“What’s this?” Bill Dear asked as I set a cup of coffee crumbs in front of him one morning.
“That’s your coffee,” I answered as I handed him an orange. “Here’s your juice.”
“I have prunes if you’d rather have that.”
“What’s that white stuff sprinkled on my toast?”
“That’s your grits. I thought they’d be easier to eat that way.”
“Did I leave the lid up in the bathroom again?” he asked as he peered at the coffee dust in his cup.
“There’s a drought on, in case you haven’t bothered to read something besides News of the Weird. This is just like the astronauts eat. Except you can’t have Tang unless you mix it with milk.”
“Can I have an egg?”
“That takes too much water to clean up. You can have an egg on Sunday. That’s our day to sprinkle.”
“I’m afraid I’ve already broken that rule. Am I allowed to brush my teeth?”
“Is it Sunday?”
“Here’s some Dentyne. Knock yourself out.”
“Is there something I should know?”
“You should know that it’s our civic duty to conserve water during times of drought. We’re in a desperate situation.”
“Meaning. . . .” Suddenly his face lit up with understanding. “We’re not supposed to flush.”
“Only on Sundays.”
“I don’t think that’s what they mean.”
“It says in the paper that you’re allowed luxury water usage, like loading up your Super Soaker so you can wipe out Mr. Zachary when he edges your tomatoes with his weed eater, every other day depending on your address. If you have an even house number, you get Saturdays. We’re odd.”
“I’d say so.”
“Count your blessings. Old Mrs. Finburne won’t let Ed take his Viagra.”
“Because it's a luxury?
“No. She says it’s a clear case of nonessential water usage.”