There’s little that dampens my spirits here in the sunny state, including the weather. Which hardly dampens anything given the drought. While east coasters are getting busted for robberies and murders, some Californians are jailed for watering their lawns. With the amount of cloudbursts they get in the other end of the country, at least the grass will be greener there come spring. Though when it’s pouring, someone will have to humor all the invited attendees awaiting in gardens along with women holding bouquets.
Water can sure suck the joy out of a wedding. But water rationing can really suck the satisfaction out of vegetable planting and playing Slip ‘N Slide. Conservancy controllers are constantly threatening us, but I like to look at the bright side. At least I’m not being threatened with black ice. Have they looked to the west? We’ve got one big hunk of hydration encompassing this land to sustain us into the eighty-first century. Forecasters say that rain is predicted this weekend, and very possibly the winter of 2017. This prognosis comes from The National Weather service… in Egypt. There are meteorologists, those climate monitors and their acting chiefs of consistent disappointment, who have a hard time discerning which way the wind is even blowing. The way I see it, I’d like to get to heaven a half hour before the devil turns this place into a stinking furnace. While they can’t promise us precipitation, they can promise to fetch pails of water from the Pacific, and sift the salt out enough to satisfy our snapdragons and water gun weaknesses. Because of all sixty minute bathers and the water pistol participants in America, apparently we’ve run short of H2O.
I remember the days when we could run through steady streams that the sprinkler supplied without ever hearing, “Turn that water off!” Although my mom would shout, “Don’t you fill those water guns again or else.” She also said not to let the water tidal wave its way out of the bathtub while I was body surfing. But I just wanted to be euphoric for five flipping minutes. As I got older she’d ask me to shovel the sidewalk. I wanted to call our local weatherman to tell him I just shoveled four feet of “very little precipitation” away from the front door. Then ask that due to prediction error, could he kindly come shovel the rest. After being heavily blanketed, I realized where the term “under the weather” came from. Here in Cali, we crave a cloudy day hoping several droplets will dump on us to wet our milk thistle.
I grew up on tap water, well water, and drinking fountains….that once ubiquitous free source of wetness. Before long, they’ll be attaching meters to them and asking for a fee. I usually take my empty water bottles and refill them with water from the faucet. I got a finger pointed at me for turning my recycling regime into such an atrocious act. But I can assure you that many have drank at my house and few have keeled over. If I share my food with anyone as well, it’s either because I like them a lot, or it possibly fell on the floor and I don’t want it anymore.
When I go out to a restaurant they want us arriving hungry and thirsty. I’m usually asked if I want tap water, sparkling water, mineral water, Evian from the Alps, dew lifted from plants in the rainforest, or an aquifer from groundwater studiers of San Diego. A whiskey and tap water works just dandy. I want to inquire if their spring water comes from a spring, or from boreholes adjoining farmers who couldn’t strike oil and had to settle on making millions by bottling rain puddle reserves.
The most famous weather predictor so far has been that groundhoggish fella. I’m not sure why we get extended forecasts from a woodchucking rat type rodent who typically miscalculates the outlook. My guess is that he really doesn’t want to come out of the darn hole half the time let alone see his shadow. I’m sure he’d rather stay snug as a bug in a dry toasty place with a plug until the weather subsides.
We need a typhoon right about now. Weather predictors say they can foresee the precise time when one is approaching, as if it’s a real service to boat owners. I noticed Noah hasn’t been around lately. If he was here now on his ark looking down at the cracked drylands, he’d need to tell the animals to swim at their own risk. I suppose it might be better than all that water that is so turbulently willing to wash you away while you’re scrambling to get aboard a safety barge. With all that togetherness, I’d hate to get kicked in the head with the hind foot of a hippo. I pledge allegiance to the flag, to most animals, and to all the swimming holes of America. So if they dry up as well, I’ll be spending a lot more time in my bathtub. Even if it did rain for forty days and forty nights, at what point does it stop being good for the grapes? Because I need them for fermentation both now and forever, Amen.
God did have the good sense to surround me with this ocean. Although He must have thought I liked snorkeling with sharks and moray eels. If the drought keeps up, I’m ready to do some rain dances. Where is Gene Kelly when you need him? I will also need another Noah ready and waiting for my carnival cruise adventure. Only with an updated version of the ark, say with partitions and plumbing. And a wet bar. And a cute bartender. Although knowing me, I will miss the boat and be standing there with a doomed look on my face saying, “Darn, was that ship sailing today??”
(Posts can be seen in the weekend editions of The Parson’s Sun newspaper in Kansas)