Measured words

July 25th, 2014

I sit staring at a blank screen until drops of blood form on my forehead*. The phrase squeezing blood out of a turnip comes to mind. It’s dry.

Not to say Santa Fe’s reached the extreme and exceptional drought enjoyed in California. BTDT in years past. But it’s dry. Our monsoon season, as we lovingly call it. Right. A daily afternoon drip of, say, twenty drops per square foot. With maybe a gully-washer making the news nearby somewhere sometime. Soon, mon.

For two months, we were surprised to be charged for seven thousand gallons of water use. Our history, for nearly thirty years has been, usually a third that, maybe on rare occasions as much as sixty percent. We griped. We called several times, over three months. (You know the trip: Thanks for noticing that. We’ll get back to you. Not.)

We found that filing a protest would cost about as much as the overcharge. Fun, eh? It’s not as if there’s a competing retailer. Sole source. They sort of have us over a barrel. (Get it? Barrel? Bwahahaha…)

We persuaded them to run what they call a profile. It included in-depth readings for one of the over-billed months. On one of the days, we saw a record of the meter running at a steady ten gallons per hour even in the middle of the night.

We’re frugal water users. Low-flow toilets. Washer drains through a garden hose threaded through a custom-fitted PVC pipe in the garage wall. Rainwater harvesting (such as it is). Xeric yard maintained by a masterful gardener (mi esposa, a collector of rocks and cacti). And there’re no leaks. We even played with the dyed tablets they sent to test the toilets.

So, at last, they’re replacing the electronic meter. Like so many others in town, it may have run past its shelf life. No satisfaction on our bill overage, though. Just a caution to watch the new meter for suspicious activity. Right.

Acquiescence: I feel more like myself. (As if I could feel like someone else, I guess: off topic.) Like squeezing blood out of a turnip. It’s dry.