Friday, June 29, 2007

Overwatering Helps Weird Thoughts Grow

I have these neighbors across the street who are watering their new front lawn for hours upon hours everyday, morning, blazing afternoon and evening.

There is currently standing water in most spots. It appears my neighbors are starting a rice paddy. This has been going on for weeks now.

Of course this situation creates a swirl of ethical/moral mindstorms, the kind of mental perturbations that can give a vacationing teacher plenty to psychologically gnaw upon. As one such vacationing person, I'll present a few strands of the haphazardly woven fabric of my brain as I watch the sprinklers come on at Noon each day.

First, I'm a victim of having lived in Olympia, Washington. Olympia has gotta be right up there with Boulder at the top of the list of Liberal Angst Nazi Cities (LANC). You know, the sort of town where people don't just practice earth saving behaviors, but proselytize loud and shrill that their methods of earth saving behaviors are best and anyone not practicing said behaviors are evil and should be jailed, killed, have their dreadlocks shaved immediately.

Olympia is the sort of place where neighbors feel no remorse about scanning through nearby residents' recycling bins, and informing owners of said bins that they are sorting the recyclables incorrectly, should stop drinking milk with RGBH and are cheating, lying faux vegetarians because they are eating cheese with rennet. It is also the sort of place where a neighbor so accosted would feel an immediate need not to punch out and/or stab the nosy neighbor, but instead point out that they drive an electric car, compost everything down to their own nail clippings and wear only hemp products.

Olympia is also the sort of place where this exchange would continue as each neighbor pointed out each and every example of their earth friendliness, all points spoken with a vicious anger self-righteously concealed beneath the well-developed use of a rising inflection to end all sentences. You know...that Jeff Spicoli surfer/hippie speech pattern where each and every last word is said as a question, as in the example:

"You know, we flush our one low-flow, solar power toilet only once a day and have seven people living in our intentional community of (rising inflection) bee's wax candle-makers? "

As a former resident of Olympia, I am, needless to say, scarred.

Scarred thusly it is not in my nature to run across the street, jump the locked gate, run to the door of the neighbors (who are really quite nice people, even if their occupation is driving around the state spraying pesticides/herbicides from a giant truck), and badger them about their nascent rice paddy in the semi-arid middle Rio Grande valley. Besides, they are out of town spraying herbicides from their giant truck.

And there are others mental fibers to entangle, like the fact we live in the County and have no watering restrictions, at least none that I know of. And then's the fact that just last night I "irrigated" our back pasture by opening some 16th Century-era acequia and having channeled water inundate my pasture to a depth of a few inches. Hey, at least I did it at night, and I have the mosquito bites to (rising inflection) prove it.

The upshot is that I will end this poorly written post, and go stare out of the front window waiting for the neighbor''s sprinklers to come on again in the heat of the day. A million thoughts, arguments and feelings of misplaced superiority will arise as I see the water start to arc in the 90+ degree afternoon. Completing the spider-on-LSD tapestry of my mental process will be memories of myriad overheard conversations at the Olympia Co-op, and around the telephone-cable spool that served as our dinner table in the group house I lived in for two plus years. Then I won't be able to stop laughing, thinking back on those Oly days. Good/bad times, bro, good/bad times.

Funny the things overwatering one's lawn can bring up.

1 comment:

History said...

Didn't you hear about the Columbia River diversion project? It should be completed by 2050. An alternative/intermedieate plan to drink beer (brewed and bottled in the Pacific Northwest) to alleviate the strain on the water situation in ABQ is well underway by most middle school teachers this summer if you feel you need to belong to a group. It certainly makes it easier to put up with the neighbors.