Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Hey Daddy,
Were we really in a drought until Brown rescinded that executive order a few days ago? Has everybody lost their minds? Is the state crazy?
–Morose in Monrovia

Dear Morose,

Yes, yes and yes.

So what’s the big deal? Executive orders are transitory and chimerical – pretty good, huh? – and while nothing ever dies in the Capitol, nothing lives forever, either. That applies to legislation, of course, but it also applies to executive orders, which can be trashed by succeeding governors.

Normally, this all happens sub rosa – most executive orders disappear faster than a bad molar at a dentist’s convention.

But every now and then you get a jewel, and that’s what happened with the “drought.” When Schwarzenegger signed the order two years ago, there was a drought and that drought continued right up to last week, when Brown tossed the order out.

So, we were in a drought after weeks of pounding rain that bloated the Sacramento River to spectacular levels and turned the Yolo Bypass into an inland sea. We were in a drought when it seemed Sacramento was turning into an aquarium, and snows blanketed the Sierra. We were in a drought when it looked like we would flood.

Brown played God, and with a wave of his hand he ended the drought. My hat’s off to him. I tried playing God at the treasurer’s office and failed miserably, although prayer later helped.

Yes, everybody has lost their minds in Sacramento, but that’s only apparent to people outside Sacramento. In Sacramento, people who battle each other over myriad issues think of themselves balanced and sane. The Capitol may be teetering on the edge of a precipice and the state may be a laughingstock, but so what? That’s always been the case.

And remember, no matter how bad it gets in California, count yourself lucky that you don’t live in Texas. I know what I’m talking about – I was born in Texas, and the only good thing there is Austin, and maybe that other town where they do the chili cook-off.

California isn’t crazy, it just seems that way to everybody else. I think of California as the Holden Caulfield state – sensitive and caring and lost – that keeps falling off the horse when the gold ring comes around.

After you become a Californian, you realize you are among the only sane people in an otherwise bleak and disturbed universe. If you don’t believe it, move to Oregon or Arkansas, and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, the drought’s over. God only knows what the water writers will write about now.   

Maybe politics.


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