As reported in the Strib by John Ewoldt last week, fourteen bistros have promised to cut down on bottled water and serve plain, honest, decent Minneapolis tap water. In some cities this might be controversial -- when I lived on the East Coast the tap water tasted like a smoothie made of mud, rust and liquefied Silly Putty. But Minneapolis water is as crisp and delicious as the tears of joy from an albino glacier, and it doesn't require plastic bottles. Comes right out of the wall. Wonders never cease.

Admission: I do buy Target's Archer Farms water because it has flavors in strange combinations: blueberry-elm, peach- salami, strawberry-lettuce, etc. But it's an extravagance.

When I see an ad campaign for bottled water, it's always the same ludicrous pitch: "New 'Eau Please' is nothing but pure Alpine water, strained through the kidneys of newborn lambs, bottled by singing nuns and trucked to your store by men who have had their lymphatic fluids replaced with Purell."

Yes, that's for me. Regular water probably has cadmium, cesium, lead and sloughed-off skin cells of Osama bin Laden. That explains the heaps of cholera victims on the boulevards every recycling day.

Here's the kicker in the story: The city of Minneapolis spends $200K per year to promote its water. This is like spending a quarter-million dollars to promote sidewalks. They're hard and grey! Enjoy some today! But think of this: I'd wager that 100 percent of Minneapolitans use city water, which makes it the most successful promotion -- public or private -- of all time. Money well spent. • 612-673-7858 • More daily at