Richard RiouxPauline HartePatti RasmussenTim WhyteLeon Worden

At least Newhall Water doesn't levy a 'nerve damage' charge

Pauline Harte · September 16, 1997

"Mommy, mommy! There's some yucky-looking weird things swimming around in the glass of water I just got from the sink!"

"Don't worry, dear, nothing lives long in this water. That's why we pay more for our water than other folks in this valley."

"But I don't want to drink dead things, Mom. What IS this stuff, anyhow?"

"Well, I don't really know. But if Newhall Water says it's OK, then it must be. They said they never lie abouut ANYTHING. And the cats and dog drink the water and they're just fine."

"Fluffles isn't fine, Mom. She's demented and has nerve damage or something. And Star doesn't even know she's a dog!"

"Well, I checked the last bill, sweetie, because I was told that since everything is itemized, I wouldn't mind paying so much for our water because now I could see where my money is going. And I don't think I saw any warnings about ingestion of our water causing nerve damage. And if our water WAS causing nerve damage or some other kinds of ill effects, I'm sure that would be listed in the 'Special Charge' section of the itemized bill. But I'll look again. Maybe I missed something."

"Mommy, look! Fluffles is spinning around in circles really fast! And she just drank out of her water dish!"

"Hmm, I guess Fluffles would be considered a little demented, even by Newhall Water's standards. I'll get the bill. But stay out of Fluffles' way!"

"Hurry, Mom, it might be catching!"

"Now, dear, bad water isn't 'catching.' It's just bad for your health. Now, here's the bill. We have an energy charge, a special charge, a loan charge, a service charge. Oh, no more special charge, it says here. I just love election years! That's when politicians take away those charges they gave us so they can tell us how much money they are saving us because of conscientious financial management. But, hey, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth! Especially one that drinks Newhall Water, ha, ha. Well, hon, this bill doesn't say anything about a nerve damage charge. So drink up. Your body weight is probably in your favor."

"But, Mom, doesn't it make you mad to have to pay more for water than Jenny's mom in Valencia?"

"Well, yes, dear, it does bother me. But if I tried to understand what Newhall Water's management people were doing over there, I would probably start spinning around like Fluffles. Wow! Look at her go! Maybe we should take away her water for a little while. STAR! Get off the ceiling, silly dog. Gee, maybe our body weight ISN'T in our favor.

"Put down that water, sweetie. We're going to buy a water cooler and water we can see through!"

"But, Mom, why should we have to buy MORE water when we're already paying MORE for water than other people? That doesn't make sense to me!"

"Welcome to the wonderful world of politics, dear. If it makes sense, someone's not doing his job. Now, let's get going. Stay clear of Fluffles and don't walk under Star.

"And remind me to get you a night light. You know, like you used to need when we lived in Valencia. I don't know how long the glow is going to last after we stop drinking the water."

"Mom, what does 'cumulative effects' mean?"

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