by Elissa Cahn
Welcome to Highland Hills Home Owners’ Association! We’re glad you’re here. Smile! Please adjust your tie. We want your picture for our Data Book.
Let’s review our Covenants:
We encourage you to maintain a minimalist yard. Take the Edwards, for example: Nothing obscures their patch of grass. If you plan to hang a tire swing, check with the HOA. If you plan to have plants that trellis, like ivy or cucumbers, check with the HOA. If you plan to hang a bird feeder, check with the HOA. Prepare for your request to be denied. If you have to ask, you probably aren’t allowed. The Johnsons displayed an unauthorized garden gnome in an unauthorized garden plot. Know this: We considered their point of view. The Johnsons don’t live here anymore.
The Johnsons also let their grass grow. Who knows what they were trying to hide in the grass? Just the thought, even now, makes us afraid. We mow on Sundays at 2 p.m. We start on the east side of the yard. We start at the end closest to the house. Drone footage shows a beautiful choreography. When you put away your mower, close the garage door. An open garage subjects you to a twenty dollar fine. A half-open garage subjects you to a ten dollar fine. Don’t make us do the math on a 1/3 open door, or a ¾ open door. Just keep your garage door closed, and there won’t be any problems. Trust us.
If you keep your trash cans inside your closed garage, raccoons will not be able to get to your garbage. Your trash will contain empty Girl Scout cookie boxes, which you will have purchased from Mrs. Edwards’s daughter, Heidi. (Mrs. Edwards is head of the PTA. If you have children, buy your Thin Mints from Heidi). The past several months have seen an uptick in raccoon-related incidents. If you have a raccoon-related incident, report it to the HOA. If you have a non-raccoon rodent-related incident (e.g. chipmunk; rat), simply note the time and place in the logbook on our website. If time permits, consider volunteering to review security footage from cameras discretely placed around the neighborhood to monitor rodent activity.
Check our website at least once a day. You should know what’s going on in your own neighborhood. We also have a Facebook page.
Upload a photograph of your vehicle to our website. This helps us get to know you better. There are three speedbumps in our community. Therefore, we recommend an all-terrain vehicle. Or at least four-wheel drive. We like Silverados.
You may think we don’t like to have fun. We love fun! We even have a Fun Committee that meets the first Thursday of every month. We pass motions about things like bowling and ice cream socials. We have a robust Decorations Sub-Committee. Here is what you need to know for October:
In Fall 1997, the Decorations Sub-Committee decided on our Halloween decoration. It’s a cardboard cutout ghost! On October 15, one cardboard cutout ghost is distributed to each resident, to be displayed on your living room window. Your ghost will be collected November 1. If you want the decoration changed, you will have to fill out an application. You can download the application from our website. Prepare for your application to be denied. Besides, Mrs. Edwards is on the Decorations Sub-Committee, and she loves the ghost. Remember Mrs. Edwards? She’s head of the PTA.
We’ve decided that the only sane way for Trick-or-Treaters to end the night with a true diversity of candy is to assign candy varieties to each address. You live in a gummy house. Be grateful for this. Your neighbors are unlucky. They live in a fun-size house. (The Hendersons, not the Edwards. The Edwards live in a Dum-Dum house.) Gummy candy costs less than miniature candy bars. Thus far, we have not been able to scale candy costs based on income while maintaining correct candy ratios. If you have any suggestions, feel free to download the Suggestion Form from our website. We hope you don’t have allergies. The Millers were a Reese’s household, but their son was allergic to peanuts, so they were unable to fulfil the tenets of the Covenant. We sat down with them. We were very patient. We tried explaining our side. The Millers don’t live here anymore.
Here are your membership forms. We’ll give you a minute to read. Here’s a pen. We only use black ink on official business. Mr. Brown insisted on his own pen. His pen was green. Know that we negotiated. Understand that we never forced the Browns to move.
We think you’ll fit in well here. We’re very excited. See the dotted line? That’s where you sign.