I received two notices yesterday. The first was from my cousin, publicly calling me out on Facebook to take the Ice Bucket Challenge, or #IceBucketChallenge for all you hashtag-inclined folks out there. This is a semi-viral phenomenon going around the interwebs, where you film yourself dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, which of course raises awareness and money for ALS research. This drenching practice started about five seconds after the semi-viral internet phenomenon of setting yourself on fire was invented, but I’m not quite sure how it became related to Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Anyway, once you are done giving yourself an external ice cream headache, you name other people who must take the challenge and/or immediately donate to ALS research.
I was all set to get out my Home Depot bucket and raid the icemaker when I unfortunately received the second notice. This one was in the form of a letter from the Placer County Water Agency. They told me – in bold print, no less – that due to the extreme drought conditions here in California, The State Water Resources Control Board (emphasis here on Control) recently adopted statewide emergency conservation regulations requiring local water agencies to implement water restrictions.
Pursuant to the state’s action, the following uses of potable (treated) water are prohibited by PCWA customers:
(Note - They didn’t go into a lot of detail as to how they were going to prohibit our actions, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that it has something to do with taking more of our money.)
The list of all the things they are now somehow prohibiting me from doing includes: (I’m going from memory, here)
Watering of outdoor landscapes more than once every other year.
Watering in such a manner that any amount of said water touches anything that is not a living plant.
Owning a hose without a permanently attached shut-off nozzle, now also known as an outlaw hose, renegade hose, or Minnesota hose.
Washing anything that isn’t an article of clothing, a dish, or a body part.
Owning a decorative water feature. (I assume this includes pools.)
Using any amount of water between the hours of 4 A.M. and 11 P.M.
Showering for longer than 35 seconds.
And, turning on the tap at any time while brushing your teeth or shaving.
They also provided a handy list of suggestions for other ways we could help meet the state’s goal of 200,000% reduction in water usage: (Again, going from memory, here)
Limit the amount of children living in the house to one or fewer.
Obtain hydration from the leaves of your plants and trees instead of drinking tap water.
Collect any - albeit highly unlikely - rainwater for use by immediately tarping your entire property.
Reduce showering and bathing to once a month, and then, only in groups of five or more, and then, only if absolutely necessary.
Purchase or build a small home distillery to further refine all your alcoholic beverages to 200-proof, collecting the excess water for home use, and consequently, making all your parties more awesome.
And, if feasible, move to another state.
Strangely enough, there was one more restriction placed on us; the hot, sad, parched, smelly, thirsty Californians.
Addendum: You are also prohibited from using water – either in a frozen, liquid, or combined state - in any sort of filmed internet stunt purporting to be an awareness and/or fundraising program for any disease or diseases that have been linked to a current or former Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer.
I know, I know. I was as shocked as you are to see such a specific exclusion, but there it is. I would obviously be risking heavy financial penalties, and possibly also federal imprisonment, if I accepted the #IceBucketChallenge.
So, sadly, my cousin, I must decline.
It is important to note, in case the authorities happen to be reading this, that my cousin lives in Oregon, where they have been selfishly hoarding all the rain on the west coast for decades, so thankfully he was able to pour as much ice water as he wanted over his head and onto the ground. Hopefully, some of his Oregon buddies can keep the viral video dousings going. I, as stated previously for the record, sadly, do not have that luxury here in California.
Apparently, the Golden State has about thirty-eight gallons of water left, and we’re all trying to figure out who gets to use it. I promise to donate to ALS research as instructed, but I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to give. I have a feeling my water bill is about to get pretty expensive.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2014 Marc Schmatjen
Check out The Smidge Page on Facebook. We like you, now like us back!