'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
HOUSES BEAT CONDOS IN A LANDSLIDE
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the differences between houses and condominiums. I explained that my wife and I are thinking about down-sizing, and I asked readers to send emails and let me know whether they preferred single-family homes or condos, and why.
Well, I received a ton of email (not that email actually has any measurable weight, but you know what I mean). In fact, the only other column in 11 years that generated more feedback was the one I wrote some years ago about that little-known affliction P.S.S.D., Private Sector Stress Disorder. When I playfully said that I have this illness — caused by extreme jealousy toward public sector government employees and their ability to retire with a full and guaranteed pension, oftentimes beginning around age 50 — my computer ran out of storage space because I was swamped by so many emails (a couple of which were written in such haste the writers forgot to include the warning that my kneecaps were about to be broken). Oops, I’ll probably get more angry email because I mentioned that topic again.
Anyway, the readers of this column have VERY strong opinions about the house vs. condo question. And it was a landslide: house-lovers outnumber condo-lovers by a 9 to 1 ratio.
Regarding what I considered to be the most attractive feature of a condo — someone else does all the mowing, raking, trimming, and snow-blowing — dozens of readers explained that these services are paid for by the “condo fee,” which can run anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per month. As one reader said, “That much cash can buy a whole lot of neighborhood teenagers, or even professional landscapers and snowplow operators.”
Other readers told horror stories of condo neighbors who were loud, rude, and prone to host all-night parties, often with the East Coast chapter of Hell’s Angels in attendance. One person described a condo neighbor who would go out to get his mail each day wearing a dirty tee shirt — and ONLY a dirty tee shirt. Eww.
For me the anti-condo clincher was this email: “Bill, don’t forget that when you buy a condo, you are going into partnership with 20 or 50 or 100 total strangers. It’s called the Condo Association. And Condo Associations are a lot like the Legislature in Hartford. A handful of nosy do-gooders work non-stop to think up ridiculous ways to spend other people’s money. Condo Association meetings follow McCarthy’s Law (similar to Murphy’s Law), which states that whenever eight or more people gather for a meeting, it is a statistical certainty that at least one of them will be loud and obnoxious. If you don’t attend the meetings, other people will vote to raise your fees and assessments. If you do attend the meetings to defend your wallet, after about 20 minutes you’ll find yourself praying to be struck by a meteorite and be put out of your misery. Anyway, it’s up to you, Bill. Good luck.”
Well, that was a real eye-opener. However, the email reply that most likely will have the most influence on our final decision was this one: “Oh Bill, you’re so naïve. You said you’ll have to rent seven Dumpsters to clean all the clutter out of your current home when you move. I bet you thought you were exaggerating in an attempt to be funny. Well, we moved a few years ago. Seven full Dumpsters didn’t even BEGIN to put a dent in our 30-year collection of stuff. You might have to buy your own person landfill.”
Hmm, maybe staying where we are isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Bill's suspense novel "Purge the Evil" now available for Kindle download. For info, click here: http://www.boomertrek.com/PurgeTheEvil.htm
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