Remember that TV commercial with the crying Indian?

You know, the one that talks about not littering and destroying the environment and such?

Might be time to re-make that one, this time with a picture of Mayor Buster shedding a tear, and someone trying to catch the tear in a Dixie Cup for watering the plants at City Hall.

Maybe that will tug at the appropriate strings to get some folks to do the right thing and follow the city’s mandatory water restrictions. Or, at least make for a fun photo at the city Christmas party.

The city water restrictions, while not popular, are indeed necessary.

Those who are blaming our city officials for imposing the restrictions and surcharges are pointing the finger at the wrong people.

What was it some wisecrack said?

“When you point a finger at someone, there are four fingers pointing back at you.”

OK, three fingers and a thumb.

Or, how ‘bout this one?

“We have met the enemy, and we is them.”

I believe that was from the old “Pogo” comic strip a couple or three dozen years ago.

The point is, boys and girls, we have no one but ourselves to blame for three of the biggest problems we all face today — water, electric rates, and gasoline prices.

I think back to the 60’s and 70’s when the so-called, and still-called, “tree huggers” were trying to tell us we were getting way, way out of control in our consumption of natural resources, and that someday we’d have to pay the price.

Well, happy days are here, people! And payback can be a bummer on budgets of any size.

Gas prices are edging back up to $3 a gallon, they’ve added surcharges for excessive water usage, and I don’t even want to talk about electric bills, averaging about 50 percent higher than in recent years.

And the reality is that all of these prices are “demand driven” and our demand is what has got us into this pickle today.

We have brought it upon ourselves, and have to take at least a share of the blame.

Are there opportunistic enterprises trying to cash in on things in the meantime?

No doubt about it. That’s what makes America great, isn’t it? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of the scam?

Should things be as bad as they are? I don’t think so.

Could things be worse? Absolutely.

Do we “really” have a problem? Afraid so.

And while a lot of people, including myself, have scoffed at the likes of Al Gore and his ideas of global warming ...

OOPS! Maybe he had something there, after all.

The point is (and contrary to popular belief, I frequently do have a point) we are getting close to the point where we will no longer be able to “buy our way out” of the problems of water, electricity and gasoline.

We’re stuck with the costs. I think it’s a safe bet they are not going to come down substantially, if at all. We need to follow the lead of corporate America, and participate in some good, old-fashioned “belt tightening” in our homes and businesses.

“Downsizing” is the term they call it, I think. We need to downsize our consumption, and for two reasons.

One, of course, the money.

But, more importantly, so we’ll still be able to stay “lit, hydrated and mobile” when we need to be.

And, that is all the time.

Otherwise, we may find ourselves “in the dark, thirsty, and walkin’.”

No, I haven’t “hugged a tree today.” But maybe we should consider it.


Bob Belcher is a Daily Sun staff writer. His column appears Sundays. He can be reached via e-mail at

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