Our little wedge of the picturesque hill country, El Rancho Deluxe, is one educational laff-riot after another. This month we’re learning all about the extraordinary properties of water. I allude specifically to the remarkable efficiency with which water can decimate an innocent bank account. It was discovered, for example, that digging the 30,000 gallon hole for the cistern is going to cost gazillions more than what they’d thought. Solid rock two inches under the topsoil, my foot. Cha-ching!
And later this week I’m meeting with a wildlife biologist who is going to tell me how to keep my riparian ecosystem from imploding. The solution will probably involve a small army of illegal aliens planting dainty native mosses, building costly floodgates, and stocking the riverside with rare salamanders. Cha-ching!
And The County just informed me that in order to keep my wildlife management status I have to provide "supplemental water" for the local vertebrates. Water! I protested, that’s the last
thing they need; there’s a fucking river running through the middle of El Rancho Deluxe! If anything I should be stationing lifeguards and distributing flotation devices! But The County remains unmoved by my appeal. They will be satisfied only when I have befouled the pristine countryside with a series of ugly rainwater collection contraptions, at 900 bucks a pop. Clearly the patriarchy has its hooks into The County pretty deep.
Admittedly, a wildlife management designation, in addition to being a boon for the biosphere, also features a handy and jumbo tax exemption for the gentleman farmer. But still.