A lot of folks like to make judgments. Someone told me that 90% of what we know about a person happens at first glance, without speaking. I’m no saint, but that always seemed to me a cop-out, an excuse for poor behavior.
We’ve heard and talked a lot of fuss about the MacDonalds’ front yard. I know what you folks are thinking. It’s a mess. You’re not wrong. There are Lego pieces strewn all over the dead grass, they’ve got a broken chain dangling from a tree over a water-filled tire swing, and part of their front railing is rotted and falling down where one of their boys crashed into it while playing catch. They’ve got one of those inflatable snowmen deflated on their lawn like he’s lurking until next winter, which is unconvincing since he was never inflated this winter.
I realize that I’m new to the Board, but shouldn’t we send a fee or a notice at least before taking further action? It’s not like we can really know a book by its front. We don’t know for sure what is going on in their house just by walking past their driveway. Let’s not be rash by acting on assumptions.
Honestly, the ones with carefully shaved grass, especially when no trimmings are left behind, and walkways that always get shoveled within a couple of minutes of a blizzard come across as belonging to folks who perhaps care a little too much. Margaret, your porch swing makes a familiar squeak and has a floral pattern on the seat that looks like anyone’s adorable grandma could own it. Gerry, your petunias are immaculate, and your snapdragons are so impossibly perfect that their little petals nearly make me cry every time I walk past with my dogs. Richard, your doormat actually says “Welcome!” and your doorbell literally makes a ding-dong sound. If any homes merit suspicion, you folks sure look like you’ve got something to hide.
No, I’m joking. Of course I’m joking. I know it doesn’t usually look like I’m joking when I am. My wife always tells me to smile more.
In seriousness, aren’t we overlooking something? Yes, I know we’re not permitted to discuss it. I read the bylaws and my own contract, but it does seem a double standard that we’d be willing to discuss calling DHS and foreclosing on the MacDonalds while ignoring the nondescript white house at 224 Murray Street.
No, I’m not joking now. This is serious. I don’t even like walking my dogs past it because as soon as we get to the mouth of the driveway, I hear the distant cry of an baby. When I turn my head to look, I always see a lone, cobblestone road carving a twisted path up a dark mountain through cracks of lightning and torrential downpour, winding up to a summit wreathed in flame, where sits a colossal, celestial infant with gleaming eyes and a contemptuous scowl, and it speaks in guttural chords beneath the register of men, “Woe unto thee if thou wouldst obstruct My Succor!” before the image fades, and I find myself huddled in the fetal position, weeping on the sidewalk.
I’m not sure that’s a shared experience--just making an observation about one of our neighbors. I mean, I get it if the Board doesn’t decide to make an action item for 224 Murray Street. It just seems like, you know, the elephant in the room. It's not like it happens every time I walk my dogs past, just once every couple of weeks.
Was that time? Is my time up? Thank you.