After our ungodly dry and hot summer, the wet has finally returned to Portland—with aplomb. Thank God.
Just in time for the rains, I finished repairing our rain barrels. It wasn’t a moment too soon. At the first hint of rain, they were filled immediately—two, 50 gallon water barrels. I thought this was amazing and decided to look into this further. I have since gone down the nightmarish rabbit-hole that is DIY rain-harvesting where I found this interesting fact:
For every inch of rain that falls on a catchment area of 1,000 square feet, you can expect to collect about 600 gallons of water. So, ¼ inch of rain on an average roof = 3 full rain barrels.
That’s a lot of water.
I have no idea what I’m going to do with that much water.
Also, now that we’re drowning, there’s no need to water my garden from my rain barrels, which was the whole purpose of getting them watertight in the first place.
Actually, that’s not the real reason I built the rain barrels. The real reason I built the rain barrels is for when the big earthquake hits. Not for gardening. Fuck gardening. Who am I kidding? I couldn’t grow weeds if I tried.
No, the water is a doomsday piggy bank. After the earthquake hits, the big one, and Portland is rubble, our water will surely be shut off. The rain barrels will provide a source of fresh water we can use for drinking (filtered, of course. I’m not an idiot.) and for washing the car.
However, providing a solution for one thing only creates problems for another, and now that I’ve got the water problem solved, I’ll have to buy guns to protect the rain barrels from post earthquake looters.
I don’t think that’s overreacting.
Once, in 2012, after a local reservoir tested positive for bacterial contamination, the City of Portland issued a boil notice for our water supply. Everyone went nuts. There was a run on the grocery stores. The beverage aisle at the Interstate Fred Meyer was decimated within the hour. I was there. I saw it happen since I’d foolishly stopped by for ice cream.
In real life, I saw a guy standing in the checkout line with a cart overflowing with what looked like the store’s entire stock of Mountain Dew. And that was just for a boil notice. There was still plenty of water.
Maybe people just forgot the recipe for boiled water?
I hate to think of what happens to a community when the taps run completely dry. There certainly won’t be any more orderly lines at the Fred Meyer checkout.
Recently, the CDC issued a massive recall on all romaine lettuce. This means we’re poised for another round of scarcity frenzy, this time, for lettuce.
Leave it to Americans to go nuts the moment they’re told they can’t have something. Even if that something is something they don’t want. Not long from now, every anti-salad vegetable-hater will declare the long hand of the government is infringing on their God-given right to lettuce. Keep an eye on Twitter for the upcoming #lettucechallenge, as scores of fed-ups—in another fad-wave of misguided protest—post videos of themselves eating tainted lettuce.
It would seem fitting that, given our universe’s cruel bend to black humor, lettuce should turn out to be the keystone to our social structure, and its sudden and complete scarcity should lead to our country’s implosion.
So, rather than hope my countrymen are capable of holding it together, even for a lettuce drought, it seems the sensible and proactive addition to our earthquake kit are guns. Loads of guns.
And grenades. It’s gonna rain grenades.