Paging Ken Burns! The Great War Between the North and South Water Districts

Terry Teri Sforza blogs on the Register's OC Watchdog that the cities of Laguna Beach, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, as well as the El Toro, South Coast, Irvine Ranch, Moulton Niguel, Trabuco Canyon and Santa Margarita water districts, may secede from its northern partners in the water-importing Municipal Water District of Orange County to form its own South Orange County water authority.

The confederacy claims the mega-district spends too much money, does not pay enough attention to southern needs and that the two region's needs differ greatly. Breaking away could save the southerners up to $1.24 million annually, they claim.

However, missing from Sforza's otherwise damn-fine reporting was the personal touch, as evidence in the following letter intercepted at the front lines of this most Civil Water War . . . 


July 12, 1861 2009
Camp Moulton Niguel
Santa Margarita Capistrano de Laguna Trabuco

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move away from the northern water authority in  a few days–perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly six South Orange County water districts now lean on the triumph of the soon to be formed South Orange County water authority and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the dribbles and drippings of the Great Water Rate Increase of the Double Oughts. And I am willing–perfectly willing–to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this new Water Authority, and to pay that debt . . . with the ratepayer reserves now held by the northern authority.

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of imported water comes over me like a strong wave and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field. If you know what the fuck that means, would you tell me dear Sarah, pray tell?

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me like a ruptured sewer line, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long–the blissful moments I have spent with you, not the ruptured sewer lines. Should I fail return from the next secret water board meeting, likely having taken my own life due to the boredom–I mean, come on, my dear Sarah, have you ever been to a water board meeting? They make an afternoon in the line at the DMV seem like Cirque du Soleil. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes: never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the water board dais, it will whisper your name. Which should really freak out Edgar sitting next to me. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you, my dear Sarah. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been, especially when I tuned you out Sunday as Tom Watson was chasing the British Open. I mean, come on! Did anyone really expect a 59-year-old to win a major? How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . . At least, I think that's what caused the spot. What else could have? Why are you looking at me that way, my dear Sarah?

O Sarah, should I be taken by force, sickness or water board executive session, if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by like Billy Joel in a Winnebago. Sarah do not mourn me dead or assume I have run off with Donna in accounting; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . . Meet again: these godfersaken water agencies always do.


Atticus Rumer Scout

Editor's note–The body of Atticus Rumer Scout was discovered a week later, in the Niguel de Laguna Margarita Capistrano Santa Trabuco Water District cloak room. Cause of death: drowning.

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