Wednesday, May 27, 2009
So today, just a few scant days after Memorial Day, we get James Ragland's column about vet Frank Larison, who is in trouble with his HOA at Woodlands II on the Creek for having the temerity to exercise his constitutional rights. Last night, I began reading a book by the same author of "Eats Shoots and Leaves," Lynne Truss. This book, "Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life (or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door)," is kind of about manners, but more about how simple human decency should preclude the modern-day need for entire tomes dedicated to etiquette. I bring this up because there was a very interesting subhead in the first chapter about how we've managed to irrationally widen our personal space over the years. Instead of moving to an area of the room where there's no cigarette smoke, we behave dramatically and insist there be a law to make sure that your ever-widening bubble of personal space is clear of it. If we don't like bars, instead of not going to one, we demand that they clear out from our neighborhoods. If we don't like decals on cars, we - instead of just not putting them on our cars and thinking, "To each his own," when we see one on another car - demand that our neighborhood be bereft of cars with any kind of decoration. HOA's operate under the guise that it protects the overall value of the member homes. But a home without character is a house. A cluster of houses is just a subdivision or a complex, not a neighborhood. While nobody wants nuisances like Bondo'd cars on blocks or toilet planters, there are city codes in place that already address these things. So to the Woodlands II on the Creek HOA president, I submit: Your kid getting shot in the head while she sleeps in your bed, where she feels safest? Big fat juicy nuisance. Vet with decals showing his pride in his military service? Not. Got it? Great. And just in case anyone feels the need to explain how you feel to the HOA, I believe this is the address. Update: Someone has anonymously posted the correct contact information in comments.