I know, it’s a lot of excitement all at once with no warning, right after the debut of Chimney Watch and all, but today I’m starting BOAT WATCH.
Hold on, I know you’re anxious to get to the Boat Watching, but let me explain that incrementalism is at work here. An incrementalism MOST FOUL. This used to be a desirable neighborhood, but over the last fourteen years or so, it’s … deteriorated. So MY GOD WHAT IS THAT ABOMINATION? WATCH might work as a good category for all this, rather than me naming each individual “watch”? What do you think?
We use words like HOA, rules, courtesy. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent building a nice home and landscaping in a formerly-nice neighborhood. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to rednecks who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very tasteful decorum that I provide, and then question the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. And turn out those fucking Christmas lights.
And now, BOAT WATCH. For lack of a better title.
It appeared … overnight, as all hideolas do. Just two or three weeks ago. When I first saw it, parked there across the street, on the neighbors’ front lawn, it took my breath away. Not in a good way. More in a wheezing emphysema whooping cough spitting-up-blood Ebola way.
Apparently the S.S. Minnow cannot fit inside the Howells’ two-car garage. Neither can their two or three cars, or their other RV (a white Tylenol-capsule-shaped hideola that will be featured here on MUST-HAVE-CATCHY-NEW-NAME-WATCH soon).
To the untrained eye it looks like the Howells sort of tried to “hide” the Minnow behind a few 100 foot tall oak trees. As you can see, that didn’t work. The Minnow is actually quite visible to any casual walker or driver, well BEFORE you actually enter our street! It is visible from the OTHER street. And the interstate. It is visible from Venus and Pluto on clear evenings.
The day the Howells bought the Minnow home, I imagine there was the usual thoughtful “planning” conversation, since boats are definitely not allowed to “be visible from the street” in our neighborhood. We have an HOA, you know?
Thurston Howell III: W00t! We’re big-ass boat owners now! Lovey, where should we “store” the SS Minnow when we aren’t actually using it?
Lovey: Well, as you know, the HOA says we can’t store recreational vehicles on the property unless they are in a fully-enclosed garage and completely hidden from street view and none of our neighbors or even the casual passerby has to look at them. So, we’re probably supposed to buy a marina slip, pay harbor fees. We have the money to buy RVs and campers and trailers and boats, but I’ll be damned if I’d spend a nickel on off-site storage for all our expensive toys. Are you with me on this?
Thurston: YES. After all, we have a perfectly good front and side lawn on which to place all our vehicles and boats and campers.
Lovey: Our Minnow. For all to see. She’s a beauty, isn’t she? Look at her lines. Her sleek hull. I want to set up plastic Andirondack chairs and just sit and look at her. Let’s do that.
Thurston: Good idea. You know, I guess we COULD make a half-assed attempt to “hide” the Minnow behind those 100 foot tall oaks? And maybe if we turn off our Christmas lights no one will even notice the Minnow is on our front lawn.
Lovey: I don’t even know who you are anymore. Thurston, you know I don’t like turning the Christmas lights off, ever, especially in July. But, if you feel we must.
The Howells have indeed, since this pic was taken, set up red plastic “Andirondack”-style chairs maybe six feet from the Minnow. Because you need somewhere to sit while you watch your boat. On your lawn. I can watch their boat from my living room, but I have a sofa and all that.