"The one carrying the papers comes up to me and asks if I'm Mr. Young, and I says yes I am. He says all right than, and flips through the pile of papers until he finds one with my name across the top. He runs his finger down the side of the page as if making sure of what he needs to say, and then he looks up at me with one of those plastic smiles you see on insurance salesman and politicians."
"Mr. Young, he began, I'm with the North American Free Trade Agreement Water Re-Distribution Board, South Central Eastern Ontario Division. He stopped as if expecting me to say something, so I sorta nodded. He took that as meaning he should continue, which he did."
The elder Mr. Young paused there as if gathering his breath before attempting the final hurdle in what had been an exceptionally long steeple race. Although he had stumbled at most of the fences, he had somehow still made it around the track and was steeling himself to face that one last obstacle that stood between him and being able to collapse.
He reached into his pocket and brought out a much-creased piece of paper. He opened it with one hand, while the other vainly tried to smooth it out to make it more legible. Wordlessly he handed it over to his son, nodding his head to show that he should read it while he continued.
"Anyway he began to read from a sheet of paper, and I guess it was just to make it all official, because it was all down in that letter there that came those couple of months back." He closed his eyes, and began to recite from memory: "Under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement signed in 1988 by the governments of Canada, The United States of America, and The Republic of Mexico, under the provisos restricting and controlling the sale and transport of fresh water from one country to the next, it is stated that once an initial sale or transaction of fresh water occurs, precedent is considered established to allow for any subsequent and future transactions to proceed without hindrance, interference, or infringement by any parties no matter what their association with said water."