Sunday, May 1, 2011

Suck it Up, Ya Pussies

In a recent episode of Modern Family (the awesomeness, oh the awesomeness), the flamboyant gay character Cam is directing the play at the school attended by two of the extended family's children. When his partner Mitchell suggests that perhaps Cam's directing ambitions are a little steep for an elementary school play, Cam indignantly says "Why do you always have a to throw a wet blanket on my dreams? You do it all the time and do you know what I end up with? Wet dreams -- I heard it as soon as I said it; just leave it alone."

I'm using this as a humorous example of a curious phenomenon. Some people do indeed hear the words that come out of their own mouths - other people? Not so much. Once I was standing around in Halfway Lake Provincial Park with my junior ranger boyfriend and some of his friends. One of them asked me why I kept ripping leaves off the bush and tearing them up into little pieces, and I said "I don't know, I like to have something to do with my hands", and before it was even out of my mouth I knew it was a mistake (see how I followed one possibly dirty statement with another one there?). On the other hand, I had a friend who once walked up to a guy in a parking lot and said "could you please jump me?" when her car was dead and couldn't figure out why everyone was laughing.

Our city council recently had to impose an ban on outside water use for most of the summer in parts of Ottawa, including the part where I live. This is due to a faulty water main, which means we'll be getting our water for the next few months through a much smaller pipe. If we overuse water, the system will become depressurized or dry, which results in bacteria growth which in turn could result in indoor water being unsafe to drink without boiling. In order to mitigate the inconvenience, the city is offering water trucks to top up pools and hot tubs and rebates on rain barrels.

Okay, it's not ideal. Our summers are hot, and few images are more evocative of summer than kids running through a sprinkler. I enjoy gardening, and looking at other people's gardens when I walk around the neighbourhood. But some of the reactions I've read and heard in the past few days seem, to say the least, out of proportion, and I keep thinking "do you seriously not HEAR yourself? Because if you did, how can you say that with a straight face?" It's "ridiculous" -- which part? That a water pipe was faulty? That we have to conserve water in order to maintain its safety for drinking? That we have to not do a few things that, honestly, are kind of dumbass anyway (like watering grass that serves absolutely no practical purpose)? Let's not forget -- they're topping up HOT TUBS -- this isn't exactly the pinnacle of hardship and deprivation. Someone the paper interviewed said "rain barrels? Come on, this is getting out of hand - it's like the green bins in the recycling program". You'd think we'd been asked to boil our children rather than gather rainwater and compost food. And then there's my favourite so far -- "this isn't a third-world country!" Um, yeah -- that's why our worst problem at the moment is dusty cars and brown lawns rather than inadequate food, medicine or shelter.

I get it. It sucks. We're used to our modern conveniences being on-hand and uninterrupted. If I had young children who were in love with their turtle pool, or had just moved into a house that didn't have a lawn yet, I'd be annoyed. ANNOYED. Not enraged or livid or apoplectic. Government makes a lot of decisions that are shortsighted, wrongheaded, and just plain stupid. This doesn't appear to be one of them, and no matter how many times people stamp their feet and say it's 'unacceptable', it doesn't change the fact that it appears to be necessary. Of course, a lot of people are taking the measured approach - like one woman in the schoolyard said "we're still better off than 98% of the planet". That's someone who hears what she says. Unlike these people.

12 comments:

Shan said...

Modern Family is total awesomeness. I want Cam to be my bff. We live in the sticks and most of us out here have wells or holding tanks. We have a holding tank which means once it's gone it's gone until the water truck brings you more. So there's no such thing as topping up pools or hot tubs or sprinklers out here. So I'm with you... suck it up! It's really not that big of a deal at all.

Julie said...

oh the awesomeness of modern family. the hubby aspires to be phil.

the ban sucks, but most of the comments i've heard bars on dumbass-erdry. i would offer for you to come and water our lawn or garden if you had the erge, but we don't have grass (weeds don't need to be cut as often) and well, the garden gets enough with the rain. but if it runs dry, you are more than welcome to come shower at our place without the fear of getting a parasite!

Bridget said...

I spit out my drink of water when I read the title, so I figured I would put it away to read the post ;)

I'm sorry about the ban and hope it doesn't become too much of a convenience. Sounds like the city is making some concessions to help make it a little easier, though.

YAY, you said summer. There IS hope for warm sunshiney weather!!

Mary Lynn said...

I think you're failing to grasp the gravity of the situation. THEY CAN'T FILL UP THEIR HOT TUBS.

:-D

If we had a water ban here I would just feel relief that for once we would have a good excuse for having a lawn that looks like crap.

Nicole said...

Ah, that is annoying. I hate that kind of whining. I mean, yes, it sucks not to be able to just fill your pool on a whim, not that I would know, but I'm sure it's annoying. But really? When drinking water could be contaminated? Big deal, you PUSSIES. Heh, loved the title.

My grandpa would never ever water his lawn. He considered it the hugest waste of water, being in SE Sask where there are always lots of drought problems. So his grass was always brown by August.

Modern Family is the best. Often I relate to Cameron.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Don't you love people? Reminds me of a person who wrote a letter to my local paper protesting a Walmart being built because; It would cause an serious increase in traffic with all the poor people driving to the area to shop there.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

*whisper* I still haven't seen Modern Family.

I KNOW! I'll get right on that...at some point I'm sure.

People who say crap like that should all be smacked upside the head. I'd be willing to be smacker. I like smacking head. (See I can be dirty too)

Betsy B. Honest said...

Yeah, I know a woman who always complains about how unfair it is that she has to pay extra property taxes just for living in a gianormous mansion.

Mind you, I once strolled into a hardware store looking for some caulk and couldn't figure out why the teenager who was helping me find the caulk I told him I needed blushed and looked like he might faint every time I asked him a question about caulk.

I honestly didn't get it for a few hours and then I spent about a week laughing about it. You just can't pull this stuff off if you can hear yourself.

Suniverse said...

I die of hilarity every time I watch Modern Family. I have friends who don't watch it because they don't think it's funny.

I'm not sure we'll be friends for much longer.

As to the complainers - really? REALLY???? I have no words.

Gwen said...

I wish that my biggest problem in life was that I couldn't water my lawn. Sigh.

Where I live, we have water bans ALL THE TIME. And, to keep us on our toes, the City has sporadic boil water alerts. You get used to it. :)

Patti Murphy said...

Well said, Allison. And damn funny. Perspective is exactly what's needed. And yours in on target and entertaining, as usual.

Amber said...

I am super late to the party here.

I have to say, I would be annoyed. Mostly on behalf of my garden. But would I be enraged? I'm thinking not.

But that's easy for me to say from rainy Vancouver.