July 31st, 2006

abstract butterfly

up to code

The sunflowers moved from bloom to seed. Birds visit the drooping flowers, and pick the seeds from the faded blooms. We remain at Stage 3 drought alert, which translates to limiting our outdoor watering to once a week. The prospect exists that we will escalate to phase 4, in which one can only water foundations and trees by hose. Watering foundations is our regional past-time, as our clay soil provides that blessed assurance that one will one day have foundation issues, and it is only a question of how soon.

I heard from family members one of those satisfying stories, the Saga of the Code Enforcing Neighbor. It goes like this: "Once upon a time, there lived in a particular tract home suburb a
Code Enforcing Neighbor. Whenever a neighbor erected a structure, allowed a trace of paint to peel, or mis-parked a car, the Code Enforcing Neighbor called the town's Building Code Enforcement personnel, who would appear and write a ticket for fifty dollars against the offending party. The Code Enforcing Neighbor became quite unpopular as a result of his zeal.

One day, two of his neighbors went to his home to try to reason with him. They wanted him to stop being a Code Enforcing Neighbor. They were not getting anywhere, though, as he declined to desist.
As they prepared to leave, the man's sprinkler came on. The problem was that this was a violation of the most serious code of all--the Drought Code. The two visitors called the Drought Code Enforcing Unit, who promptly issued a ticket for two thousand dollars to the Code Enforcing Neighbor.

They all lived happily ever after. No more fifty dollar tickets were written, while the Code Enforcing Neighbor discvoered a new hobby called "libertarianism", which kept him out of trouble (and office) for life".