WATATOWN, Calif. — Record drought and mounting financial woes have one city turning off the water to its fire hydrants. Firefighters are appalled by the move, but city administrators say they are simply "stuck in the old ways".
"You have to think outside the box," said Mayor Blaine Porkbarele. "You can be stuck in the old ways of addressing the problem or look for bold new solutions; fire is no different."
The cost savings from water is being used on a positive mental attitude consultant who is teaching the firefighters not to "thought frame" fire as a negative.
"You see a house on fire and immediately think, 'Oh, my God, look at the loss of life and property,'" Porkbarele said. "Those are negative thoughts and when you have negative thought, negative outcomes will follow.
"We're teaching firefighters not to 'see' the fire, thereby eliminating the negative outcomes. This is a prime example of the new age of municipal government — creative solutions to age-old problems."
Mayor Porkbarele has also hired noted psychic Wherking Askam as a special advisor to the fire department. Proclaimed nephew of famous psychokinesisist Uri Geller, Askam said he can disrupt the chemical chain reaction that causes fire by using his mind to remove oxygen from the equation.
"As Uncle Uri used his mind to manipulate the elements of spoons and make them bend, I am using my mind to manipulate the elements of fire," Askam said.
Watatown Fire Chief I.M. Indismay was skeptical of the new approach. "You can't just wish away fire; this is the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard."
"That's just the kind of thinking we don't need in Watatown," Porkbarele said. "It is mind over matter. No matter what you want in life, you just have to believe in it really hard and you'll get it."
"Eventually, I can see us eliminating all fire truck, fire equipment and even firefighters and having a team of positive mental attitude psychics protect the public," Mayor Porkbarele said.