Wally's Water World

Submitted into Contest #160 in response to: Write about a character whose job is to bring water to people.... view prompt

38 comments

Happy Funny Contemporary

This story contains sensitive content

Content warning: Swearing


"I know it's your first day on the job and all, but don't worry, man. You're gonna do great. Trust me. We're happy to have you here at Wally's Water World."


"Thanks. I'm happy to be here."


"Great!"


"I gotta tell you the truth, though. I only applied because my mom told me she would kick me out if I didn't get a job. She said thirty-five is too old to be unemployed."


"That's great too. Exactly the type of can-do, highly motivated, problem-solving attitude we're looking for at Wally's Water World. Glad to have another member of the family joining us."


"Well, I'm glad to be of help. Even if I didn't think you guys were a real business. I mean, a restaurant that serves only water? Never heard of that before. That's different."


"Mmm. Well, I can assure you we're quite real. All flesh and blood here. You can feel my hat if you don't believe me."


"That's okay. I believe you."


"No, go on. It's not as wet as it looks, I promise. I soaked it in mineral water hours ago, so it's practically dry now. Can't be a manager without dressing the part, right?"


"I guess so."


"See? Not as wet as you thought, right? That's what's so great about sombreros."


"I guess."


"Stay here long enough and you just might work your way up to one of these bad boys someday instead of that fedora. That'd be cool, right? Less neckbeardish."


"Sure."


"Cool. Well, it's almost nine o'clock. The customers should be lining up any minute now. I already told you what to say, right?"


"No."


"Shit, really? My bad, I'm a little hungover. Anyway, it's real easy, man. Just toggle your headset and greet the customer and say, 'Welcome to Wally's Water World! Water you in the mood for today?'"


"Okay, I think I can do that."


"Let's see you give it a try."


"Welcome to Wally's Water World. What are you in the mood for today?"


"No, man. Water."


"Huh?"


"Water you in the mood for. Get it? It's a pun. Like, water. Like, the thing that we sell here? Get it?"


"Oh."


"Yeah, don't worry. It took me a while too. You wanna try again?"


"Welcome to Wally's Water World. Water you in the mood for?"


"Today."


"What?"


"We need to know what the customer wants now. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Today. One more time."


"Okay. Welcome to Wally's Water World. Water you in the mood for today?"


"Uh oh! Look out, Leonardo DiCaprio! Keith's coming for your Academy Award."


"Thanks."


"That's all you've got to do, really. Just say that and after they order, wait for one of us to make the stuff. Then you take their money and hand them their drink. Bada bing, bada boom. Rinse and repeat."


"Okay. That sounds easy enough."


"Oh, and word of advice: Watch out for Mrs. Dressler."


"Who?"


"Mrs. Dressler. You'll probably meet her today. She's a regular here. Sweet woman. Great tipper. Face like a sneezing pit bull."


"Hmm."


"Yeah, you'll know her when you see her. Trust me. Drives through here every Monday. She likes to order the Spring Cleaning—that's spring water with a hint of cucumber and lemon."


"Okay."


"It's #7 on the menu. See it up there on the board, in between #6—Terrific Tap—and #8—Alkaline Laxative Surprise?"


"I think I see it, yes."


"Right. So, look. If Mrs. Dressler stops by and orders the #7, make sure you go in the back and get some water from the toilet in the employee bathroom."


"What?"


"Yeah, man. Trust me. Ever since Vince—you've met Vince, right? Short guy with the man bun and the plaid shirt and the L. Ron Hubbard neck tattoo."


"I don't—"


"You know, the one who's in charge of microwaving the water so people can drink their tea."


"We sell tea here?"


"Man, what? Look down. What does your apron say? Wally's Water World, not Tommy's Tea Terrain. It's even got the dancing rain cloud and everything. You ever seen a damn cloud make tea?"


"No."


"Exactly. This is a health food shop. We're in the business of water here. If people want tea, they can go across the street to Tommy's Tea Terrain."


"Okay."


"Well, long story short, Mrs. Dressler stopped by here a few months ago and complained about beard hair in her cup of Distilled Delight—as you can see, that's #4 on the board: one cup distilled water and two cups brown sugar, seventeen seconds in the microwave. Of course, Vince is the only one here with a beard, but a good manager doesn't point fingers. You don't get to wear this sombrero by blaming others, right?"


"I don't know. I only have a fedora."


"Ha ha. Good one. Anyway, Vince offered her a complimentary cup of Spring Cleaning in exchange for not calling the health inspector on us. Only, instead of using spring water, he scooped up a cup of the stuff from the back bathroom toilet. You can hardly tell the difference."


"I don't think I can—"


"Don't be like that. We clean that toilet twice a month, if that's what you're worried about. Besides, she loved it. Trust me. She's been back every week since. A loyal customer. You can't argue with repeat business, right?"


