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Hunter S. Thompson Day at Pie Hole - All About Water

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Pie Hole Goes Gonzo

Four years ago this Friday, a single gunshot in Woody Creek, Colorado, put a self-imposed end to one of journalism's most infamous contributors and kick-started one of recent history's most notorious funerary ceremonies. Hunter S. Thompson, the writer known equally for his talent on the page as well his penchant for stiff booze, good drugs and hard parties, died Feb. 20, 2005, and typically, none of that information has a hoot in common with Food News.

Enter Pie Hole.

Russ Crawforth, who co-owns both Pie Hole pizza locations with his brother Jason, says he's a big Thompson fan, as are his employees, and they wanted to do a little something to celebrate the guy. Hence Hunter S. Thompson Day at Pie Hole's downtown location this Friday, Feb. 20. Employees will be dressed in their finest HST costumes (extra special props for the chap who pulls off the short shorts Thompson was often seen sporting), HST films Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Where the Buffalo Roam will show on the tube, and Crawforth is trying to score a couple of cases of Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter.

In other Crawforth news, the brothers, who also owned Main Street bar Lush, closed on its sale last week, so be on the lookout for changes in the near future.

Pie Hole, 205 N. Eighth St., 208-344-7783, pieholeusa.com.

Agua for the Water Finicky

OK, readers, here's a confession. I hate the taste of tap water. Nearly all the water I consume comes out of a bottle, from a filter or bears the label of a beer company. It's a dislike I've developed only in the last seven or so years, having grown up on water straight out of the kitchen faucet. In fact, I probably have chlorinated, fluoride-enhanced city water from several states to thank in part for my cavity-free teeth. But then I started traveling to parts of the world where drinking the tap water meant risking a few days sick in bed, and when I returned home after a particularly lengthy stint abroad, I couldn't stand the taste of city water.

I know bottled water regulation is flawed, and I diligently recycle every bottle I use, but neither of those things has persuaded me to reconcile my issues with tap water.

Then one day last month, I got a call from a guy named Bill Stafford who owns a little store in Meridian called All About Water. For almost two years, Stafford has run what is quite literally a water store. When Stafford turns on the tap in his shop, Meridian city water is pumped into a complex filtration system and piped into a series of taps, where water snobs like myself can fill up with water that makes us feel better about the bottle and the tap.

When I stopped into the store a few weeks ago, Stafford conducted a little test to determine the total dissolved solids (all the stuff in water that's not water) in Meridian city water pre- and post-filtration. That day, water straight out of the tap measured 150 parts per million. Out of Stafford's filtered taps, it was zero. According to Stafford, who regularly tests Meridian city water, total dissolved solids usually clock in between 130 and 380 parts per million, depending on the season and the well providing most of the supply.

But passing judgment on water quality—be it from a tap or a bottle—is risky business. I can guarantee a handful of people are composing a letter to the editor even as they read this sentence to tell me how naive and irresponsible it is for me to print these very words.

I do believe city water is safe to drink. I also believe it's safe to live entirely on frozen, canned and boxed preservative-laden food for a lifetime. But call me a fresh-food and filtered-water elitist; I'm OK with that.

If you're OK with it, too, bring your own bottle or buy one at All About Water and fill up five gallons for around $2. If you can't make it during business hours, there's also an outdoor vending machine.

All About Water, 1760 W. Cherry Lane, Ste. 110, Meridian, 208-855-2777, allaboutwateridaho.com.

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