Friday, May 4, 2012

Stain Your Fence

“You must stain your fence.” Oh, really? The only stains around here are on bed sheets and under the rim of the toilet. I might normally say carpet stains, but I steam cleaned my carpet recently. Actually, under the rim of the toilet is calcium or some such water stain, and looks like it might require a hammer and chisel to dislodge. And the sheets, well, I wash them regular.  :-)

I recall receiving mail from my home owner’s association (yeah, I know). It talked about how if you got a new fence then you must use this type of stain, and if you repaired your fence then that kinda stain. Since I had done neither I simply filed it away under Stains, Non-biological. Now I get this certified letter in the mail. FINAL NOTICE, it says. Stain your fence, it says. Then continues to mention the whole new/repair thing.

Clearly, my HOA wants me to stain my fence. Why they can’t just straight-up tell me to stain my fence, I do not know. Why must they mask it behind “new” and “repair?” Is my fence in need of repair? Do I need a new fence? I guess I should not overestimate the communicative ability of my HOA. They may very well be telling me to repair or get a new fence, and are embedding the message behind two layers of confusion: stain and if this or that.

I went out back and looked at my fence. Being a townhouse fence, it isn’t much to look at. There is my one runt of tree, planted by the builders, that I saved from certain death my first few months in the house. The runt of a tree holds bastion over a patch of grass as dwindling as patches of pubic hair in our current culture. Being tall and all I can peer down the row of backyards and no one else’s fence appears to be stained. Did they receive letters? I will not ask. I only know one neighbor (another sign of our current culture?), a retired couple, and last time I knocked on their door it took them 20 seconds to remember I was the guy from next door.

“Stain your fence because it looks weathered.” Why couldn’t they just say that? I chemical peal my face when it looks weathered. I stain my teeth white when they look weathered. I un-stain my sheets whey they look weathered. Here is a concept I can understand. “The rain and sprinklers have marred the look of your fence. Please stain your fence, so the townhouse backyards are homogenous and regimented, like rows of recently shorn vaginas, nondescript in their alikeness.” Why couldn’t they just say that?

So. This weekend I will be staining my fence; it’s current personality and visual texture will be glossed over, air-brushed out. Someone, somewhere, will be pleased.

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