Suburban Haiku


Today you are in for a treat. I have never had a guest on my Snarky blog before and I’m honored that Peyton Price is gracing me with her wit. For those of you that don’t know Peyton she is one of the best things on the internet. Peyton is the author of the  Suburban Haiku Series and was recently featured on NPR. I urge you to follow her on Facebook and buy her books. I love this woman!  Here is her take on that suburban classic – The Homeowners Meeting.

The Preserves at North Hampstead

Minutes of the Homeowners Association

Special Meeting to Amend the Bylaws

June 12

The meeting was called to order at 7:23. Roll was taken to establish a quorum. A quorum was not established. The meeting was adjourned.

The meeting was once again called to order at 8:07. Roll was taken to establish a quorum. A quorum was established.

Association President Les Frank opened the floor to motions to amend the Bylaws, recognizing Resident Dee Walker. Ms. Walker moved to amend the bylaws to require all community dog-owners to submit their dogs to DNA testing, thus enabling the Association Grounds Committee to determine “Who is not picking up their poo.”

Resident Edith Lovelace contested the need for such an amendment, stating that she picks up after her trio of teacup schnauzers, making DNA testing an unnecessary cost in her fixed budget. She added “We all know exactly who we are talking about here.” As an alternative, she proposed limiting the requirement to dogs that weigh over 60 pounds.

Resident A.C. Lu commented that the amended amendment constituted discrimination based on size, and questioned whether it could survive a court challenge.

Ms. Lovelace withdrew her amendment to the amendment and proposed an alternate amended amendment limiting DNA testing to “certain breeds.”

Resident A.C. Lu questioned whether discrimination based on breed was any better, adding that many breeds have “special interest groups” to advocate on their behalf.

President Frank noted that maintaining a list of breeds would not be practical, considering the emergence of new breeds such as Jackahuahuas and Chiweenies, and the problems of identifying the lineage of “mutts.”

Resident Olivia Freewell pointed out that identifying lineage is the purpose of DNA testing and questioned whether “a central database registry” might be abused.

A Resident asked “What’s next? Will we be testing deer poop and goose poop? I sure would like to know which birds are <pooping> all over my car. Are you going to test them, too?”

Frank replied that the amendment was limited to canine testing, pointing out practical challenges relating to testing wild animals.

Resident Dan Scully inquired whether the bylaw includes cats, in particular, the one that used his child’s sandbox as a litter box last summer. He added that he has maintained a stool sample “in the chain of custody.”

Several Residents suggested that the Mr. Scully obtain a sandbox cover.

A Resident commented that she had observed dog owners picking up waste when she was working in her garden, but leaving waste behind when she peered out through the blinds. When asked whether she supported or opposed the amendment, she clarified her statement with “Just sayin’.”

Resident Virgil Anthony commented that a town ordinance already requires residents to clean up after their dogs, noting the “total lack of enforcement” and dangers of “increased regulation.” He proposed an amendment establishing a Poop Patrol to identify violators and volunteered for one shift a week. He also moved to amend the budget to include a line item for binoculars, a bullhorn, and hand-held spotlights.

There was a lengthy discussion about what actions a Poop Patrol could take as private citizens.

The Association budget was then reviewed in detail.

10:40 Ms. Walker moved to vote on the proposed amendments. Ms. Freewell seconded the motion.

The motion to amend the Bylaws to require canine DNA testing passed by a vote of 10-6. The motion to establish a Poop Patrol failed by a vote of 1-15.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:43.

Peyton Price is the author of the petty and poignant Suburban Haiku Series. Nosy neighbors can find her on twitter, Facebook, and