps things float.”

“Then there’s the whole issue of three days without water and you are in very bad shape,” the Soupster added.

“That’s because our body uses water in countless ways,” said Curley. “Depends on water. An adult male human is about 60 percent water.”

“Wow,” said the Soupster. “I should drink more of the stuff.”

“Our Town water!” said Curley, proffering her aluminum bottle. “Best water in the world. Skol!”


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