New Government Study Reveals 1 in 5 Canadians Still Harbors Feelings of Hydrophobia
OTTAWA—A joint survey conducted by the Tourism Commission and Statistics Canada found that hydrophobia is as prevalent as ever in our cities.
The survey, which involved both a questionnaire and an interview, concluded that 1 in 5 Canadians is hydrophobic, notwithstanding the “7-8 months of deleterious precipitation they’ve inevitably endured for as long as they can remember.” This statistic also suggests that, as a society, we are unresolved about the suitability of and place for aquatic interaction in public life.
Hydrophobics are very difficult to spot. At work or in the classroom, they may appear totally tolerant; maybe chap-lipped, but usually indistinguishable from a normal, sassy, water-loving citizen. It’s only upon serial denial of beach-party invitations or unexplained squealing in the bathroom that suspicions ever arise. And when they do, it’s probably too late to change the behaviour.
According to all of the sensationalistic, yet-to-be discredited experts on the illness, hydrophobia is learned, not intrinsic, unless of course you have rabies—in which case that’s tough luck, pal; hope you pull through. Because of its prevalence, and since we know that it is learned, we also know, using basic word-math, that it’s still being taught. And worse: it’s being perpetuated by our own government. In fact, hydrophobia is a badge-of-honour for some practicing-dry politicians.
Last week, the Toronto City Council motioned to remove the water installation from outside of City Hall, claiming: “enough perturbed citizens called-in to protest the fountain, so we’ve decided to remove it in the hopes of creating a neutral—or dry—space.” Torontonians aren’t pleased.
“These people make me sick. All I want to do is spit in their face. Water IS people! People IS water!” said one vehement protester, Sam Kimsington, a Junior High teacher from we-didn’t-ask.
Among the protesters was biochemist Jane Goodwrench. “Don’t these people know that 50-75% of their body is water? Hydrophobia is a kind of self-hatred. I do, however, respect the fringe-demand for safer water-play, but have to constantly remind them that webbed-feet aren’t contagious.”
Seated amidst the protesters was a gnarly old man with eyes ambushed white. Sobbing, he told MetaCanada: “I’ve been on both sides of that picket line, boy. You see, I was a closeted swimmer. My dad hated the water after being a seaman in the Korean War. When he came back, it was off limits. Growing up, we never washed…I never even brushed my teeth. But the summer I was stationed in Cyprus, I swam! God, did I I swim! Salt water…Hot damn! The waves beat the shit out of me. Even got dragged by the undertow.” Before he could continue, this reporter walked away, having met and sated his ornery editor’s word-count.
Ranked globally, Canada is grossly more hydrophobic than the two-most notoriously backwards-nations on the list: the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Russia, for the sake of comparison, ranks much higher than Canada, but with President Vladimir Putin’s submarine expeditions counting for 13% of their overall water-play.
In response to this revelatory survey, over 13,000 swimmers and other hydrophiles signed a petition for a permit to hold a parade in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa, in mid-July. The nation-wide parade will feature a dozen different water sports, fire hydrants everywhere undoubtedly contributing to the spectacle.
“I just want to squirt and splash people in public, you know?” said one protester who chose to remain anonymous. “And don’t get me started about kissing. Kissing is all about the water, man. It runs through us. We share it. It comes from the sky.” He paused and looked up, and very slowly enunciated: “the sky!”
*UPDATE: The Kensington-Market-based group, Hydrationists Against the Israeli Apartheid, have had their request to participate in the First Annual Toronto Hydrophile Parade rejected. Parade officials say the Hydrationists can watch from the stands, but can neither run a float in the Parade nor hand out flyers.