I hate Home Owners Associations with a white hot passion that is only exceeded by my revulsion at going off the Gold Standard. And Mexican pastries. God, those things are horrid.
I have lived under the totalitarian thumb of several HOAs over the years. I would say “not by choice,” but I know there is always a choice. Perhaps, I should say I lived under them due to exigent circumstances. Since 2010, my family has moved four times. All were job related, on short notice, and more than a comfortable day’s drive away. Combine that with five kids still living at home and a husband on the other side of the world (Ok, the other side of the country for one of them), and my wife wasn’t always able to be as picky as I would have been.
The point is these HOAs are another layer of people telling me what I can and can’t do. Look, if I want to put up a privacy fence, the only other person who should have anything to say about that is the landlord. And since I’m not the type to ask permission before doing something, I sure as Hell am not going to ask the soccer mom down the street who happens to be the HOA President whether I have permission.
I’ve seen her brats play soccer, and she should really spend more time coaching them how to properly block a penalty kick than she spends driving slowly past my house eyeballing the height of the front lawn and giving me the Stink Eye, while puckering her freshly nip/tuck-ed cream pie catcher in a disapproving head shake. I like a soft, plush lawn, God dammit. It needs to be tall so it properly tickles between my toes when I run across it barefoot. Cutting it like it’s the 12th green at Pebble Beach turns my luxurious grass into a fucking carpet.
I apologize. I’m Portuguese, and we are a passionate people when it comes to our lawns. And the Rococo-style furniture in the living room we only allow ourselves to use when we have company.
Somewhere in the Tampa, Florida area of Dunedin, a 12-year-old boy named T.J. Guerrero set up a lemonade stand in his neighborhood. While I might quibble with his business plan in regards to volume of sales and choice of location, at least the kid has something going on to save up a little cash for the things a twelve year old desires; an iPod, snacks, his cell phone bill, dinners with his mother.
Hold on. He’s footing the bill for his own cell phone? Good for Mamí! Me gusta mujeres que no le dan todo a sus niños. I’m going out on a limb thinking Sra. Guerrero in Tampa speaks Spanish.
So, anyway, little T.J. is working his side hustle when his neighbor, Doug Wilkey (Clearly a crotchety old white dude), calls the fuzz on this little Beaner kid (I don’t know that T.J. is Mexican, so I’ll use the less specific umbrella term “Beaner”) saying the lemonade stand is “an illegal business that causes excessive traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking, and other problems that have reduced his (Mr. Wilkey’s) property values.”
You gotta be shittin’ me. The neighbors were letting this kid put signs on their lawn and use their driveways as overflow parking. Is this kid’s lemonade stand doing such gangbusters business that even with overflow spaces people are still double-parking and blocking fire lanes to get some of his lemony libations? There is a noise problem, too? Is he making so much cash that he has a marketing budget that includes hiring a Mariachi band?
I take back what I wrote earlier about disagreeing with his business plan. Unless T.J. is mixing in crack cocaine with the sugar to get people hooked on his lemonade, I only wish I could have a rinky-dink business like his that caused all these problems. Please, God, let these be the sorts of problems I have in life.
From what I gather in the article, Doug Wilkey is a grouch. Possibly a grouch with an ax to grind. The article didn’t say any such thing. I formed this opinion from reading the facts of his actions. He should be ashamed of himself for resorting to the authorities to settle disputes with his neighbors. I hope his friends and neighbors castigate, chastise, rebuke, reproach, and shun him for doing such a shit-heel thing. I also nominate him for the Oblivia Award, since he clearly has no idea how men deal with things or how boys learn to be men. Hint: The lemonade and homemade cookie hustle will teach T.J. about being a man. That and some Jack London.
I wonder if he is on the board of his HOA. He strikes me as the type that would go around checking for undocumented fences or lawns that violate height regulations. In a way, I kind of wish we were in the same HOA, so he could have un hombre de verda to pick on. Did I mention I hate bullies? I also hate Nazis because they were bullies. Crap. When did I become the swarthy Captain America?
If anyone desires to heap some more score on this Tampa Bay Grinch, feel free to reblog me, put this on Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc. This is solely opinion based on facts and therefore is not libelous, in case you were wondering.