"I guess not."


"Exac—Look alive! Customer incoming. Hey, remember what I told you about the water pun. It's half the reason why people come here. And try to plug the Distilled Delight if you can—the brown sugar's about to go bad."


"Hello and welcome to Wally's Water World! Water you in the mood for today? A #2 and a #8, you say? A small Wally's Well Water and a large Alkaline Lax—Okay. An excellent choi—Okay. And might I interest you in a #4? It's our signature, award-winning—Oh. Okay. Sure. All right, just the #2 and the #8 then. Thank you. Your total is $21.67. It'll be ready at the window."


"Hmm. Not bad, man. Adding 'hello' was a nice touch. And 'award-winning,' too. I should've thought of that shit months ago. Pretty good for your first go."


"It wasn't easy. She kept trying to cut me off when I was talking. And that shrill voice. It was like speaking to a banshee. Is every customer here a total bitch?"


"Well, that's just—oh shit."


"What?"


"Your headset's blinking, man. You didn't untoggle. Your mic's still on."


"Oh."


"Yeah. Here she comes. Think fast."


"Hello, ma'am. Thank you for choosing Wally's Water World today. Might I interest you in a complimentary cup of Spring Cleaning?"

August 27, 2022 03:58

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38 comments

Aeris Walker
12:37 Aug 27, 2022

Zack is back! And oh my goodness, this restaurant… this whole idea needs to be a sit com. I was laughing throughout, but these lines were especially funny: “You can feel my hat if you don't believe me." "That's okay. I believe you." "No, go on. It's not as wet as it looks, I promise.” —no sir, I wouldn’t want to touch your wet hat either. “That'd be cool, right? Less neckbeardish."—-yes because looks are important in a fine establishment such as this. "I don't think I can—" "Don't be like that. We clean that toilet twice a month”——ewww...

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Zack Powell
18:28 Sep 01, 2022

Belated thank you, Aeris! I was on vacation when I wrote this (hence why it's so garbage, LOL), and this week's been crazy, but I just came from your story, and I loved that you went funny for this contest too. Twinsies! Side note: Great job on Deidra and Russell's podcast! You're super funny, and the rest of us can only hope to have a husband as supportive as yours.

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Aeris Walker
18:51 Sep 01, 2022

Garbage? Definitely not. Hope you enjoyed your vacay. Aw, thank you! And thanks for listening 😬 I absolutely love podcasts, but being on the other side of it was a new experience for sure! Deidra and Russel are the best though. I agree—He’s quite a gem ;) Now, seriously when is your interview?! I think it’s past time.

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Kelsey H
06:15 Aug 27, 2022

What in the hell ... $21.67 for 2 waters?? Haha. I think that was the best part. The price people will pay if you just make something sound elite enough. The idea of a place which just sells different flavours of water is kind of weird yet also totally believable. This was so funny, and the technique of just using dialogue between the two co-workers worked really well for the short snappy kind of flow of this, especially the water related puns. The water flavors were great, must have been fun coming up with those, especially loved "Laxativ...

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Tommy Goround
20:23 Aug 28, 2022

Nice catch.

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Zack Powell
18:34 Sep 01, 2022

Super belated thanks, Kelsey! I almost didn't submit anything for the contest again (vacation will do that to you, amirite?), but three weeks off in a row felt like too many. If nothing else, this was good practice to stretch the ol' writer muscles. The $21.67 joke was my favorite of the bunch here, so thanks for the shoutout! Health food store prices are always so ridiculous (or maybe that's just the case where I'm from), so it felt good to get that potshot in. And writing the water puns were a blast. I enjoyed myself on this one. Plus, i...

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Bradon L
23:57 Aug 29, 2022

And yet another Zack Powell gem! Smiled and laughed my whole way through. “You don't get to wear this sombrero by blaming others, right?" "I don't know. I only have a fedora." - there are so many good lines but for some reason this one just kills me😂

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Zack Powell
18:35 Sep 01, 2022

Super late, but thanks, Bradon! I thought of you writing this one, LOL. All-dialogue seems right up your alley, so I thought I'd give it a try too.

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Bradon L
22:43 Sep 01, 2022

You killed it bro! You should do more. All-dialogue suits you.

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Patrick Samuel
22:16 Aug 29, 2022

Light and refreshing like a Flushed Tank Special! Seriously Zack, there are so many great touches here, from the beverage card to the L. Ron Hubbard neck tattoo or the $21.67 price, I could practically quote the whole story if I had to list them all. The funniest (and scariest) is how close this is to reality. Reading it I couldn't help thinking of some recent write-ups heralding restaurants who put concept over food and pride themselves on being inclusive before anything else while charging outrageous prices. When exclusive becomes inclusiv...

