Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mega Drought

Dispatch: 911. What's your emergency?

Eli: Ok. So real quick--I'm not sure that this is an emergency.

Dispatch: Eli. Seriously? Again?

Eli: There is water BILLOWING down the street. BILLOWING.

Dispatch: And what is your concern?

Eli: Well, maybe you haven't heard about the MEGA DROUGHT!?

Dispatch: So you are worried that water is being wasted?

Eli: Yes.

Dispatch: And you called 911 over this?

Eli: Yes. Are you mad?

Dispatch: I'm just relieved that we haven't gotten a snake sighting call in a while.


Dispatch: Yes. Unfortunately I don't think we've killed them all for you yet.


Dispatch: If you are worried about a water problem, you should call Salt Lake Public Utilities.

Eli: Fine. But if they just send me back to you--

Dispatch: They won't. Call us back if you ever have an actual emergency.


Ring Ring

Woman: Salt Lake Public Utilities customer service. How can I help you?


Woman: Excuse me?


Woman: What can I do for you?

Eli: It's like the Nile has been relocated to this street near my house. I'm just beside myself. So much wasted water. And what with the mega drought and Christmas coming up--

Woman: Are you trying to report a broken pipe or something?

Eli: I don't know if there is a broken pipe. All I know is that water is--

Woman: Billowing. Yes. I understand. Let me get you over to maintenance.

Click. Party in the U.S.A Playing.

Man: Maintenance. How can I help you?

Eli: Water billowing down the street! Flooding everywhere!

Man: Excuse me?

Eli: I called 911 but they said this isn't an "emergency" and "please stop calling us" but I guess they've never heard of the MEGA DROUGHT.

Man: Sir, are you trying to report a problem.

Eli: Yes. Water is being wasted. Every morning I drive to work and I see water BILLOWING down this gutter for several blocks. The gutter is overflowing. I drove around and found the source and wrote down the address. The water appears to be coming from a box in the ground. I'm very concerned.

Man: Is it on 1700 S?

Eli: YES!

Man: And 300 W?

Eli: No. It's at 1000 E. So it sounds like you have a lot of problems on 1700 S.

Man: Oh. Sir, that's irrigation water. It is being moved that way purposefully.

Eli: Come again?

Man: They send the irrigation water through the gutter like that and it collects down the street and people are able to access it for their yards.

Eli: You're telling me that water isn't being wasted?

Man: That's right.

Eli: And there's no such thing as a mega drought?

Man: I didn't say that.

Eli: So we ARE in a mega drought?

Man: I made no comment about the mega drought.

Eli: Fine. I was just trying to do my Christian and civic duties.

Man: I will mark those boxes off on your citizen form.

Eli: You have access to that?!

Man: Sure.

Eli: Do you know whether USPS also has access to those records? I've gotten into this very hostile relationship with the mailman and the last thing I need is for him to make trouble for me on my permanent record.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. It looks like you are taking Wade's and Rebecca's absence much harder than expected. I was hopeful Matt was back in your life. You can always call me...

    1. I thought the same. What happened to Wade?! He's so young!

  2. Is this the 911 story you were saving for The Porch?

    1. No. That story is MUCH more dramatic.

    2. When will you be on The Porch next?

    3. No firm date yet. We anticipate later this summer or possibly early fall. I'll keep ya'll posted. And I don't even say "ya'll!"

    4. May I just politely correct your spelling of "y'all"? Thank you.

    5. I don't say it OR spell it, apparently.

    6. Geez Eli. I live in Canada and even I know it's spelled y'all. Duh-DOY!

  3. I had a hostile relationship with a mailman once...First of all, my car was NEVER blocking the mailbox!! Second, If you save up the 40+, hot pink flyers they put on your car telling you not to block the mailboxes and then put them back into the mailbox with the flag up, the mailman WILL hate you and look at you like you're Satin himself.

    Honestly, I thought I was doing him, and the environment, a favor by giving the flyers back. He could reuse the flyers and stop wasting paper. Heaven forbid we try to help the environment right? I would have probably done the same thing if I saw water literally billowing down the street too.

