BLIGHT BULLETINS — Published by and for the residents of Running Rats Acres (RRA). Yes, this is the summer edition because we never got around to putting out the spring edition, or the winter one, for that matter. If you can do better, contact Ed DeTroit at 345 Mourning Widows Drive and tell him you’ve got so much idle time on your hands that you can put out this crummy newsletter.
Our first business is old business. In our last edition (fall of 2012) we mistakenly wrote that the Fishfins were moving to Tyler to be closer to their oldest son, Mildew, who is located at the Belo Unit temporarily — probably five to 10 years. Mildew is actually at the Walls, so the Fishfins are staying put, but intend to pay compensation for the 21 neighborhood burglaries Mildew was convicted of, of which he was convicted. Whatever. We were incorrect in reporting that Roger Rockslide is studying at Harvard. Actually, he is being studied. We were close. Finally, there has been some grumbling that the day for this year’s Fourth of July parade and frog-fry has not been listed. It will be on July 4th. Speaking of celebrations, there will not be a neighborhood Labor Day picnic and children swapping this year as our attorneys have advised us not all the food poisoning lawsuits have been settled from last year.
A fond farewell to John Smith and his family at 409 Cattle Guard Place. They are moving back in with Mary’s parents in Newark after John’s cover with the Federal Witness Protection Program was blown. These government cutbacks are affecting everyone. We must put an end to the vicious rumors that Vladimir Putin, his ex-wife, Ralph, and their children, Larry, Moe and Curly, are actually Russian spies. Lots of houses have rooftop weather vanes with a radio antenna, barbed wire fences and a getaway ’99 Volga backed into the garage. The Putins assure us they will raise their blinds eventually “as soon as vee moof der dark room to der basement.” Oh, those funny Putins. Vladimir once asked how he could decipher the community’s building code.
A big shout-out to Cindy-Sue Wheatgerm on Pond Scum Circle. She entered her mixed pit-bull-Rottweiler, Rabid Rover, in the Ugly Dog Contest. Not only did Rabid Rover with the blue ribbon but Cindy-Sue was first runner-up. Our sympathies to J.R. and R.J. Mousely over the loss of J.R.’s job at the Boom-Boom Fire Cracker Works. I think we can all agree that “flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same thing but are easily confused. He should be up and around shortly.
The board has received a check from FEMA for “the terrible destruction, seen in photographs, wrought on your community by the E-5 tornado in May.” We weren’t touched by that tornado, but we’re keeping the money. Good news for our swim team, the Racin’ Ratkins. They have finally been re-accepted in the city’s Kids Summer Swimming Conference now that most of their scabs have healed. There are still openings in the 9-12 age bracket since officials noted some of our members wore their college colors.
In other news, as you may know, in this last session of the Texas Legislature a few laws were passed which will effect the Homeowners Associations (HOA) across the state. For example, any flagpole more than 100 feet tall must be topped with a flashing red light to warn approaching Life Flights or, in our case, SWAT team helicopters. All homeowners must allow electric power line rights-of-way through their property. This is important to the RRA HOA since we are expecting electric power any month now. Due to abuse in some cities, the Legislature has followed Gov. Rick Perry’s recommendation and has banned HOAs from confiscating a house if the owner has a funny name, but confiscation is allowed if the owner puts up yard signs endorsing Democrats, the EPA or that commie front, the UN.
In addition to these new state laws, we have some new rules just for RRA. No more than three (3) cars will be allowed up on blocks in the front yard. For some members of our community who like to park their cars on the street, we want you to know about a new invention called a “garage” which can hold a car or even two. If you can’t afford a “garage,” try parking your pickup on what’s called a “driveway.” It’s that concrete slab that goes from the street to the “garage.”
Another new rule: Those highly coveted Yard of the Month signs must be removed after one year. Along these same lines, all outdoor Christmas decorations must be taken down by Easter. Following a few complaints (76), the board has ruled that no one can live full-time in an RV. An un-mowed lawn, after three months, does not qualify as “a wheat field.” Putting a historical plaque on your garage does not exempt it from being painted. Garbage must be put in garbage cans, and “recycling” does not mean you can build a tree house in your front yard with old tires and empty Coors cans.
Our neighborhood constable, Sgt. Terry “Truncheon” Naptime, reminds all sex offenders that they must be registered with him and that a new state law requires they not leave their house unless it’s burning. This especially applies to those who are also pyromaniacs. He apologizes for the 4 a.m. raid on the McSeedy Pawn Shop & Consignment Boutique, but reminds us, “Good neighbors don’t make good fences.” Sgt. Naptime wants everyone to know that the crime rate in our community “is now almost less than that of Juarez.” This year’s Alert Neighborhood Watch program does not include rear windows. He also asks that if anyone has seen his patrol car please advise.
That’s all for now. Just remember our neighborhood’s motto: What happens in Running Rats Acres stays in Running Rats Acres – unless you’re not vaccinated.
Ashby is neighborly at firstname.lastname@example.org