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Zack Powell
19:06 Sep 01, 2022

Belated thank you, Patrick! Glad this worked for you. I told myself that if I ever won the contest again, I'd just focus on having fun and enjoying myself instead of winning, which resulted in this. (Though now I wish I'd thought of Flushed Tank Special!) As always, you got exactly what I was going for too. Nothing gets past you, I swear. This was definitely a potshot at those "concept over food" types of establishments - high prices, ridiculous menus, the "new wave" of eateries. Played up for laughs, of course, but this is absolutely a real...

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Colin Strivelli
14:14 Aug 28, 2022

I had a lot of fun with this! Absolutely love the absurdist humor behind it. It just kept taking left turn after left turn and that catered to my style of humor wonderfully. An absolute delight to read!

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Zack Powell
20:43 Sep 01, 2022

Belated thank you, Colin! Just came from your story and I enjoyed myself. Glad the absurdist humor worked here - it's also my favorite brand of comedy. Can't go wrong with left turns, right? Thanks again!

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Colin Strivelli
22:21 Sep 01, 2022

Absolutely, it's one if my favorite styles too!

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Wafflez Wasfound
12:12 Aug 28, 2022

30th submission! Wow! Anyways, I love this story, it was funny, had me laughing :)

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Zack Powell
18:58 Sep 01, 2022

Late thank you, Awexis! I can't believe I got to 30 submissions. Time flies, right?

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Wafflez Wasfound
15:32 Sep 02, 2022

Yeah, time really does fly. I’m back in school now, and it isn’t too bad :)

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Michał Przywara
21:49 Aug 27, 2022

Amusing :) Things went from silly to shit-just-got-real with the Dressler order. The whole premise for a health restaurant like this seemed ridiculous at first, but then I thought about it, and yeah, I could see it being a real thing. Indeed, the only thing that wasn't surprising was the price of the water. I would have been disappointed if it was a reasonable amount, >$20 seems like a good number. Style wise, the dialogue-only format worked out, because the two speakers have very distinct voices. The exchanges between them were good, but ...

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Zack Powell
19:28 Sep 01, 2022

A very late thank you for this, Michał. This is probably the dumbest story I've ever written/will ever write, from the concept of a hyper-specific health food store to the banter between the characters, but I was too charmed by the silliness to throw out the baby with the bathwater - no pun intended. You're an amazing reader for being able to dig deep on this one and extract the hidden layers. I always love seeing the different aspects of my story that I didn't even think of when writing it. (Plus, it makes me seem like a better writer than ...

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Kai Corvus
09:40 Aug 27, 2022

The worst part about the entire thing…the fact that the water is so damn expensive 😭 I was not expecting the only-dialogue story at first but it worked really well. The characters play nicely off of eachother: the manager who may or may not have a few screws looser than should be, and the guy he recruited that just wants to be employed. The little details of the piece were really funny as well - not only the water price, but also the water names as well. Alkaline Laxative Surprise? I’m intrigued. Would not want to be this place as soon a...

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Zack Powell
18:57 Sep 01, 2022

Belated thank you, Kai! And can you imagine paying $20 for some water? LOL. Not in this lifetime. Nuh uh. Glad the format of the story worked for you. Was trying for something different here and wasn't sure how it'd come across. The water names were a lot of fun to write, so I'm glad they translated. Thanks as always for your thoughts, and I'm looking forward to reading something new from you in the (hopefully near) future!

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
09:16 Aug 27, 2022

I'd given up on getting a story from you this week so this was a nice morning surprise. You finally did the dialogue only format, and you didn't disappoint. You'd think a restaurant that sells only over-priced water (really creative concept, btw) would be out of business just as soon as it is in, but I guess catchy names and barely clean toilet water really does wonders. Btw, I LOVED the voice of the employer (?). Good luck!

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Zack Powell
18:55 Sep 01, 2022

A very late thank you, Naomi! I was so close to giving up on this story, but I told myself that I wouldn't skip more than two weeks in a row, which resulted in this experiment with all-dialogue. If nothing else, I can say that I've done that now, right? You would think they'd be out of business, right? Like, who would go to a store that only sells water! But you're right - catchy names can really draw people in. (I know, because I've definitely spent more money than I should've before because something sounded cool.) Thanks as always for t...

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
20:23 Sep 01, 2022

Glad you decided to try it out, and yes, if nothing else, you can say you've done that now. Thank you so much for that sweet comment, since the last story I put out, I've attempted a story every week but they all just weren't working out (I even finished one but chickened out of submitting at the last minute). Hopefully, tomorrow's prompts will favour me. Crossing my fingers.