    1. Who is Satin?

    2. The soft and silky Lord of Darkness. Duh.

    3. The Anonymous's win today. Also, it's my birthday, so thanks for the laughs!!

    4. Happy late birthday Jessica!

  4. So they haven't locked you up in the padded room yet?

    1. Lee - we know you're lonely in there all by yourself - maybe Eli will come visit you.

  5. And now I have "Kiss Off" from the Violent Femmes stuck in my head, "I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record..."

    1. Hey! Not fair now it's stuck in my head............
      Darling this is it.......

  6. I love your conversation posts so much. I can hear your voice as I read them (or, at least, how I imagine your voice to sound).

    1. For me, it's more like Chris Pratt :-) (sorry--couple days late catching up with Eli's posts...)

      When I was a youngun' living in SLC, we had a very wet year and they ran City Creek down State Street (seriously, sandbagged the curbs about 3 feet high, and State Street became a river, apparently SLC's form of flood control). My dad's office building looked over it, and one day he saw someone fishing in it and they caught a trout--for reals. Kinda thought Eli might be more of this kind of opportunist, just sayin'

      And here in AZ, water running down the street means only two things: it's a flash flood if it's monsoon season, or someone is draining their pool.

    2. Liz, you must be just a few years older than me. My sisters talk about that flood and we have some pictures of them sitting on sand bags downtown when Bob and Cathie went to aid in the efforts on Main Street. This was back when Salt Lake Valley was still basically a small town. I want to say it was about 1982 or 1983, just before I was born. My sisters would have been about 5 and 3 at the time.

      Is it possible to have nostalgia for a time that was before I was even born?

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Is it possible to have nostalgia for a time that was before I was even born?

      Yes. Yes it is. For the majority of my teens and 20s I was obsessively nostalgic for Woodstock. Four years before I made my debut.

    5. '82 or '83 sounds about right--my big brother used to sing "Our house, floating down State Street" in place of "Our house in the middle of our street" and that song was about that time (OMH...1982 according to the Youtubes). Now you sent me down the rabbit hole (so much better than the work I should be doing): State Street River... 5/29/1983. Wonder if the indomitable Bob and Cathie are visible in the video!

      And yes, you can have nostalgia for a time before you were born, but only because you let me be just a few years older (totes adorbs of you). Call me the big sister you're glad moved out of the house before you realized it :-).

  7. I was doing some work in Magna, and I called an older gentleman to talk about their irrigation. He told me the irrigation water goes down the ditch. That's typical for irrigation water, but there was no ditch in sight! I finally figured he was talking about the gutter. Apparently, about 50 years ago, there was a ditch and they replaced it with curb and gutter, and he still calls it "the ditch." And then my husband (also old) referred to the gutter as "the ditch" so maybe it's an old person thing.

    1. I'm only 20, but I would still call a gutter a ditch. I mean I know the difference and I don't think a ditch can be a gutter, but I feel like a gutter is basically a ditch. It just has fancy draining stuff.

  8. So, wait. Are people supposed to go down to the ditch and collect the water or something? How does that work?

    1. People who use the irrigation water in the ditch have little gates in the side of the ditch in front of their property. When it is their turn to use the water, they open the gate to let water from the ditch be diverted into their yards.

  9. Maybe you should visit Rebecca in DC and take some of our rain back to SLC with you! It has poured almost everyday for the last few weeks (including right now). And I forgot my umbrella. Actually, I didn't forget my umbrella, I hate umbrellas and would rather get a little wet than have to use one. It's just a little rain, clothes dry and my lovely jewish hair is unruly wet or dry.

    1. The flood was in 1983. I was working downtown at KALL Radio during that time (yes, I'm old). It was weird having to cross bridges to get across State Street. I even saw people kayaking down the middle of State. Good times...

  10. I wondered about the water in that area. Thanks for helping me avoid a call to 911 or SLC public utilities.