No good deed goes unpunished. When Gov. Sonny Perdue convened a meeting at the state Capitol last November to pray for rain, a lot of snooty-noses scoffed. Not me. I told my friends they had better find their umbrellas because the governor had asked none other than Dr. Gil Watson, the World's Greatest Preacher, to intercede with God and send some H2O to Georgia.
Serious times require serious measures, and the governor knew that God would give strong consideration to whatever Dr. Gil asked. God really likes Dr. Gil because he doesn't spew mean-spirited, hate-thy-neighbor poison like stiff-necked Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama's preacher. And he doesn't promote bigotry and religious intolerance like that fat toad of an evangelist in San Antonio who disparaged the Catholic Church with a term not fit for a family newspaper.
Those hypocrites have to be an embarrassment to God. They certainly are to the rest of us.
But, back to the drought. We are a long way from being out of the woods, but since the governor's prayer meeting last fall, Lake Allatoona is a foot higher than it was this time last year, and according to the Army Corps of Engineers, Walter F. George Lake and West Point Lake are at more than 80 percent capacity.
Only Lake Lanier is still running low, and that is not Dr. Gil's fault. Or God's. It is because Lanier has to furnish a lot of water to Malfunction Junction, aka Atlanta, and most of it is wasted since the sewers don't work. The sewers don't work because the city is broke and can't fix them. The city is broke because nobody wants to live in a town where the sewers don't work.
In the meantime, we are in a big brouhaha with Alabama and Florida over who has rights to the water from the Chattahoochee River. The last time I looked, the Chattahoochee originates in North Georgia, which makes it our river. We could have stopped the water at the state line years ago had we chosen to do so, but we have shared it with our neighbors because we are a warm and kindhearted people.
Alas, we have ungrateful neighbors. The more water we have, the more they want. I wouldn't be surprised to see them go after our Vidalia onions next.
As if fighting with Alabama and Florida wasn't bad enough, now come reports of a nefarious scheme by the Tennessee Valley Authority to take more Georgia water - this time to benefit the state of Tennessee. A loyal reader who asks to remain anonymous (most people who read this column ask for anonymity because if they give their real names, liberal weenies would want to invite them to a Sean Penn Film Festival) says the TVA drains Lake Nottely near Blairsville by 20 feet each fall to "keep the Tennessee River navigable."
Why do we do we give a rip whether or not the Tennessee River is navigable? Because, says the astute reader, he knows for a fact that big-shot UT fans want to keep the river full so that they can travel to Knoxville on their yachts, attend the football games and then float back from whence they came. And on Georgia water, no less.
Good grief! It isn't bad enough that we have to take care of some inedible mollusks in Florida and a bunch of whiners in Alabama? Now we have to use our precious resources so Tennessee fans can cruise in their yachts to the football games while dressed like Nehi sodas?
Maybe praying for rain wasn't such a good idea after all if everybody else is going to take our water away from us. Maybe Gov. Perdue should call the World's Greatest Preacher, and suggest he ask God to move our neighboring states somewhere beyond East Boola Boola, Idaho, where nobody will ever find them, and then throw in Atlanta and their stopped-up sewers as a bonus.
If Gov. Perdue agrees to do so, I would suggest that the ingrates start looking for moving vans in a hurry. God listens to Dr. Gil.
Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. First published March 29, 2008.