Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"You see, certified mail is always registered, but registered mail is not necessarily certified." - Newman, Seinfeld


The invasion of the Metal Children. No wonder you can’t find a bench to sit on nowadays.

I made The Mrs. snort yesterday.

When we moved to Texas, one of the things that I specifically didn’t want was a strong, activist homeowner’s association. Why? The problem with homeowner’s associations (or, so I’ve heard) is that they are dominated by two types of people:

the retired who have nothing better to do, and
people so consistently downtrodden that they never have a chance to wield any power in real life.

This has always concerned me, since I take private property rights pretty seriously, and don’t want to be in thrall of some 80-year-old ex-postal clerk who might come by and jump off his walker to measure my lawn and make sure it’s within the appropriately proscribed height limitations. Nevermind the beer cans.

When we bought this place I talked to the President of the HOA, and asked him about the various rules, covenants, and bylaws of the association. His quote – “Once the house is built, there aren’t many rules that we have.”

About a month ago, I got a note from the mailman in my box – it indicated that a certified letter had been mailed to me, but there was a box checked “I’m too lazy to get out of the mail truck, so I’ll write this up and you can come get it at the post office tomorrow.”

Now, Internet, this is the FIRST certified letter that I’ve ever gotten in my life. I can’t imagine that people try to send good news by certified letter. Namely, I worry it’s the kind of news that’s more the “dead fish rotting in the garbage” kind of news that they don’t want to dirty their hands with.

I get paranoid.

I hit Google®, and attempt to find out why a person might want to send a certified letter. Most involved legal attempts to pull money out of your pocket. I shuddered, until I figured that by the return address (scrawled badly in a near-illiterate fashion) that it might be a local developer who had to send the notice out by law because he was going to put in yet-another-strip-mall.

The next morning I picked up the letter, and found that it wasn’t that at all – rather it was my homeowner’s association telling me that my siding was covered in a dried algae-paste, that there was waste, perhaps radioactive, behind my garage, that was just a smidgen visible if you drove by at 2 MPH (or, perhaps if you were using your walker to move on by).

As it happened, between the date the letter was sent and when I picked it up, The Mrs. had started scraping the algae off the siding (it makes a nice soup that goes well with a white wine).

Honestly, I drove by the house, and outside of a single tire behind the garage, there was scant evidence of any real issues.

The next weekend I scrubbed and powerwashed the house, and called the local haz-mat team to take care of the stuff behind the garage. Problem solved.

I had it mind to write a pretty snide response, and send it through some sort of mail service that was actually painful – one that, perhaps, had a mail carrier that insulted you to your face, slapped you, and then peed on your front step.

I decided to give it a rest, and perhaps send a much shorter letter, perhaps to the effect that “we know where you live.” I was discussing this with The Mrs. as she and I reached home after a day fiddling around Houston. On the front porch was a Home Despot© bag.

I asked The Mrs., as I squinted at the bag right on our front step, “What’s that?”

“Maybe it’s a bag of flaming dog poo,” was her quick retort.

“Oh, the Homeowners’ Association has been here.”

Yeah, that made her snort.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My covenants say I can't put
up an antenna for TV reception.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're not allowed to own chickens, nor have open lagoons. It hasn't been too dificult to get used to.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're not allowed to own chickens, nor have open lagoons. It hasn't been too dificult to get used to.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My covenants say I can't put
up an antenna for TV reception.

9:29 PM  
Blogger John said...

You're in a coven????

Mmmm, chickens. Mmmm, open sewage lagoons.

Mmmm, chickens. Mmmm, open sewage lagoons.

You're in a coven????

7:50 PM  

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