Originally published January 19, 2022.
This letter is to inform you that you are in gross violation of the rules of this Homeowners’ Association (HOA). Please note the following infractions:
- Your contract allows for a modest structure in the prevailing style of the neighborhood. It does not allow for a big tall house with rooms by the dozen.
- Your building permit was for the lot at 161 Maple Street. Instead, you built a house right in the middle of the town, a commercial district not zoned for residential use.
- The HOA requires tar, slate, or tile roofs. Your tin roof, while acceptable, is unsightly and noisy.
- The irregular staircases—one going up and one even longer coming down—give your house an asymmetrical profile reminiscent of Frank Gehry. This may fly in Bilbao, but not in Royal Oaks. The third staircase leading nowhere just for show is a fire hazard.
- Your yard is filled with chicks and turkeys and geese and ducks. They are there for the town to see and hear. They not only squawk just as noisily as they can, but they also seem to be saying, “baGEE,” “baGOO,” "baGAH,” and sometimes “baGUH,” instead of the traditional “gobble,” “quack,” and “honk.” These noises land like a trumpet on the ear. Poultry farming is explicitly prohibited in our charter.
- Your wife’s double chin and airs are not the business of this HOA. Her strutting around like a peacock, especially given your previous bird violations, threatens to lower the property values on the block.
- Your wife has been screaming at the servants during the day, which is permitted. Her nighttime servant-screaming is a violation of the noise ordinance.
- The most important men of the town have been coming to fawn on you and asking you to advise them like a Solomon the Wise, going so far as to pose problems that would cross a rabbi’s eyes. This is leading to parking problems on your street. What’s more, you have been a fount of misinformation—on rabbinical laws, on trash pickup, on recycling. Because you’re rich, they think you really know!
- While a certain amount of biddy biddy bum will be tolerated, it has come to our attention that you biddy biddy bum all day long.
We have tried to be patient, Mr. Tevye, but your house’s HOA violations are the worst we’ve seen since Cosette’s Castle on a Cloud. We are delivering this letter to your house, to the synagogue where you discuss the holy books with the learned men, and to your seat by the Eastern Wall. The fines for these violations are substantial—I hope you are a biddy biddy rich digguh digguh deedle daidle man.
—HOA Board of Trustees