Last week my friend and fellow columnist, Bob McKinney, recalled an experience of temporary insanity in which on a Saturday in March he actually suggested to his wife that they go to the Nashville Flea Market at the fairgrounds.
I say temporary insanity because what else would cause a man to initiate a 20-mile trip to a multi-acre spread of Dollar Tree meets Community Yard Sale on steroids?
One explanation is that Bob was in the marital dog house for some big blunder and he was attempting to score enough points to move from the couch back into the bedroom. Ending up at a flea market to gain favor with a wife is what happens when husbands try and think for themselves instead of asking and paying me for guidance.
In Bob’s column there was a unique item at the flea market that clearly caught his eye. Of course, Bob will deny purchasing it, just as he will deny the existence of the following letter which I gained access to by means of a low bar of ethical journalistic standards.
The Letter from the HOA
Dear Mr. McKinney,
As president of the homeowners association I’ve been asked by the board to bring to your attention the number of complaints we’ve received from homeowners regarding the “totem pole” in your front yard. I put totem pole in quotation marks because it appears that the structure is comprised of multiples propane tanks, each painted brightly with strange faces and other features, and then stacked on top of one another.
I understand that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and that art is loosely defined and one’s artistic tastes are entirely subjective. That being said, your propane totem pole is hideous by almost any standard and we are hereby asking you to remove it by Friday afternoon. As noted in Article 27.5 of the HOA bylaws “Any addition or alteration to the exterior of the house or the landscaping must be submitted in writing and approved by the HOA board. This includes but is not limited to colored Christmas lights, Halloween porch decorations, wheelchair ramps, and changing the color of the mulch in your plant beds.”
You are reminded that this is not the first notice you have received from the board. Other complaints have included:
* Homeowner has multiple large bare spots in his lawn. His remedy for this is to grow the grass long next to the bald spots and rake the long blades across the bare areas so that it looks like a bad comb-over.
* The Scooby Doo doghouse.
* The mother-in-law cottage that was actually a storage shed from Home Depot. Never mind what that reveals about your apparent feelings regarding your mother-in-law.
* A yard sale does NOT mean ripping up your yard and selling it in sod squares because you intended to pave and transform your front, back, and side yard into a 12-hole putt-putt course.
*Greeting trick-or-treaters with a kitchen spoon and a large bowl of pure sugar and saying, “Who’s first? Open your mouth.”
* You’ll recall that the board unanimously voted against your plan to dig a 10-ft wide trench around your home, fill it with water, and refashion your garage door into a drawbridge. Yes, I know our subdivision is named Castle Farms but that doesn’t mean we allow homeowners to build moats around their houses.
Mr. McKinney, just as we asked you to remove the SpongeBob mailbox, the giant inflatable Santa and sled from your roof IN APRIL, and the Star Wars mural from your garage door, we kindly insist that you remove the “totem pole” from your front yard immediately. I’m confident that you can find an RV park or campground whose management would love to have that masterpiece placed at their entrance or in front of their sales office.
Thank you for your cooperation. Perhaps we could try and avoid involving the police, our attorneys, the health department, or Homeland Security this time.
Reginald A. Uptight
President, Castle Farms Homeowners Association
Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read Presson’s previous columns go to www.franklinhomepage.com/?s=ramon+presson