by Eric Miller
Nestled in pastoral
perfection, the townhouses rose like church
spires toward the sky. Each looked like another,
except for minor variations in architecture and
color. The location of each tree and flower had
been carefully chosen, crabgrass and dandelions
were unseen, and each blade of grass had been
trimmed and polished with meticulous attention.
The streets had no potholes and the sidewalks no
cracks. Crews of hired workers scurried about
taking care of every conceivable task.
It was a worldly Nirvana in
which no resident lifted a finger for any chore
outside their gilded chambers. And for this
blessing, they tithed a pittance to the all
knowing and all powerful Homeowners
For years the community
floated on automatic pilot and cruise control.
All was right with their world. Even storms
didnt seem like storms, as the hired hands
would whisk away whatever unwelcome stormy
souvenirs were intended to be left, but which
they caught before any hit the ground.
But then one winter, the
snows kept coming, and the shovels in the hired
hands could not keep up with the number of flakes.
Spooner Shovelle looked out his bay window
alarmed at the pace at which the snow was rising.
Making an executive decision, he took the silver
spoon with which he was born out of his mouth,
opened his front door, and began to take control
of his own destiny. To his surprise, he found it
to be an exhilarating experience. After shoveling
a path from his front door to the street, he
shoveled the driveway to his garage, and then
went so far as to shovel his deck. He took great
pleasure in seeing that he was the only house in
the complex that was cleared.
Looking out the window of
the adjacent house was Gellicy Jones, the live-in
girlfriend of Sloth Slater.
screamed. Look what our neighbor is doing.
Get out there and do it too.
Sloth did what he was told.
He always did. But when he came back into the
house, he went straight to his study, sat at his
desk, and cranked out an email letter to the
I don't know about
you people, but I was looking forward to a
relaxing day watching football, drinking beer,
and wrestling with my girlfriend. That was until
she got up and discovered that my neighbor had
shoveled his front walk. As if that wasnt
enough, she saw that he had shoveled his driveway
too. So, I had to do the same or I would have had
to endure a day in hell. It is incumbent upon us
to squelch this act of independence and
responsibility before it becomes contagious. At
our next association meeting, I want to pass a
rule that only our hired help may shovel snow. I
don't want my rich, retired neighbor taking jobs
away from these hard working people. I trust that
I can count on you for your support.
Happy Holidays to all,
well almost all.