The Great Bay Hay Ride


Here’s my idea to help the Bay Area save water. Feel free to use this letter to write your elected officials! 




Dear Mayor /City Councilmember/Congressperson: _______________.

As you are undoubtedly aware, California is facing one of the most severe droughts on record. And yet, a recent survey by the California State Water Resources Control Board reveals that water use has only declined by 5%. I myself have been doing my part by letting my yellows mellow, and taking shorter showers. However, I’ve noticed many people in my neighborhood and beyond, contintuing to water their lawns, and waiting in line at car washes for their giant hunks of metal to be hosed down with gallons and gallons of water. 

This is unacceptable. I am making the assumption that these people are aware there is a drought, but choose to remain ignorant to it. Even though the Governor has issued a Severe Drought State of Emergency, it is hard to believe if you live in the Bay Area. Nobody is dying in the street of dehydration. Showers never run out, leaving people stranded with soapy hair. Toilets flush on command, accomodating the most germphobic obsessive flushers out there, who need to do it once before they # 2, to “clear the runway” and at least 18 times afterward for fear the remnants will leap out of the bowl and follow them home. 

Clearly, Californians are not going to change their habits based on anything the government is telling them about the severity of this drought. Distributing helpful fliers and internet memes about water conservation is useless. Even fining people for using too much water, is useless. Why?Because  a: people don’t actually read or listen or think too much anything anymore and b: we know that some way, somehow, all the water we need will be magicked to us by a team of aquatic wizards, and we can safely ignore all the suggestions to change, because that doesn’t apply to us.(hose that bitchin’ camaro, dude!)

But there is hope. I believe you have to offer people an incentive, if you wish them to change their habits. And this is where the Great Bay Area Hay Ride comes into play.

Here’s how it works.

Bay Area citizens are notified of a new program encouraging them to let their lawns die and turn into hay. For each person who turns in a bag of hay to a designated “hay drop off” they will be given one ticket to the most fabulous hee-haw honky tonk hayride the nation has ever seen. (Scheduled for October sometime). Because, Californian’s love to “party” (If I may quote Tupac Shakur) almost as much as they love a long wasteful soapy shower.

The key is to get people excited enough by the hayride to follow-through. So, I have created a list of possible hayride activities and events so exciting people will stop looking at their phones, and gaze upon  their slowly dying lawns, daydreaming about which gingham frock to wear to the hayride.

Possible activities include:


  • Festive harvest sing alongs 
  • Spooky stories (especially about the gruesome horrors of dehydration) 
  • Seasonal clowns
  • Waterless bobbing for apples
  • Complimentary gingham bonnets for kids under 5 
  • pumkin pinatas filled with dehydrated snacks
  • Visit the aquatic wizard and tell him what you want this year for Drought Christmas

  • Fiddlers 
  • AWARDS: The “hay bag” award for most hay turned in. The “auto-grit” award for dirtiest car. “Mellow Yellow” award for toilet water conservation (presented by Donovan)
  • Guest appearances by either Dolly Parton, Robin Williams, or Donovan
  • “Make Hay, not Cray!” (a seasonal swingers party) 
  • Miss “Gay Hay USA” beauty contest
  • “How to shower with friends” –water saving demonstration by Bay Area sex educators
  • The selfie trailor- pose with a drunk scarecrow, or a giant pile of dust and make your ducklips and gang$$igns and post that shit online playa!!!!!
  • The “dry dunk” tank–hit the bullseye, and Robin Williams falls into a pile of old socks. 

  • Polka bands
  • Straw hat weaving and apple bong carving
  • Scantily clad men in gingham thongs, serving cider and snacks
  • Chili cookoff
  • Narcotics 


I haven’t worked out the funding sources for this project, nor the logistical details of the hayride route, but I am sure you can make some adjustments here and there. Maybe you could ask google for the money! (hey, maybe the flat bed trailors could be pulled by the google buses!)

In conclusion, I hope you will consider this idea. If there is one thing I know about the citizens of the Bay Area, it’s they love a good party more than anything. Especially if there is gingham and nudity involved. If you offer them this incentive, I am positive you could save a hundred thousand gallons of water and prevent a water war from happening. The last thing I want to see is someones grandmother shooting a kid over a bottle of gatorade. (Actually, that would be kind of awesome.) 

Your loyal constituent,
Leena Shirlee




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