I’m not one to use a 1940s German political image lightly. I abhor the over-use of phrases like “Gestapo tactics.” I shudder when pop culture coins a catchy phrase like “soup nazi.” But once in a while, only when appropriate, one has to invoke the Fascist Arian party to accurately describe a governing system so out of control that its abuse of power must be called out in order to protect its inhabitants and preserve the rights of citizens throughout the free world. Unfortunately, that time is now.
As I write this, I have in my hand two letters from our home owners association admonishing and fining us for 1) “Unauthorized river rock” in our front yard, (apparently river rocks are strictly prohibited in our community. Who knew?) and 2) An errant shade sail in our backyard that is only visible from the street if you happen to be sporting 6 inch platforms, craning your neck, and awkwardly peering over our rear fence.
Now I am not against rules per se. I understand that civilized societies use rules and regulations to ensure the safety and sovereignty of their citizens. It’s just that I believe rules should be reserved for things that actually matter; like being kind to your neighbors or returning a lost pet. Both of which my local denizens have failed to do on more than one occasion. The only thing more disturbing to me than these ridiculous wrist-slapping fines is knowing that either someone voluntarily ratted us out over a harmless pile of rocks and a sun-shielding awning, or there is actually a person charged with trolling the neighborhood in search of these types of menial policy violations.
I recognize that times are tough. Far be it for me to criticize anyone for an honest day’s work. But really, if your employment depends upon stalking and reporting your neighbors for inane trivialities, what wont you stoop to next? Why should anyone care what type of rocks pepper my private drive? Surely no thoughtful human being would scout out my shade sail, secretly photograph it and send it off to the HOA Gestapo. (Please note that I am cautiously and deliberately employing this tendentious metaphor.)
Surely there is more that I could say about this matter. But I must go and prepare for my upcoming HOA hearing regarding these vital and pivotal issues. You know, this would actually make a great new reality TV series. Just call it “HOA.” There’d be idiocy, vindictiveness, likely even some violence. That’s every essential for a hit show these days.