9 Creative Ways to Reduce Anxiety & Water Consumption

Decades ago, during our nascent drought years, Johnny Carson told this joke:

“Out here in California, we’re having a drought. We’re starting to get through it though. In Beverly Hills, city officials are asking everybody to throw a brick in their swimming pool.”

Johnny, where are you now when we need you more than ever?

With anxiety high and reservoirs low — combined with a drumbeat of draconian directives from California water agencies and the MWD urging households to consume only 80 gallons of water per day — the water wonks at WiseacreWaterWorks.org have mirthfully released a list of 9 creative yet somewhat drastic and perhaps controversial rules and restrictions to ultimately help all Californians (and other drought-stricken states) to untie the knots in their water hoses.

While these proposed rules have by no means been finalized by the various water authorities throughout California, we believe they cover the waterfront.

However, these have already been unanimously approved by the Johnny Carson Fan Club.  They include:

  • Stop Selling Double-Doubles at In-n-Out (from 6 p.m. to Midnight)

Yes we all crave our fix for the wildly popular Double-Double but, unfortunately, each Double-Double takes over 1,320 gallons of water to produce the beef patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato and secret sauce.  Ordering “Animal Style” consumes another 23.758 gallons, give or take.  (In Phase I, it will only be from 6 p.m. to midnight but could be extended during the weed munchie hours of midnight to 2 a.m.).

  • Establish Snitch Hotline at 800-H20-JERK for Hosing Driveways & Sidewalks

Do-gooder water witches who see anyone using a hose to clear sidewalks, driveways or stadium parking lots will receive a $1000 check for reporting offenders by calling 1-800-H20-JERKS.

  • Spray Paint All 921 California Golf Courses

With Spray Tanning a popular way for celebrities to look good beyond their years and shield their drying, crepe skin, all 921 golf courses should be spray painted green, or even blue like the football field at Boise State University.  Yes, golf courses post signs saying they only use recycled water, but water is water, even if it’s Toilet to the Tee!

  • Roll Out Ed Begley’s Rain Barrels

In the first season of Living With Ed on HGTV in 2007, Ed Begley, Jr. extolled the virtues of his Studio City, CA home with a number of sustainable devices and gadgets around his homestead.  Among them was a very full rain barrel that captured some winter rain water from his roof that he used to water his garden.  Instead of the State of California paying $600 million to a dubious contractor for face masks that were never delivered during the early days of the pandemic, the Department of Water Resources should send bamboo rain barrels to every homeowner in the state and, to save even more water, toss in 2 bricks per rain barrel for mandatory insertion into homeowners’ toilets and/or bidets.

  • Padlock All Sinks in Public Bathrooms

With sinks in public bathrooms everywhere, and some people using them as public showers and/or drinking fountains, the state of California should padlock all public sinks immediately.  To save thousands of gallons of water, aluminum cans of hand sanitizers should be used instead by chaining them to the hot and cold handles.

  • Wash All Dogs in Ocean

All dog owners love taking their pooches to the beach, so starting August 1, all dogs needing a bath must be washed at any approved County or State Beach.  Licensed dog walkers bringing 5 or more dogs at a time get a 50% discount on beach parking.  (Cats are exempt of course because they lick themselves clean.)

  • Send $10,000 Checks for the 10,000 Dirtiest Cars

While we all know in California that “Your spiffy, clean car is who you are,” we should use $100 million of our gazillion state surplus to reward the 10,000 dirtiest cars throughout the state with $10,000 checks.  With a couple million car owners competing by posting photos of their cars on IG and Twitter accounts, it could create a new movie sequel titled Fast & Furious & Filthy!

  • Ban All Hair Conditioners

For centuries, we’ve been conditioned by advertising to use hair conditioner after shampooing in the shower.  Why?  For added “luster,” whatever that is?  With the average 5-minute shower using 9 gallons of water, this ban on Hair Conditioners could save about a minute or 1.8 gallons per shower and nobody will ever notice the difference in your lackluster hair.

  • Stop All Singing and Masturbating in Showers

All you wanna-be contestants for The Masked Singer and The Voice must stop practicing while showering.  Besides no one is listening and you’re wasting your breath and millions of gallons of water.  And men, while we at WiseacreWaterWorks.org know this is a touchy subject, and ya’ll think you’re a legend in your leisurely shower, you must stop masturbating while showering to save 2, perhaps 3 or 4 minutes, adding up to saving 5.4 or more gallons of water per shower.  Since this will be a difficult habit to shake, we’re recommending in our final draft proposal that this new policy be implemented incrementally by stopping cold on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and gradually to the weekends, leaving Mondays and Fridays available for, uh, longer showers for now.


A former sit-com writer at Paramount, John T. Boal is a co-author of Chicken Soup For the Volunteer’s Soul and lives in beautiful downtown Burbank.