What happens when you eliminate government “waste”

It is not an over-exaggeration to say that I almost passed out when I received my most recent water bill from the City of San Diego Water & Wastewater Services. Our bi-monthly bill has been increasing in breathtaking amounts across the last three billing cycles, despite our conservation efforts and comparatively small square footage. According to our bill, we’ve used 41.76% more water than last year at this time, and a combined 75% more if we add together our last three bills. Granted, fees have gone up. But friends of ours with more than two acres and avocado trees that need watering were astonished at our bill this month.

As my friend from Oklahoma might say, It jus dun’t seem rah-t.

Since I caught a discrepancy in our meter numbers the last time something didn’t seem right, I decided to take a peek into the dark, muddy hole that houses our water meter after I got our bill last week. I cleared away the away the spider webs and wiped the grime from the glass, and what do you know?

The reading I got was twelve moons and one clump of brown recluse eggs away from the numbers on my bill. If an actual human read my meter this month—which is doubtful—he or she pulled the numbers from a different dark and cavernous place, if you know what I’m saying. Proud of myself for catching the mistake, I picked up the phone to discuss it with the lovelies at the water company. But there are no lovelies at the water company.

I’ve called six times in the last eight days. I’ve emailed twice. And all I’ve gotten in return were two automated email responses, letting me know that someone would be in touch within “3-5 days.” I’m pretty sure it isn’t even necessary to report that my phone has not rung. Meanwhile, my bill is due in two days. Something tells me that if my Benjamins don’t arrive in short order, there will be humans on hand to track my ass down for payment. Ah, priorities.

Right now, there is a bloody scab on my upper lip from where I’ve anxiously picked away at my face. It’s what I do when I worry, and I’ve been worrying. Believe me. I’m a professional. And not just worrying about this, either. I have a whole slew of up-coming posts covering the many things that go bump in my eternal night.

Unable to get through to the water company, I resorted to calling my council member’s office this morning. And what did I get there but another motherfucking voice mail! There might just be a bald spot on the back of my head where I’ve pulled my hair out, a book end to my mutilated lip. I’m actually quite fond of my council member—as fond as one can be of a politician—but for Christ sake! SOMEBODY ANSWER THE GODDAMNED PHONE!