When it isn’t contaminated with chlorine, the metallic aftertaste of the tap water in Moscow makes you wonder if it is the secret to becoming a mutant ninja turtle. However, before you leap into the steam tunnels after dawning an eye mask and colorful katanas, attempt these 25 simple steps to obtain a perfect glass of water.
Attempt to drink the water on the University of Idaho campus. After all, it can’t be that bad. It must be something that students blow way out of proportion to have an excuse to whine about, much like eating at Bob’s. Right?
Well, the water is pink and makes a purring noise coming out of the water fountain. Better have a friend drink from the fountain first, just to be safe.
Now your friend is a neon pink ninja turtle and you are still thirsty. On the plus side, your friend, Donatella, will make an awesome traveling companion. It’s Adventure Time!
Better go to the store and buy bottled water. Oh no … it cannot be … you only left your car for two minutes.
SIDEQUEST: You versus UI Parking and Transportation Services
Despite abandoning your car for an infinitesimally small amount of time, you have accrued a parking ticket. Curse your luck, scream to the heavens and vow eternal vengeance against those invisible elves employed by UI who managed to slip in so quickly and bless you with a parking ticket.
The only option is to cast the ticket into the fire from whence it came. Gather your turtle and the guy dressed as a wizard from across the hall and set off to Mount Doom … err the PTS building.
After a grueling 15-minute journey that resulted in lust, wondering why you visited the student rec center so few times and cannibalism — wizards are surprisingly tasty — you arrive. Fearless of the impending shame and glares of your comrades, you kick in the front door like Neo — except better since you have a 6-foot-2 pink turtle instead of Trinity.
As you storm towards the front desk in your sweet knee-high black boots, you overhear someone say, “I’m sure glad you can pay parking tickets online.” Wait, that’s a thing?
SIDEQUEST COMPLETE: Fortunately, you own a computer.
Alright, you made it to WinCo. Time to get your drink on. Wait, why is the bottled water pink? If you listen close, you can hear the contented purring of a cat. Surely, the expensive water made from the tears of unicorns isn’t really just bottled UI tap water? Wow, that must be easy to make.
All options for water may seem gone now, but fret not. Most bottled water has pictures of cartoon mountains, magical springs and forests — so it stands to reason that the peak of Moscow Mountain has a vast, untapped supply of water. Time to grab a pickaxe and rope and get on your best yodeling voice.
It’s been a full 30 minutes and you are exhausted. If only instead of finishing that last season of “Game of Thrones,” you had bothered to learn anything about mountain climbing. However, the fact that you are bravely yodeling Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” at the top of your lungs will deter potential evildoers. Unfortunately, it turns out that not everyone appreciates a good yodel.
Suddenly, a tiny rumble comes from beneath your feet. Much to your horror, a group of small monstrosities lie in front of you.
SIDEQUEST: You versus the giant Palouse earthworm
For something that is endangered, difficult for scientists to locate and has the word giant in its name, you expected the worm to be much larger and menacing. But alas, one of the worms is only a foot long and smells like lilies.
Using a stick, push the pool of worms gently out of your path. Grab one to use in your dorm as the world’s grossest air freshener and ponder how you managed to act as a pied piper to worms by yodeling. Continue on young adventurer, continue on.
QUEST COMPLETE: Curiously, the attempted worm mauling was just as the old gypsy woman foretold.
You are almost there. The glorious Fountain of Water, located directly across from the Fountain of Youth and two clicks from the Fountain of Doritos, promises to be directly over the next hillside. As you stop to ponder the glorious sunrise from Moscow Mountain, you hear a low roar emanating from a cave near the peak. Oh crap …
BOSS BATTLE: You versus Daug
You watched “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” and learned why Smaug the dragon was feared by the dwarves. But you were never expected that Smaug’s hipster cousin, Daug, lived in Moscow Mountain. As you run away from the incoming wall of fire, consider the absurdity of a flame-breathing dragon with a mustache and glasses.
Hipster dragons may be unexpected, but fortunately hours of Internet use has prepared you for this exact moment. As you run, mock the dragon using a barrage of memes and uninspired jokes.
The dragon slinks back to his cave in embarrassment
VICTORY: You shamed the dragon!
You are free to continue to the peak of the mountain and quench your thirst. But alas, as you turn the corner, there is no fountain. It turns out that the Fountain of Water is just an urban legend told to Vandal Friday attendees to convince them to attend UI.
Fortunately, there is snow on the mountaintop. Gather the snow and return to Moscow. As it melts, you finally have clean drinking water. Look forward to doing this everyday as long as you live in Moscow.
Aleya Ericson can be reached