Welcome to California National Park!

By: Jack Deal

California is headed for the Really Big One and it's not an earthquake. All the earthquakes in California's history will not equal the damage this Big One causes because this disaster will also shake the United States and the world.

California, world economic powerhouse that it is, will be brought to its knees by an ecological disaster of previously unknown proportions. The simple fact is California is going dry. Everybody knows this. We use more water than we have, if that's possible. The purpose of this article is to establish the parameters for the official closing of the State of California and the opening of California National Park.

To set the stage, let's look at a little background. If there is one thing we Californians have it is taste. We always have. The rest of the country may be stuck in chicken fried steaksville but we have organic bean curd. California has always set the style scene; just look at Beverly Hills and East LA. Let's face it, we in California are just hot stuff and everybody everywhere knows it.

The Good Folks in Omaha or Birmingham that aren't so hip plant puny little flower gardens with stuff like roses and petunias. We affluent and not so affluent Californianos plant the whole damn jungle. We call it the whole damn jungle because it is. Look at Eddie Murphy's house. You don't see puny petunias at Eddie's house. It's all green; just like the jungle.

"Jungle landscape is not native", says Ken Foster of Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping.

Uh-oh Eddie. When mandatory water rationing hits his barrio Eddie will have to decide which plants or lawns he can water and which he can't. Of course he could truck in water or maybe not take showers anymore. Or not do laundry. But with Eddie's bucks he could use Perrier.

I'm not sure how funny Eddie would find that joke; Perrier is not cheap. Is it all doom and gloom?

"We're hearing the buzz from home buyers," says Foster, "they don't want a landscape they will have to turn around and replace. Landscapes can run into the tens of thousands of dollars."

Now the eco guy is talking. What we Californians understand most is dollars. Dollars is us. So reading between the lines what it means is an eco landscape is worth more than a dead traditional lawn and dead garden landscape. Uh-oh. Eddie just lost Five Big Ones off his pad's assessed value.

Now a few heads are turning. Show me the money. If there is one thing we really do understand in California it's money. And dollars. We understand dollars too.

We understand that a lot of those dollars are in Sacramento where special interests are sparring for a piece of California's water pie. A lot is at stake. Actually everything is at stake. With no water California turns into a bad Mel Gibson movie and a great National Park.

A big piece in this poker pot is agriculture. A farm is like a car wash in that neither works very well without water. Farmers and Ag interests will continue to fight with suburbs and cities for dwindling water supplies. And water bills keep going up. Is Ag them or us? Somewhere something has got to give.

Unfortunately for us the first thing to give is Government. Government here is laying a big egg all around. Greedy Gridlock is clearly not the answer. Our two political (not people) parties have opposing solutions that involve different scenarios for carving up the water supply pie.

What about us? We meekly inquire.

They've even stopped denying they are manipulated by special interests. It doesn't matter. Nobody wants to stand up. Nobody wants the hot potato. Nobody except folks like Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping crying out in the suburban jungle wilderness.

So most likely we will end up doing nothing of substance to prepare for this approaching Armageddon. Government will wait until we run out of water and then form a committee.

Some of us will welcome the opportunity to catch rain in buckets and not use toilets or shower anymore. Maybe do like the birds and flop around in the dust. There's a few of those types already camped out in the mountains outside Santa Cruz.

Others like Eddie Murphy will have to sacrifice and cut down the size of their front lawns to 125 acres or less. Families in Turlock and Hollister will become skilled in the finer art of the sponge bath. Farmers from Watsonville and Delano will load up their tractors and head for Oklahoma and Georgia in search of land with water.

California will be declared a new national park and school kids can see the remnants of Disneyland on their field trips. Children, don't forget your water bottles.

You laugh and think the joke about Eddie Murphy feeding his lawn Perrier during an extended drought is funny. I think it's funny too. But the very next time you turn on the faucet just think of what it would be like if nothing came out. A Perrier with that shave, monsieur?

Think of the price of a head of lettuce at $9.00, a one day school week and zero golf. Nada. Water, water where hast thou gone? What kind of twilight zone is this?

Welcome to California National Park! And please, don't forget to bring your water bottles, kiddies.

You just know how those places charge so much for everything once you get inside...

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Jack D. Deal is the owner of Deal Business Consulting. Related articlesmay be found at www.jddeal.com and www.freeandinquiringmind.typepad.com

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