You know it and I know it, comrades, but I don't think it has yet dawned on our neighbors. We are having a drought that could kill a camel. Tampa City Council imposed water restrictions more than a year ago, in March of 2000, and we still haven't managed to Tiger our way out of the sand trap. In fact, this April was one of the driest on record. Yet walk around your neighborhood any time the sun is out and you'll find a number of selfish bastards drowning their private little oases. That's great for their prize-winning ferns, but meanwhile, if you're anything like me, you're watching the flowers in your garden wilting as an Indian-TV-guy tear streams down your handsome cheek, belying your tough demeanor and causing chicks to weep — if you're like me.
Yes, it's comforting to know that our water table has dropped lower than the bids for my underwear on eBay just so the old man down the street doesn't have to worry about his jungle looking any less primordial than he, God and Home Depot intended. The drought must be affecting his eyesight, too, because the sidewalk and street in front of the bunghole's well-appointed bungalow are positively glistening from the deluge.
Again, great for Mr. Green Jeans' azaleas, but not so good for the collective. Time to enforce some good old-fashioned conformity. Here are some methods we can use to cleanse the Bay area of this sort of maverick behavior:
1. Attach one of those water clown sprinkler things to their hose. Whee!
2. Inquire in a jaunty, good-neighbor-sorta way, what it would be worth to them not to get reported. For best results, ask this while holding a phone with someone on the other end shouting, "Hello? Hello?"
3. Buy vast quantities of any good weed killer and go for a moonlit stroll through their flower patch. On second thought, maybe you'd better wait for a moonless night.
4. Park your car on their lawn and bust out the soap and rags for a little car wash. You could even wave down passersby and ask to wash theirs.
5. Ever hear of "lawn art?" Create neat designs using your car's tires!
6. Walk right up to the house, getting good and soaked by the sprinklers first, knock on the door and ask, "Can I borrow an umbrella? It's raining."
7. Bring your potted plants over and place them beneath a sprinkler for a clever, less-likely-to-get-you-shot statement.
8. Urinate on their rose bushes. Tell them: "Just doing my part to help. And by the way, could you help me pull this thorn out of my penis?"
9. Call up and say you're with the water police and have been monitoring their consumption. If your neighbors are as inbred as mine, they'll fall for it.
10. Go for it! Narc on Mr. Green Jeans. Let him stand there with the Indian-TV-guy tear running down his face as he wonders how he'll pay both the fine and the water bill.