Ric Latarski - Spare the divining rod, spoil the water

Gov. Sonny Perdue conducting a group prayer vigil at the state capital to ask for rain may or may not have merit, but it is something you don't see every day.

Normally when a politician is praying in public, it is when the jury comes back into the courtroom and they are hoping for a not guilty verdict.

This does not mean The Guv would not get a fair hearing because that's what the good Lord is in business for, but you have to wonder just how much weight prayer from a politician carries.

Then again, prayers from some of the charlatan TV evangelists might not have much effect either, although they probably could pay for a reservoir with the money they steal.

It can also be argued that the drought is not all bad. I did not have to cut the grass near as often, and on three occasions I have played a ball from where the water used to be, which not only saved me a golf ball but also several dollars in the lounge after the round.

But if we really want to bring rain, then we might need to consider some opportunities to produce precipitation The Guv may not have considered. Given the situation, every option should be explored.

We are in Cherokee country, so why not seek out a Cherokee medicine man and see if he can do a rain dance. It couldn't hurt.

Of course, since all their land was stolen from them and they were run out of the state, it might be that the Cherokee are not interested in helping produce rain. It may be they have even been doing a dry dance as a way to get even, and if they are, you can't blame them.

But if we get an American Indian Rain Dance and it does not work, then maybe we can find one of those religious groups where everyone gets naked and runs through the woods to be one with nature.

It is my understanding that if you are trying to be one with nature, nature can reward you and rain is not a detriment to running naked in the woods. Given The Guv wants everyone to cut back on showers, running naked in the woods during a rainstorm makes perfect sense.

This might not be the best plan in November, but if you want to be one with nature, you have to take all of nature and not just when it is 93 degrees.

Why not get a big drum and bang on it? That's what Burt Lancaster did in "The Rainmaker," and it worked by the time we got to the end of the movie.

I think Burt charged $100 for his rainmaking, but since Burt's not around I'd be willing to do it for $19.95. I may not do it as well as Burt did, but for $19.95 you can't really expect more than a drizzle.

So far I haven't heard of anyone calling on a dowser to find new water sources. While some folks may poo-poo the use of a divining rod, there are some who are convinced it works.

I have seen a divining rod used to find water on two occasions and I think both times it worked. My Uncle Hayden successfully used it to find a well on his land that provided water for his chicken coup. Well, he said it was for his chicken coup, but the small still he allegedly operated for medicinal purposes might have been the real reason he needed unreported water.

The second time I saw it used was by Norvell Squig, who was not known to be especially bright, and he ended up beating himself in the head with the divining rod.

This told me two things: what everyone said about Norvell was apparently true and Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson should never pick up a divining rod.

Mount Walaleale in Hawaii gets 460 inches of rain annually, more than any other single place in the country, and they don't do anything with that rain except let it roll to the ocean.

We should make a deal with Hawaii to ship all that water to Georgia and we can work out the details on how to do that later, sorta like Richardson's tax plan.

I have no problem with The Guv or anyone else asking the Almighty for rain in time of drought, although you can argue this is a shabby form of political drum beating and those prayers should be done in private or in the church of your choice and not in front of the state capital.

But more importantly, I expect to hear elected leaders offer more in the way of long-range planning to address a serious issue than to just ask God for help or threaten lawsuits that ultimately do nothing to solve the problem. Sadly, I have not heard much of that.

And when the rains come and the problem doesn't seem immediately critical anymore, wait and see how many of our august leaders in guvmit simply cease discussing the topic of water and move on to something they can turn more to their political advantage.

The bottom line is that politicians sure known how to bang the drum, but when it comes to solving problems, we might be better off with ol' Burt, or at least a Cherokee medicine man.