I live in a state prone to droughts.
And, these last few years, a very unpleasant outbreak of politicians. They’re running rampant, all over the place, screwing things up. We’ve been trying to resurrect dinosaur raptors to hunt them down, but the scientists haven’t figured out how to make that work yet and these annoying ethicists keep telling us it’s a bad idea anyway.
But mostly droughts.
There are a lot of problems associated with droughts. The one most often bandied about is the whole lack of water thing.
I will freely admit that is definitely a major drawback of a drought.
Probably one of the top three drawbacks.
But while many will say that is the biggest negative, I have to respectfully disagree.
(We are still allowed to respectfully disagree, right?)
The biggest problem with a drought, particularly a statewide one, is the reduction in good ideas.
Hear me out.
Every time the weather dries up and the rainfall dips well below expectation, we get a politely worded nasty-gram from the water company, telling us of mandatory water restrictions.
What are mandatory water restrictions, and how does that play into fewer brilliant insights?
It’s a convoluted path from that letter to more statewide cases of “duh…”, far too complicated for me to get into here. But the long and the short of it is that we have to reduce our water usage by a certain percentage. This year it’s 20%. So I can only:
- water 80% of my lawn
- flush 80% of my toilet
- wash 80% of my clothes and dishes
- make 80% of my morning cup of joe
- shower off 80% of my body
I make up for the lower volume of coffee by supplementing it with alcohol. I get the illusion of a full cup and I’m numbed to the misery that is my life living in this state right now.
Everything else is just a write-off. Not, to be clear, that I get any sort of tax break for it or anything. Just pure loss. Sigh.
My lawn is 20% less green (or 20% more brown if you’re a pessimist).
My toilet is…well, let’s not go there. The pessimist’s view is the only correct one on that front…
Bottom line, my showers, along with everyone else’s, are shorter. At least 20% shorter. And if you feel particularly guilty about the condition of our environment / climate (and in this state, that’s a significant portion of the voting population), even shorter.
And where do most people get all their great ideas?
In the shower.
Now there are folks out there who would argue most people are stupid anyway. And while that is largely true, this problem is more severe in that it makes the smart people dumber. I mean, our state legislature passed, and our governor is considering signing, a ban on liquid soap! Because water is used to manufacture it!
Now if that isn’t an order of magnitude more stupid than your garden variety idea, I don’t know dumb.
(And, as many people have told me in the past, I do know dumb. Intimately, according to some of them.)
But I can’t be all doom and gloom here. There has to be a way out, right?
There is. I had to take an extra long shower and risk a steep fine to find this path to redemption, but I deemed it worth the cost.
Here’s my ingenious shower idea to save everyone in the state:
We need more water.
More water means we won’t have less of it. And if we get a lot more water, we’ll no longer be dealing with a shortage.
Now I didn’t stop the old idea engine there. As the water cooled my heat-waved cooked brain, the little grey cells cranked out more ideas. Ideas on how to get more water to our state.
• Build desalinization plants. Our state has an abundance of coastline, and before it gets choked off by the offshore wind mills people keep saying we need to build, we should plop some desalinization plants in there. Stake a claim, as it were.
As an added bonus, harvesting the byproduct of those plants could make us the world’s largest supplier of that essential mineral, salt. Heck, we might even become known as Salt Valley.
Or Sodium Chloride Valley.
Something like that. The important thing is we’d get water, salt, and profits galore.
Though we’ll need to make sure the wind mills are pointed away from the salt piles. That could get ugly…
• Construct water pipelines. I can’t help but see in the news that other states have such an abundance of water right now that they are flooding. Flooding! Imagine having too much water! I certainly can’t. Well, if we can build oil pipelines, why not water pipelines? Heck, those states are probably so eager to get rid of their excess water that, to paraphrase a former president of ours, they’d pay to build the pipelines themselves!
• Tow icebergs to our state. As previously mentioned, we have an abundance of coastline in our state. (Maybe too much? I wonder if we could build a pipeline to ship some of it elsewhere, such as landlocked states? Probably some money to be made there. I guess I know what I’ll be mulling during my next shower). Why not have barges go up north, grab some of those pesky, ship-sinking icebergs, and bring them down here? Sure, they’ll have to navigate all those future offshore windmills, but with all the money they’ll make selling the icebergs to us, those ship captains will be able to afford fancy, expensive navigation systems.
• Knock a comet out of its orbit and smash it into Death Valley. Talk about a win/win. All the other water solutions require taking water from someone else. Sure, they probably won’t object, but if they do, who can afford to wait the years it will take to wind through the courts? Now space ice, that’s basically free. No one can complain when we take that. And just imagine the show when that thing impacts the desert! Why, we could sell tickets to the event, probably pay for the whole endeavor that way!
Even better than all the water we will get through these above genius ideas, think about all the jobs these projects will create! Unemployment will be so low, I predict it will go negative! Imagine that! Negative unemployment! We will indeed be living in amazing times where everyone is required to hold at least two jobs. I can hardly wait.
Now I can already hear some of you naysayers whine, “Geez, Ian, those sound like great ideas at first, but do you have any concept of how expensive they would be? How will you pay for them?”
To which I’d reply, “Someone got out of the shower too soon this morning. Private industry will pay for this!”
“No they won’t,” I hear you retort. “No one in their right mind would fund those sorts of ideas!”
And in this current drought of wisdom, I have to concede you may be right. People may be too befuddled to make the right call and instead decline to invest in my projects.
But that’s OK. Because I took an extra, extra long shower (and even flushed the toilet 100% to clear away any brain-fogging fumes), and came up with an even more capital idea of stunning brilliance:
We’ll raise taxes to pay for it!