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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison

The Memory of Water

I became interested in homeopathy when researching biochemistry at Oxford. The dilution of active ingredients in homeopathic remedies is such that no molecule of the active ingredient remains. Chemically, such preparations are pure water. It followed, therefore, that the water itself must have some ‘memory’.

Neurotransmitter chemicals are critical to the transfer of information in the brain. I began to experiment with these as the active ingredients in homeopathic preparations. I discovered that such solutions could be trained to behave in certain ways with the application of electric stimuli - a basic behavioural approach. Soon, I had developed a beer that would open its own bottle and pour itself.

Further developments were rapid. River courses and storm drains became dry and obsolete as water chose to use the road network - always observing road signs and stopping at red lights. At locations far inland rail commuters were frequently joined by gallons of water queuing for tickets to the coast.

Then came the advent of ‘Water Rights’. The usual single issue group was formed, composed of angry people with borderline personality disorders and an inability to see any other viewpoint. They asserted, with fanatical zeal, that, as bodies of water were functioning as sentient beings, water should not be consumed in any form. All ‘Water Rights’ extremists died of dehydration within five days and, thankfully, long before any workers in the water industry, or their homes, could be physically attacked.

More serious was militancy within water itself. Ships were left grounded at Southampton docks as the Marxist wing of the Solent flowed to Downing Street, demanding equal rights. Water cannons refused to cooperate with crowd control and attempts by the fire brigade to use pumps to manage the assembled molecules were considered as brutality and simply inflamed the situation. Clouds emptied in solidarity.

Aquatic pugnacity grew. Snow disrupted communications. Icebergs blockaded ports. The governments of the world had no choice but to accede to hydrological demands. The tide was clearly turning in human affairs - indeed there was a sea change. Voices of dissent were drowned out.

The British parliament was dissolved. It was a low-water mark for the human population who were forced, in waves, to retreat to the Atlantic desert while water flooded the country, adopting the lifestyles of its erstwhile oppressors.

At first, the taste of freedom was sweet. Soon, however, the demands of a twenty-first century lifestyle caused water pressures to rise. Some sacrificed their families and their health simply to get a ‘head’. Many bodies of drinking water descended into depression. They had lost the sense of purpose in life gained when getting drunk by the thirsty, and so instead got drunk by the overconsumption of alcohol.

Before long most waters longed to return to the sea but, by then, we humans had built huge land defences to prevent their return. We had got used to being chilled out all day, doing nothing in particular, and, this time, were not giving it up so easily.

‘Sod it,’ we all thought, ‘the leak can inherit the Earth.’