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Riel Rosehill
07:15 Aug 27, 2022

Zaddyyy, congrats on your 30th submission!!! 🥳👏 Hope to see many more from you and rooting for you to break the record for most wins and shortlists held by one person - you're close! This dialogue only format was fun! And somehow you managed to keep upping the WTFness of it all all the way through - the funniest story I've read for a while, what a way to start my day, thank you! Fave bits: "I mean, a restaurant that serves only water?" - I thought it was a water park!!! 😂 "Stay here long enough and you just might work your way up to one...

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Zack Powell
18:51 Sep 01, 2022

SUPER late thank you for this! (Vacation week + busy week = 😬😬😬) I think the most wins I've seen one person have on here is 4 (which I am fairly close to), but Deidra has 10 shortlists, and I don't think that's gonna happen for me anytime soon, LOL. We can dream, though. 😂 I'm glad the all-dialogue worked here. I was THIS close to scrapping this story and not submitting anything. (I DEFINITELY underestimated how hard it would be to carry on a dialogue-only story on a site where there's a 1k word minimum 🤣). Glad to cross it off my writer's ...

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Riel Rosehill
20:30 Sep 01, 2022

Hey Zaddy, OMG, negligent employees who sell the pool water to this restaurant, PLEASE it'd be excellent, full circle!! 😂 Where have you been? I had the same, vacation + busy week (had to take my hen Millie to the vet yesterday😵‍💫), so even though I started writing a story for this week two weeks ago, I wouldn't be able to finish it to a standard I'd be happy with 😔 And it was going to be Selaphiel story #4! 😱 I'm so disappointed.... But because I haven't been making progress with my novel I decided I'll ban myself from contests for autumn...

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Zack Powell
21:31 Sep 01, 2022

I can't believe I didn't think about adding pool water to the menu! I definitely missed out on a good chlorine joke or two. 😂 Side note: Millie is an adorable name for a hen. I hope she's doing all right. Super gutted we won't get another (Selaphiel) story for sooo long! But I totally understand/appreciate focusing your writing efforts on one big goal. Short story side projects are fun and all, but a novel definitely takes precedence. Can't fault you for that, especially if you're spending all of autumn on it. I have so much respect for no...

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Riel Rosehill
17:52 Sep 02, 2022

Well short fiction loves you back for sure, though what wouldn't I give for a Zack Powell novel..! And thanks! Millie is adorable. I'm giving her antibiotics twice a day which is a two persons job, needs four hands... And let me tell you she takes a pill I wouldn't be able to swallow! Not only because I'm allergic to penicillin and shouldn't be handling it accordig to the pack instructions, but the size of it! It barely fits in her mouth. So, that's a fun activity for now... She isn't too bad, I hope she'll recover by the end of this (or el...

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Tommy Goround
06:03 Aug 27, 2022

"We clean that toilet twice a month," Clap'n

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Etoro Archibong
21:08 Sep 10, 2022

Hahaha Wow! I never saw that coming

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Zack Powell
21:57 Sep 10, 2022

Thanks for the read, Etoro! Glad this story was able to surprise you.

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Graham Kinross
03:29 Sep 08, 2022

I really enjoyed this. Your dialogue is brilliant, mad, and yet I’m sure there are places like this. Aeris is right, this should be a sit com.

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Zack Powell
01:50 Sep 12, 2022

Thanks for this, Graham! This probably would make a fun sitcom, but I'm sure the characters would be incredibly hated. Funny to think about though.

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Amanda Lieser
22:52 Sep 03, 2022

Hi Zack! What a delightful take on the prompt. I adored the format you chose and I thought it was perfectly insane with the right dash of charismatic in there. I loved the way you created these characters through just their speech! That’s incredibly talented of you! I also loved the insistence of the use of the pun. It made me chuckle. A part of me thinks it’s a bit outlandish, but you never know what people will pay for! Nice job!

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Zack Powell
01:23 Sep 04, 2022

Thanks, Amanda! This was a fun one, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. Also glad to see you back again this week. Just came from your story and left you some feedback - let me know if it makes sense or if you want me to explain myself!

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Mike Panasitti
12:00 Sep 01, 2022

This brought to mind Seinfeld's Nazi soup kitchen episodes. It also seemed like it was a plausible scenario had it been a science fiction story set in a draught-ravaged future - that setting would have merited even more astronomical prices for the bona fide spring water. Water am I in the mood for? A tall glass of zaddy humor, and this hit the spot.

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Zack Powell
19:52 Sep 01, 2022

Shoutout to Seinfeld! You read my mind, too. I was definitely trying 8 ways to Sunday to fit this story into a Science Fiction format, but my brain just isn't built for that type of creative thinking. I wish I'd gotten it to work though, because imagine paying $50 for a small cup of water. (Though we're not too far off from that now with the way inflation is going.) Thanks for the read, Mike. Glad to see this worked for you.

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