Water Rationing Los Angeles, Weasels

August 27, 2009

Water Rationing and Weasels

 In our neighborhood, like many Los Angeles neighborhoods, there is water rationing.  We are only allowed to water our lawn and garden three days a week.  Those are also the only days we are allowed to cook, bathe or brush our teeth.  Those days, we drink only tequila.  Okay, I’m kidding about that last part (the tequila part, it’s actually rum) but we really are on water rationing for our lawn and garden to three days a week.  Our front yard looks like sh… but maybe it will revive in the winter.  While we were awat, my son didn’t exactly keep up with the watering.  He took care of the animals, but according to him, “Grass doesn’t interest me very much, Mom.”  Really.  So my lawn looks like hell. 

 Now here’s a funny part.  If you see your neighbors watering on a day they should not be, you can call in and report them.  I like that.  That just takes the cake, it’s a little too Kafka/Brazil, Orwell for me, but it makes me laugh. On the warning from DWP it says, “We’re all in this together,” which was the motto that infuriated Harry Tuttle in Brazil.  

 Here’s how it goes. 

“Hello, I’m Kate.  Is this the weasel hot line?” 

“Yes, this is the hot line for weasels.  You’ve come to the right place.  What do you have to report.” 

“At 0900 hours, my neighbor at 12345 El Oro Way was seen watering.  Pink bathrobe, partly open, exposing unshaven thighs.  Smoking unfiltered Pall Malls. Talking on cell phone to unnamed Middle Eastern Country.”  (My neighborhood is quite a mix of Asians, Sikhs, Russians, Pakistanis, and people from various parts of the Middle East.)  

 “We appreciate your weasly report.  Do you want your weasel money?”

 “Of course.  Where can I collect my weasel reward?”

 “Line up at the south end of the DWP building at 4 pm, we will be distributing weasel dollars.  You can use weasel dollars for all kinds of things like cleaning up around the house or for toilet paper.” 

 “How will I know which line it is?”

 “Just look for weasels.”

Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 9:38 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. When I was sixteen, water restrictions during a drought didn’t keep one of my neighbors from having a lush lawn. He got up at two or three in the morning to water illegally. My best friend and I knew about this because we were liable to be up late on summer nights doing what teenage boys do, which was mostly moan about the paucity of teenage girls in our lives.

    My friend and I were filled with moral outrage. Never mind that we did things more illegal than late-night lawn watering. We determined to teach the miscreant a lesson.

    We bought canisters of table salt. We poured salt on the guy’s lawn. My friend scattered his. I laid mine down in one strip, partly because I was afraid to move, even in the cover of darkness, in a way that showed I was doing something other than walking across the lawn, so I opened the pour spout, inverted the salt, and walked fast.

    The grass died in patches where my friend had scattered salt, and a few weeks of watering brought the lawn back. But the soil was devastated where I had salted it, and the grass did not grow back in that strip in spite of the neighbor’s especially intensive watering regime.

    Twenty-five years later, the man still lived in the house. I told him what I had done, and apologized. He said the cruelest thing he could have said. He said he didn’t remember the incident.

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