Is it my kid’s art or your eyesore?

So what do you think of this story?  Before you see the video, here are some comments I’ve read in various places where this was posted.

–Is this graffiti training?

–Is someone being anal retentive again, which would be why they prefer living in an HOA neighborhood — or is it horizontal graffiti?

God, now we are stifling creativity?

She’s the mother whose child is screaming in the restaurant and Mom thinks everybody else shouldn’t mind because her child is so special.

Who lives there? Bloomberg?

–Isn’t she cute? She really is cute.

–Mom dotes on her daughter a lot. She shouldn’t expect everybody else to do it too.

-Your kid’s mess shouldn’t have to be visible to me. Do this in your own yard.

-Get a chalkboard, lady!

-Should she expect everybody else to dote on her child? What if 20 kids did it at the same time?

-Walking dogs get chalk on their feet and track it inside.

-It’s a common area and it doesn’t belong to that woman.

–What if I stuck an American flag there, would that be all right with her or is drawing all over the sidewalk not an eyesore but my country’s flag is.

-There should be a flash mob of 50 people with chalk just for spite.

Don’t these people have anything better to do?

-Hey! How about you clean the mess up after she’s done Mom? It’s your daughter’s graffiti. Get a hose!

-Why do HOAs attract busy bodies?

-If you don’t want to live with cleanliness rules and common area rules, don’t move into an HOA community.

-Come on! It takes a village…..

–What a  snotty publicity whore the mother is!

It’s her kid. She should teach her responsibility and respect for property.

Come on! It’s just a kid drawing with chalk. Practically a national passtime.

The child is doing no harm to anybody.

If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.


My question: Is there an appropriate solution here besides calling the local TV station?


81 Responses

  1. It could be worse. When I was that age I was playing with matches.

  2. Well, I think the only thing to say to people who complain is “get a life”. Did they never play hopscotch when they were kittke and draw a grid on the pavement themselves?

  3. She doesn’t have a driveway? What the heck does she think an HOA is? She signed on the dotted line. sigh I know that I sound like a crank but I am so tired of people signing on the dotted line for whatever they want at the moment and then turn around to moan about what they signed up for.

  4. OH FCS! It’s sidewalk chalk! Let’s get some common sense.
    When I went to LA last summer to be gram on duty, I bought the boys a gigantic box of sidewalk chalk. All the kids in the neighborhood loved it.They drew in the driveway and in the street.
    This is a very heavily military family neighborhood- neatness and cleanliness are the name of the game.
    The best part of the chalk days was getting the hose out and cleaning it up. The kids all soaked one another and the chalk washed away.
    MUST people make such and issue out of every damn thing now?

  5. PMM, it just seems a tad much calling in the media. I see it all the time locally.

  6. The best part of the chalk days was getting the hose out and cleaning it up

    Ding Ding we have a winner here.

  7. It could be worse. When I was that age I was playing with matches

    I’m dying here!

  8. Unless you have a parent that wants to keep it forever? LOL
    I have a neighbor that tried it. Goofball forgot that it rains sometimes.

  9. I would hate to see what would happen to Yoko and her art.

  10. I’m looking at the size of that kid’s chalk. She means business.

    I had a neighbor with four really destructive kids. When they were doing sidewalk chalk I figured at least the little snots weren’t drawing on my house. However, because there were four of them and they were…ah…rather OCD about the chalking, they had no problem spreading out into the road, next door on both sides etc. It was really pissing everybody off but Mom just thought it was soooooooooo cute! So I open my door one morning and there’s chalk all over the road in front of my driveway and all over the skirt of the driveway.I’m kind of pissed so I just hosed it. i felt a little bad, like I looked like I hated kids because the kids were like Gasping that i removed their art. So I bought them candy bars. Anyways, the neighbors were a bit pissed because things were really looking crappy, so I suggested to the mother that she hose the mess off after they are done and you would have thought I told her to remove a kidney. It did however, get her to contain the chalking to the sidewalks in front of her own house — after I suggested that she had some very pissed off neighbors.

    I did do chalk when I was a kid. Who didn’t? But my mother always hosed it when I was done. I’ll bet if this women promised to do that she might have had a better response than I think she is about to get now that she was all snotty on TV. This could have been an amicable solution….but maybe not. It is, after all, an HOA. You get what you ask for when you join these covens. Sorry, but that’s what many of them are. Still, people move to HOA areas for a reason. If you don’t like rules, don’t do it. And try READING the rules BEFORE you buy.

  11. Mcnorman- agree on the calling in the media thing. Ridiculous. The video says that the neighborhood is supposed to be “family friendly”- seems I missed the class where family friendly was defined.
    Good lord- what the hell is this country coming to? First lemonade stands and now sidewalk chalk. Is it illegal now for two children to tie one end of the jump rope to the telephone pole so they can play without a third? I suppose water balloons are out of the question- littering with a safety hazard.
    PFFFFFTTT That was another thing I did with the boys- water balloons- and they policed the trash afterwards. Same with the 4th of July sparklers and poppers and the little tanks and copters.
    Funny that- I have been getting a lot of invites from the son’s neighborhood friends wanting to know if I am coming to visit soon.
    Sometimes old fashioned Grandmas with old fashioned fun just fit in I guess.

  12. Mom, sparklers are great. M80s and rockets are not. We had a fire one fourth of july thanks to a neighbor’s good clean fun.

