Neighbor X: Hero, Vigilante, and Champion of the People

On August 25th, 2011 my family made the unfortunate mistake of leaving a car on the street overnight.  To some people in our neighborhood, this is like holding a public execution of innocent civilians on our front yard.  So they did what any God fearing person would do and wrote a complaint letter to our neighborhood’s Home Owners Association, who in turn wrote us a letter that was received on August 27th, 2011. This is the response letter I wrote and sent back.  Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Dear Lizabeth *********,

It has come to my attention that someone in this neighborhood has entirely too much time on their hands, and a bitter, disgruntled view of the world.  You may actually recognize the return address on the envelope this very letter came in.  We are in fact the house that seems to have a hard time grasping the rules put in place by Section 9, Paragraph D. At one point you may have even asked yourself “why? Why do these people have so much trouble moving a car onto their driveway at night?” You’re lucky; I’m going to tell you why.

Now, it is currently 2011. Not 1984.  And yet, it would appear Big Brother is watching.  At night, state police do not patrol the neighborhood with bullhorns playing state made propaganda messages.  State police do not drive through the streets at night putting large spotlights into the windows of houses hoping to find a small group of resistance.  And yet, somehow the Home Owners Association knows every time a single car is left on the street for exactly one night.

It doesn’t take much detective work to realize that a neighbor is turning us in every time we accidentally leave ONE car on the street for ONE night.  Now, for a moment let’s put aside the parking regulations that would make the Gestapo tip their hat in a sign of appreciation.  Let’s just focus on the man (or woman, but most likely a man) who keeps turning us in.  Luckily, I don’t know who it is.  So, for the sake of the letter, let’s call him Neighbor X.  Neighbor X has SO MUCH time on his hands that he checks EVERY night to make sure there are NO cars on the street.  And rightfully so! Do you know what happens if a car is left on the street for one night!? Nothing.  But to Neighbor X it’s a big deal.  A car on the street attacks the very aesthetic of this beautiful (I’ll call it gilded) neighborhood.  So by dammit Neighbor X reports that car, because there is NOTHING in this world that is more important than keeping the streets clear at night. But wait…there is.  Neighbor X could focus on any of the following issues:

-As I sit here writing this letter, Hurricane Irene is wreaking havoc on coastal communities.  The elderly and sick are in serious danger as flooding threatens to ruin entire neighborhoods and developments.  Neighbor X will never have to evacuate his home because of a hurricane. However, if Neighbor X’s house flooded, I would probably throw some sort of celebration.  It would more than likely have fireworks involved. The celebration would be nuts. Dogs wearing clown suits, clowns wearing dog suits. Rill Nutz. But God forbid…if ONE truck parked on the street in the process of rebuilding his home; I’d go to prison for what I’d do.

-925 million people live with constant hunger.  Not like Neighbor X’s hunger during an intense night of street watching, but constantly hungry.  Perhaps they live in poverty, or perhaps their governments won’t let international aid give the hungry people food.  Whatever the case may be, these people are dying. Straight up dying because they’re so hungry.  Neighbor X could take just ONE night away from street watching (he might get the shakes) and put that effort into putting together a box of donated food.  But Neighbor X lives in Johnson County (just like me, we’re neighbors remember?) and he doesn’t know what hunger is.

-In Florida a man by the name of Dale McDaniel’s harasses his neighbors from the moment he wakes up to the moment he passes out.  Dale has a little bit of a drinking problem.  Dale actually went so far as to hit his paraplegic neighbor with a fish. A whole fish! One time, almost 15 Busch beers deep, he chased his neighbor down the street with a chainsaw.  Kapow! He sits in a canoe and drinks until he has to relieve himself on his yard in front of all of his neighbors.  Then he probably yells something witty like “go fish!” Wouldn’t that be funny? Neighbor X doesn’t live next to Dale McDaniels. He lives next to us. I’ve never slapped someone in the face with a fish.

At the end of the day Neighbor X is one of the bravest men the world has ever seen.  I heard he stormed Normandy in his own row boat carrying only a small kitchen knife.  Upon returning home he went on to invent the suburb.  However, don’t you dare park a car on his streets.  He’ll go absolutely ballistic.  Lizabeth, Neighbor X isn’t living up to his full potential.  Sure, he does the dirty work for our neighborhood, making sure the streets are clear, but why stop there? Why doesn’t he don a mask and make sure all crime is banished from Stonebridge Court? Or, since he’s SO good at making sure rules are upheld, he should go over to Libya and announce himself as the new leader! Look at Gaddafi, he let people park in the street and that got him into a pretty precarious situation.

Lizabeth, we park in the street because we don’t give a flying shit.  There is death, famine, pain, and torture in this world.  There are some awful things out there.  Almost everything is more important than where a car is parked at night.  Ultimately though, the joke is on us.  We agreed to these fascist rules when we signed the agreement and the contract with the Home Owners Association.  So touché.

Michael S******* ( S-A-*-E-*-O-F-*) No H. Not now, not ever.

**** W ***st St.

Overland Park, KS, 66085

p.s. Maybe Neighbor X could put some time and effort into finding the “E” that escaped from your first name.

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