“So, I haven’t seen you guys around lately.” Handsome Hot Tub Guy stares at DHBF, and PP, interested, curious.
“Oh, yeah.” DHBF chuckles in his good-humored affable way. “That’s because she,” he points at PP who’s trying to sink down into the hiding bubbles, “hasn’t been coming much.”
”Oh….” HHG turns his stare at PP, who just smiles, making no comment. She’s just not in the mood to explain why she doesn’t come to Mills much anymore, esp. to HHG, whom she didn’t really know, even though he’d been swimming at Mills for years. You’d think that a year after surviving the Melanoma Scare, she’d be more blasé about it, but she’s not. So she just says nothing. HHG doesn’t really care about her anyway. He wanted to partake of some Guy Solar Business Chat.
But then, to PP’s delight, the Large Blue Floral Woman who’d been soaking in the tub's corner pipes in, “MORE PEOPLE WOULD INSTALL SOLAR IF IT WASN’T FOR THE GODDAMN GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS! IT’S ALL BULLSHIT IF YOU DON’T MIND MY SAYING. BULLSHIT IS WHAT IT IS!” She harrumphs and frowns, sighs heavily and then glares at the two men. PP sinks back into her corner under her hat--this is so great! A solar crazy! How wonderful! Now we’re talking!
HHG stares at Bullshit Woman in friendly disbelief. “Yeah, well, maybe that’s part of why people don’t install solar, but for the average family it’s gonna cost upwards of what would you say?”
He glances over at DHBF who shrugs, “Depending on the size of the house and the amount of electricity they use it can generally run 30 to $40, 000….”
“YEAH! BUT HOW MUCH OF THAT IS FOR THE GODDAMN PERMITS? I mean, I live out in the El Dorado foothills, and we got around all the permit costs by installing our own system, but I know people who spend upwards of a couple thousand dollars just for the goddamn permits and then the rigmarole they have to go through to get their rebate from the state. It’s BULLSHIT!”
HHG laughs, “Yeah, well you’re right about that. The rebate system is pretty convoluted….
”I mean they have to make sure that they’ve installed the panels on the proper side of the house with…..”BW starts in, fire in her wet eyes.
DHBF interrupts her, “That’s because if they didn’t have those regulations then people would just be installing panels wherever just to get the rebates. People need to install them where they can get the optimum sun power.”
”Yeah,” HHG agrees, “that’s true, but wouldn’t people just be motivated to do that anyway? The better placement just leads to more power and thus bigger rebates? The rebates should just be on a strict….”
Here is where PP zones out a bit. All the technical jargon. Then the kilowatts. What the hell is a kilowatt anyway? In the past, when DHBF had been really into the Solar Thing, he’d start going on and on about the goddamn kilowatts till PP was ready to Kill a BF!
“AND LET ME TELL YOU GUYS ANOTHER THING!” BW interrupts, pointing her finger at them in energetic zeal. Maybe she’s bored with the kilowatt talk too? “The Shipyard? In Berkeley? You heard of them? Well, cuz of the city of Berkeley’s goddamn regulations, they got shut down. The city came in when they found out that the Shipyard, which if you don’t know is an artists’ community hooked up with Burning Man you heard of that I’m sure. It’s amazing the amount of energy they generate for that event. But anyway the Shipyard had this whole Solar Set-up with this self-sustaining energy-enhancing situation, and the city got all up in arms and went and raided the Shipyard and dumped out all the batteries there were tons of batteries being used for this situation, and I ask you? Where the hell did they dump all that battery acid?”
”That’s a good question,” HHG tries to intercede.
“And isn’t it worse to dump the goddamn battery acid wherever then to let the artists generate their own energy? I mean, granted, maybe they weren’t doing things strictly by the book….” BW chuckles conspiratorially.
"That’s just it,” HHG took advantage of her chuckle, opening the door a crack in her tirade, “you’ve got people messing around with electricity and you’ve got to regulate it somehow. It’s dangerous.”
“Yeah, DHBF tried to help his cause, “it’s not like they’re installing a pool.” PP laughs. Did he really say POOL or did she just imagine it? She thinks she probably imagined it, but hell, this is a pool blog, so such watery flights of imagination are allowed.
In any case, BW harrumphs mightily, spraying her indignation all over the tub, “Yeah, I know you’re right on one level, I just think that if the government or the city or whoever made the whole regulation process less expensive than it wouldn't be so prohibitive to install solar. Look at us!” she waves her arm expansively toward the sunny blue sky above. “In California. With all this sun! We should be completely powered by solar. There’s no excuse!” Pointing her finger more vigorously, she puffed up her cleavage, thrusting out her chin in Righteous Solar Indignation. BW was a force to be reckoned with.
“Yeah, but like we were saying, “ HHG is trying to talk to her reasonably like she’s a normal person instead of the El Dorado Solar Radical that she is. “It is expensive. The regulation fees are only like about 10% of the total cost which comes to ….”
DHBF jumps in. He’s the expert. “If it’s a $30, 000 system, then it’s even less really, usually no more than a couple thousand.”
More harrumphing. “THAT’S JUST MY POINT! IT SHOULD BE FREE!!!! I mean, sure people could still have regulations to follow and paper work to fill out, but they don’t need to charge them up the waazoo to install something that is so goddamn good for the planet!”
PP tries not to laugh as HHG and DHBF stare at her, both thinking of some response. But she’s not giving them an inch.
“AND SO, TO CONCLUDE MY WONDERFUL SPEECH,” BW smiles and gives a little bow, “I’d just like to add, and it seems like you guys know what you’re talking about and are behind me in this, but the government just needs to get rid of their BULLSHIT regulations and get behind the actual installing of solar on every unit in California before it’s too late!”
And with a final satisfied harrumph and dramatic point of the finger in their direction, BW heaved herself out of the tub and waddled away.
DHBF glanced over at PP who was doing the silent giggle in sheer delight. HHG shrugged, before stepping out of the tub, “Well, it was nice talking to you, kinda.”
DHBF chuckled, “Yeah, maybe next time we won’t have such a lively audience.”
Giggling, PP started out of the tub, but DHBF pulled her back, “Not so fast. What’s so funny?”
”Hey, lemme go, I wanna go take a shower at the same time as El Dorado Bullshit Woman.”
“Haven’t you done enough eavesdropping for one day?”
“Never!” PP giggled as she wriggled out of his grasp and hurried after the large blue flowered ass jiggling ahead of her.