The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Homeowners' Association
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’ Association.

For years the community floated on automatic pilot and cruise control. All was right with their world. Even storms didn’t 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.

“Sloth,” she 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 Homeowners’ Association.

“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 wasn’t 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.”

Sloth Slater