The Haven
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The Haven

The Neighborhood Which Banned “Cancel Sculpture”

By letting people put these in their front yards

Photo by IK on Flickr

A homeowners association in Michigan has cancelled its six mile fun run to ensure kids won’t be exposed to Critical 10k Race Theory.

The Westhighland association is located on the Leelanau, a peninsula in Michigan’s Up North known for vast cherry orchards, miles of Lake Michigan beaches and, for the most part, responsible neighborhood organizations. Their boards of directors draw up annual budgets. Hire contractors to mow the parkways during the Summer and plow the roads in Winter. And only occasionally monkey with the rules. Such as on a Saturday afternoon, when a board made an emergency update to the rule regarding yard flag poles to prohibit the flying of bras and tighty-whities.

The Westhighland Association is different. Not in terms of size: at one-hundred-and-twenty lots, its average for the peninsula. Rather, it’s because most seats on its board are held by Trumpsters.

Nobody anticipated that would be a problem when they ran for the seats. The Trumpsters sold themselves as fiscal conservatives. That appealed to the members, who want association funds spent sparingly so the annual dues can be kept low. As for the Trumpsters’ politics, people assumed the most they’d do would be to Make Mulch Great Again.

But after taking their seats on the board, the Trumpsters began setting rules to make the association conform to their ideology. Starting with the one requiring lawns to be kept mown. Henceforth, members had to mow their lawn the same day as their next-door neighbors, to the same height, and in the same pattern.

People weren’t concerned. They figured this was just another rule to keep up the association’s appearance. Like the ones requiring them to have a certain kind of light pole in the front yard, and a particular type of curbside mailbox.

Then the Trumpsters changed the rule which required the board’s approval before people changed their landscapes. Up until then, it related to major alterations. Now it also applied to moving flower pots around on front porches.

The Trumpsters took steps to make the neighborhood as God intended it to be. “After all,” they said, “Westhighland is a Christian association, whose Founders based its bylaws on principles in the Bible.” (Actually, Westhighland’s “Founders” were four downstate real estate developers who bought the land cheap, divided it into lots, sold them as fast as they could for as much as they could, then moved on to their next venture.)

The Trumpsters decided that God’s main concern was with the association’s diversity: there was way too much among its garden gnomes. A garden gnome is a three-foot statuette of a old white guy with a long white beard, pointy red hat, forest green jacket, blue trousers, and black boots. Unfortunately, some people painted their gnomes’ faces brown, black, olive, or yellow. The Trumpsters put a stop to that. They instituted a rule that the faces of all gnomes must be white. Oh, and the faces of inflatable yard Santas must be white. And the faces of lawn jockeys must be black. Because according to the Trumpsters, God intended that little old white guys be garden gnomes, jolly old white guys be Santas, and black people be lawn jockeys.

Most recently, the Trumpsters tackled two problems which vex all homeowner associations.

The first was gasoline-powered leaf blowers. They’re beloved by homeowners who don’t like raking because it blisters their hands. But they’re despised by people who value their hearing. Blowers’ users don’t care; they wear Mickey-Mouse ear protectors. But the blowers blast neighbors’ ears with 110 decibels of roar, which is well above the 85 decibels where hearing damage starts to occur. As a result, most associations either ban gas-powered blowers or limit their use to mid-day.

Not Westhighland. According to the Trumpsters, “The only thing which can stop a bad leaf in a yard is a good guy with a gas-powered blower.” To them, this was a Second Amendment issue. So the Trumpsters enshrined blower protections in the bylaws. “Leaf-free yards, being necessary to the good appearance of properties in the association, the right of homeowners to keep and bear gasoline-powered leaf blowers shall not be infringed.” Westhighland was designated a “Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Sanctuary.” People could own and operate them without a license, and without passing a background check. “Open-carry” was permitted, as were high-capacity gas tanks. And silencers were legal (though only a woke snowflake would use them).

The other issue was dog poo. Westhighland was strewn in it. One-in-four residents owned a mighty pooper — a goldie, dobie, shepherd, rottweiler, great dane, black lab, or boxer. A standard polyethylene bag couldn’t hold such a dog’s dump. Even aluminum pooper scoopers bent under the weight. Not that it mattered: owners rarely picked up the doo their dogs did. As a result, the neighborhood was sown with steaming land mines, which dissolved into pudding-like cesspools when it rained, or stuck around all Winter in the form of poopsicles.

The board could have posted signs asking members to clean up after their dogs. They could have fined those who didn’t.

Instead, they followed the Trumpster playbook: delegate blame for their problems to “illegal aliens” — in this case, the dog-walkers in the association next door.

They were obvious targets. Some flew rainbow flags from their porches. A few had “We Believe Black Lives Matter, No Human Is Illegal…” signs on their lawns. One carried a National Public Radio tote bag instead of a purse. According to Trumpster logic, clearly, that association was rife with Marxists, Muslims, and undocumented Mexicans.

The board emailed an alert to the members: Westhighland was experiencing a border crisis. Foreigners were streaming across the border and letting their mutts poop on it. “And when the other association sends its dogs,” said the email, “they’re not sending their best. Their dogs are bringing fleas. They’re bringing worms. They’re leg-humpers. And some, we assume, are good dogs. But regardless, they’re crapping covfefe all over our neighborhood.”

The board could have left it at that. But being Trumpsters, they couldn’t resist the urge to dial up the outrage. So the email warned that the border-crossers included Antifa Terriers. Beagle-Lives-Matterers. ISIS Schnauzers. MS-13 Dachshunds. Hillary Retrievers. Transgender Poodles. Caravans of Corgis. “Most frightening of all,” said the Trumpsters, “the other association wants to replace white Westhighland terriers with brown mongrels.”

The board recommended a barrier between the two associations to keep the illegal dogs out. They envisioned a steel wall twenty feet high, with barbed wire across the top, and a moat stocked with alligators.

The members pushed back. A helluva-big one-time assessment would be needed to fund such a thing.

So the board suggested a simple earthen barrier. Yes, it would still cost a pretty penny. “But not Westhighland’s penny,” the board promised in an email entitled “Build The Berm! And make the other association pay for it!”



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Miss Catherine La Grange, spinster

Miss Catherine La Grange, spinster


Retired high school social studies teacher in Michigan’s Up North. I’m a Presbyterian spinster, but I’m no Angel.