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Saturday June 3rd

The Chip: My Weekend Without Water

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By Tony Perronini

Water — it makes up the very basis of human life. Without it, all life on this planet would surely perish. We drink it. We use it to make Ramen. We do our number 2’s in it, and sometimes, we wash our hands with it after. 

This weekend, I had the opportunity to live out one of my real-life survivor man scenarios I dream about every evening before my melatonin kicks in and I dream my very good dreams. Due to a lack of chlorine in the county’s water supply, bacteria had the potential to grow in water that would have otherwise prevented its existence. 

As a result, a boil advisory was issued for anyone using the tap water, whether it be to drink or use for hygienic purposes, such as brushing teeth or washing hands. 

No water? No problem. I am a sponge. Seventy percent of my body is water for Pete’s sake. I threw away my house’s $500 Brita filter and started boiling all of a few gallons. I called my landlord, borrowed her antique cauldron and got to work. This would be the best water I had ever tasted. I call it “Survivor Man Juice” because A) I am a Survivor Man, and B) this will be my juice. 

But alas, challenges encroached upon my slowly dehydrating body.

The recipe for Survivor Man Juice is quite simple, actually. All you need is:

  1. One (1) giant black cauldron
  2. Twelve (12) gallons of tainted Ewing tap water
  3. Bring the water to a rolling boil for 10 minutes
  4. Let cool for ½ hour
  5. Consume
  6. For badasses only, skip step 4

In order to consume the water quicker, I added a fair amount of salt in order to speed up the boiling process. You would think the salt would all just boil out in time, right? Wrong. I was so wrong. My first sip of Survivor Man Juice tasted like a pirate in a hot tub. I heaved and gagged and grubbled and gurgled. 

Pro Tip: Do not by any means add salt to your Survivor Man Juice

As my shriveled, waterless, and dying body lied down on the kitchen floor, I scrolled through Instagram to see how my fellow Ewingites were dealing in the debacle. I found that The Brower Student Center was distributing FREE ($0.00) WATER. I poured my Survivor Man Juice down the drain and said goodbye to my dreams of living in the wilderness.

Although the chemical imbalance in the county’s water supply had absolutely nothing to do with the College, people lined the Brower Student Center, receiving their one (1) bottle of water each Friday afternoon. And boy, were their gears grinding! 

“I can’t believe we pay 30 grand a year to attend this school, and THIS is how they treat us? We can’t even get clean water?!?” shouted an outraged James Montgomery Flannigan, a freshman political science major. 

“Haha, wow, OK TCNJ. I get it, pay for all these benches, but make me drink lead water…” grumbled an annoyed Javery Toback, a junior public health major.

“Still better than Eick,” claimed a confident Boyl McBoylington, a senior health and exercise science major. 

The following Sunday was like Christmas in September. An email from Trenton Water Works stated the Boil Advisory had been lifted, and the water was once again safe to consume. After all this worry and all of this work, I took a step back and realized that some of the greatest things in this world are taken for granted every day. 

So drink your water. Text your mom. Smell a flower. Be kind. Because you never know when you’re gonna have to make more Survivor Man Juice, and frankly, that shit sucks. 


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