This article is part of the Spout.ly Drinking Fountain Reviews series.
2012 has been a dramatic year for Shaggy Butte's drinking fountain enthusiasts. Last month brought a shocking development, as Shaggy Butte's last remaining library closed following extensive budget cutbacks, shutting the doors on the best drinking fountain in town. Since then, the community has been in a mad scramble to find a worthy successor. The year's not over yet, but local fountain lovers are already declaring winners and calling out losers.
-Spout.ly Senior Editor Chris Bluefield
"If you can overpower the bullies that control this fountain, the water is crystal clear. I think this DF is hooked directly to some mountain spring in the alps. Lots of competition, so be prepared to fast gulp this one." -Thirsty Man
"I've endured a lot of beatings to drink from this fountain. Tyler, the lead bully, maintains an iron grip on this DF and only lets those who pay him tribute drink. He is a tyrant, and his demands are growing more profane by the day, but the water is just too pure to resist." -Wetworks
"The taste I got was glorious. The beating, not so much. Tyler's dad is as big a jerk as Tyler, and refuses to rein in his unruly son. You need to power sip this one." -Hydrat0r
Pines Memorial Hospital ICU
"The best fountain is located just near the intensive care unit. You hear a lot of sick people moaning or dying loudly, which is infuriating if you like to drink in peace. There's also a lot of noisy beeping machines and the nurses and doctors can be quite rude. The water, though, is pure and fast. There's a strong flow here, and it's worth all the outside distractions to use." -Sipswell
"Hospital staff does not like people coming in just for the drinking fountain, but tough cookies. My tax dollars built this hospital, so I'm just claiming what is rightfully mine." -GrandCharokeeLaredo
"It's a lot easier to drink at your own pace if you show up wearing scrubs. Nobody interferes with your sips, but sometimes you are called on to help with an emergency. Just wing it." -Moist Man
"I have been suffering some minor necrosis on my limbs after making the trek to get to this fountain, but the water is so pure and fresh that I have no regrets. My advice: don't drink any fluids for 24-48 hours before going, so you can spend some time really drinking up. Highly refreshing." -ThirstBeGone
"The fairgrounds is closed due to toxic run-off from all the strip mines contaminating the grounds (that's why they had the mass die-off during the last 4-H event), but they haven't turned off the water there. If you don't mind climbing some fences and wading through some sludge, you'll find the absolute height of hydration. -The Gulpsman
"This place can be deadly to navigate. Getting in is hard enough, but surviving the twisted, mangled landscape overrun with hostile wildlife can be damn near impossible. Only the most experienced DF fanatics can manage this journey, but the reward is a hydrating experience that is unique, special and intensely personal for each drinker. The water in the basin also drains counter-clockwise." -Wet Beard
Shaggy Butte Methadone Clinic
"If you can stomach the idiot, do-nothing crowd that loiters around the clinic, you'll find one of Shaggy Butte's top founts. Of course, it's not as good as the best fountain of all, which used to be in the VFW hall before it was burned down by two beefing seniors." -BiGDog
"I used to just come and go at the clinic, but since they installed this fountain, I've been spending extra time there. I've never been more hydrated in all my life." -Evenflow
"Being surrounded by the fringes of society doesn't detract one bit. The added risk to personal safety makes this fountain not only more invigorating, but also arousing." -Drooler
Shaggy Butte Juvenile Correctional Facility
"An absolute waste to put one of the finest, sweetest-running fountains in a place where only thugs can access it. I keep reporting my younger brother for minor crimes in hopes he get sent here, and I get an inside ticket to visit this fountain more frequently. Be prepared to power sip." -BigDripper
"Just say you're here to visit your nephew, then say you are feeling really parched and would love a drinking fountain. They will offer a water cooler but insist on a fountain. Maxwell, a Tall Black Man, will unlock one of the doors and lead you down a hallway to what is arguably the best drinking fountain in town. Drink fast! He will only give you about 35-60 seconds tops. He will also cut your drink short if you pull out any containers to fill up." -Waterbaron
"I managed one taste of this fountain. My second visit, I tried hiding above the ceiling tiles so I could sneak another drink after hours. They caught me and banned me. Still trying to find a way back in." -ElderSoaker
Shaggy Butte Courier-Messenger Lobby
"I spotted an old man's tooth in this drinking fountain. No way am I risking hepatitis for a quick drink." -Slurp
"The paper publishes nothing but commie drivel, and their drinking fountain is literally no different." -DeepDrinker
"This DF is not properly secured to the wall. I was able to yank it out during a power sip. It's now hanging at a 45 degree angle, and nobody at the paper seems to care." -FountainClimber
Shaggy Villa Retirement Home
"Somebody defecated in this drinking fountain and it hasn't been cleaned. Very hard to drink around, but not impossible." -Thirsty Man
"If you can maneuver your head around the mess, WHICH HAS BEEN THERE FOR OVER TWO WEEKS, the water's still drinkable. It's not great, but worth tasting for reference." -Geyser
"Originally I suspected somebody left the landmine to protect a good fountain. I called their bluff. Wasn't very good." -WetBandit58
Cobb Psychiatric Hospital
"It was very difficult to convince the staff to let me in to use the drinking fountain. I ended up being held for 72 hours against my will after trying to strong arm my way in. There is a large mannish lady on the staff who could use some lessons in politeness and personal space." -Soggy Steve
"Got stabbed with a plastic fork by a crazy lady, was held for 72 hours, but chose to stay a few extra weeks to sort out some personal problems. The drinking fountain was barely tolerable." -Sir Sips-a-Lot
"I told the staff I was here to visit a friend and then pointed to a nearby lady swaying back and forth and looking up at the ceiling. Was able to get plenty of drinks in during visit, and they were all terrible. But for the first time in my life, I have a girlfriend." -AquaLobo
"Hornets. Buddy, this fountain is hornet city. A weak flow, copper taste and unsafe drinking conditions don't help any." -SwimInIt
"Wasps were everywhere. Barking dogs started massing around me. Was chased off by a harelipped man in a suit. This is the Fort Knox of drinking fountains, and it's not even good." -WHEATUS2010
"Got bit on my thigh by the harelipped man while drinking. I was confused as to why of all the angry, barking, stinging creatures surrounding me, he was the one to do it. From what I remember, the water tasted like a mix of well water and antifreeze." -HydraDad
Twin Buttes Mall
"Men an hazmat suits took samples from this fountain, then they turned off the flow. After they left, I turned the flow back on with my toolkit and tried it. The water was very dark and thick and had a distinct metal taste. I'm pretty sure I suffered some kind of memory loss, because I woke up in the desert near a burning van with no idea how I got there." -Swiftflow
"Suffered some serious renal failure after drinking from this font. Not the worst I've had, but far from the best." -AitchTwoOh
"This is the fountain that killed all those people. Pretty lackuster water quality and definitely not worth dying over. Basin is unusually shallow. Lots of unwanted splashback." -TepidPool
Elliot said my breakup must have been due to the sweater curse, an unexplained phenomenon where anyone who gives their significant other a hand-knit sweater gets dumped. The only way to break the curse, Elliot said, was to destroy the sweater.
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