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Back off, you water Nazis - Ed BrockI'm not selfish. My plants are.

Well, there's nothing else to write about, so I'm going to gripe about the new water restrictions. It's not that I don't realize the need, I just need to get my feelings off my chest.

And many of you know you feel the same way.

Anyway, I've tried explaining the purpose of water conservation to my lawn and it just doesn't seem to understand.

The thing that irks me about the newly imposed, statewide watering restrictions is that we're not currently experiencing a drought.

"People tend to relate water conservation only when it's a drought," said Mary Elfner, a water conservation coordinator from somewhere whose quote I found in an AP wire story. "It's not dependent upon anything."

Well, is it dependent on this so-called "Water War" with Alabama, my home state? Because if it is, I'm sure I can talk some sense into my fellow ?Bamians.

They don't water their lawns because it makes the old car up on bricks in the front yard get rusty.

So what if it is a good idea to save up for a non-rainy day? I still wonder how badly this is needed. Are we really at the point where mandatory water restrictions are needed rather than continuing to educate the public on the need and then leaving the decision up to us?

Of course, I'll admit that people can't really be counted on to do the right thing on their own. The fact is that if I come home on a Monday to my odd-numbered house and find my flowers drooping and dying, guess what I'm going to do.

Oh, I'll try to obey the new strictures, when I can. But I work weird hours and I've just taken on a second job, so I'm pretty sure there will be many Tuesdays and Thursdays when I just won't be able to run the hose out and give my little green friends a good, deep drink.

And if that happens on a Thursday, then I'll have to wait until Sunday, and three dry days can be very, very bad.

But maybe there's a loophole. What if I pour the water into a container on a regulated day and then apply it on an off day? Is that illegal? I mean, there's nothing in the law about that, right?

Still, I don't have a container big enough to hold the water needed to wash my car or water the lawn. Come to think of it, I don't really water my lawn much at all.

But I plan to start, and now I have this extra inconvenience to worry about.

Eh, maybe I won't even notice. Practically speaking, these restrictions, while mandatory, are still really voluntary. I just don't think the cops are going to be patrolling my neighborhood or parking in the cul de sac three doors down in a stakeout, waiting for me to whip out the sprinkler at midnight.

It's really an honor system, enforced more by nosey neighbors who might feel inclined to turn me in. Now I'm sorry I yelled at the kids from across the street about keeping their stupid little mutt dog on a leash so he won't run over into my yard and bark at me.

Oh well. Guess I'll just have to ignore the silent screams of my vegetables and comply with society's dictates. But those little brats and their parents and their yappy little dog have to sleep some time.

So just try to shut off my water, you fascists! I'll feed you to my shrubbery!

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com.