Ah, beautiful Catalina Island! Love this restaurant. Tourist hot-spot… Say, why are they serving my salmon au poivre on a paper plate?
Because regular dishes are illegal here.

Trying to save water on dishwashing, eh? Very clever. Hey, I've got an idea: Why don't you also stop serving people water when they sit down? Good idea! We're already doing that.

I was joking. You guys should lighten up.
Do you realize that 37 million Californians are living in what we call "severe drought" conditions?

But y'all's population is only 38 million.

I don't get it. You turn on the tap, water comes out, what's the problem?
Not anymore, buddy. Reservoirs are empty. Whole cities are running out of water.

So when they turn on the tap… Nada. In a town called East Porterville, emergency services had to deliver three-week rations of water. Or else people would be out of water.

That's a little heavy. I'm here on vacation, man.
And we hope you enjoy your stay. But mind you don't commit any water-crimes—

Ooh, scary.
—such as watering a lawn, spraying off a sidewalk, or letting cold water run down the drain while you wait for it to get hot. Those are now illegal activities.

Okay, times are tough, I can see that, but those aren't real crimes. Actually, they are now.

They're, like, fake crimes, like spitting on the sidewalk.
If the penalty for spitting on the sidewalk is a thousand dollars, sure, they're fake.

That's ridiculous. I would refuse to pay.
Would you prefer to take the jail time — 30 days in the hoosegow?

Not really.
You could always go to water school to get out of paying your debt to society. They've got one in Pasadena. It's like traffic school, but, water.

Nobody goes to water school [tauntingly].
There's a waiting list.

Shenanigans! Who has the time?
Unemployed people, because, oh yeah, farm unemployment is up 4%. That's 17,000 extra people with nothing to do.

At least real crime isn't going up.
Do you realize what the highest risk factors are for committing crime?

Were you going to say something about not having enough food or money, and being unemployed?

I bet you really hope it rains.

Well, look to the skies, friend, but I'm getting the cuss out of here, back to regular America, where I can run out the hot water in the bathtub, leave the sprinkler on overnight, and wash my fleet of beautiful mini-vans. No drought out there! I'm sure I'll be fine.
As long as you don't eat the 50% of fruits and vegetables California grows for the whole entire country, yeah, you'll be fine.

Actually, I only eat nuts. I am a nutatarian.
And nuts, I forgot to mention nuts. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts — those are all screwed. California provides 99% of the nuts eaten in the U.S.

Chin up! There's always next year!
Actually, a single dry year can kill some nut trees for good. As in, forever.

Don't your farmers have, I don't know, wells? Aren't wells things that farmers have?
Yes, but the state just took control of all the wells.

Like in Russia!
Sort of.

The farmers are gonna hate that. Why do you hate the farmers?
No one hates farmers. The land is sinking, up to a foot a year, because too much water is being taken out.

Those lousy farmers, sucking all the wells dry!
Oh, brother.

For a firsthand look at California's scorched earth — and to meet the people who depend on it (well, we all do), read:

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