  13. When I think HOA, I think this.

  14. UW is right, we did have fun with chalk. I think this woman’s attitude is what is causing the problem. Running to the media over this is just plain silly. She signed up for this with the HOA coven.

  15. We did chalk too Uppity- though with 153 kids on our street- nobody worried too much about hosing it down. (Very working class neighborhood where all kids were “watched” by the adult closest to the moments activities lol) The rain washed it away soon enough. Lots of times we would go to the playground with our chalk and draw there- or on the basketball courts lol. The high school kids did not care- so long as we were not doing it while they were playing.
    If there was an issue, the closest adult handled it. God forbid it should be an issue someone’s Mom had to go to your Mom about. You were surely going to get it and good. But the adults did actually talk to one another and work things out.
    Sad those lessons seem to have been lost now.

  16. It is kind of interesting that, even in this digital age, some very old forms of fun still endure. Bubbles. And Chalk.

  17. Exactly what HOAs imply in my mind. I could never live in a place that told me what shade of beige is acceptable. Our historical hysterical society which rules all historical neighborhoods is just as bad.

  18. Agree on the bigger fireworks Uppity. The area my son lives in was in a terrible drought so all of the adults agreed there would be nothing that shot up in the air to go dropping in the woods and starting a fire. The boys were only 11 and 7 and their friends in the same age ranges so would not have been allowed to handle even bottle rockets anyway. We got plenty of the colorful things that made noise and shot some sparks and hovered over the ground. And we all watered the lawns before we began just as added safety measure. Gotta love a military neighborhood lol. The kids had a blast, no bodily or property damage- and good relations maintained among the neighbors.
    Why is this so hard for the current generation of procreators?

  19. RE VIVALDI. I always go Vivaldi on first day of the season. So yes, on Thursday. Do I have it wrong?

  20. June 20 Upps

    Lorac Wednesday

  21. k I’ll talk to lorac about lorac thursday.

  22. hahahahaha

    Must begin the season properly, eh?

  23. But of course
    We must be proper!

  24. I thought the flag remark was interesting. If somebody put a flag in that common area, they would have been all over the person.

  25. Without a doubt. Remember the vet that was told to stop flying his flag on his own area, not the common area?

  26. How about the people that are complaining? Perhaps they should have considered a retirement community if they didn’t want to be bothered by children…….there are plenty of those to choose from.

    As far as the woman knowing what she was getting into, what are the laws in Colorado? Here in Florida every neighborhood is required to have an HOA……every neighborhood! So we have no choice but to be ruled by in most cases grumpy old assholes. So I sympathize with this woman, although I agree since it is a common area she should be hosing off the chalk.

  27. That is awful Somebody.

  28. Most cities have codes requirements and some of them are similar to HOAs. Most of them are just common sense. You don’t blare your car radio at midnight. You don’t let your dog crap on somebody’s lawn without picking it up. You don’t let your dog run loose. You don’t park a car on your front lawn, or block the sidewalk with it. They all seem petty taken alone, but without all those rules you have a mess. Every kid does chalk and everybody does laundry, but you don’t hang your laundry over the porch railings and expect that to be okay either. It’s just that HOAs go overboard on a power trip. But the truth is, their rules are in documents you can read before you buy.

    Not sure when that Florida law happened. My parents had a home in florida for decades and there was nothing resembling a HOA coven. But then there were codes and it does make sense that if you are living in a quiet neighborhood, you don’t throw a lawn party that runs to 2 AM and expect people to toss roses at you. And believe it or not, it’s not just old people who like things to be quiet and not look like a ghetto with carpets hanging from the front porch to ‘air’ them and shoes hanging from phone wires. You expect to get what you pay for, not the Clampetts living across the road. Point being, many people join the more stringent HOA communities BECAUSE of the rules. They like order. So why would anyone move there if they don’t like order as well? I know some are more stringent than others. But the rulez are public information so if I can’t live with them I wouldn’t move there. Personally, I always had a problem with someone telling me what to do with my property after I paid for it. It wasn’t always this way. I think HOAs grew out of the sloppiness and selfishness of people who have no regard for others, run their homes down and ruin the home values around them, etc. Like Unions, they were once a good thing but now they are out of hand.

  29. Yes McNorman I remember that. And that was his OWN area. Remember the one where the jewish people had the door symbol for the holiday? The rule was NO door decorations, so you could see where that could get out of hand. Next thing you know everybody puts up what they like. Still….

  30. We have a dog barking ordinance. Dogs bark, and you have a limit as to how long your dog can be out there barking. Why? Because selfish assholes would leave their dogs out all day, barking. Now they have to pay for the pleasure of annoying everyone for an amount of time that constitutes rudeness. It doesn’t mean people hate dogs. It means they are getting headaches listening to your dog howling. I don’t think that community doesn’t like kids. They just have rules about what you can do in community areas. Maybe you can’t have a child under a certain age in the pool. Maybe that’s a liability issue or maybe it costs everybody else thousands if your baby craps in that pool. It doesn’t mean they hate kids.

  31. I myself hate kids. lol. For some reason they flock to me. They try to hug me and shit too. What’s up with that? And adding a kid-crazy dog has simply accelerated it. I think kids appreciate a little discipline and a leader. I give them that when they decide to flock me. They listen, they obey and they come back. They actually aren’t adverse to being respectful if you lead them by example. When I say, Hey! Don’t go there or don’t touch that, they listen. Kids and pets. They appreciate boundaries when you show them where they are. What does that tell you?

  32. HOA’s became required in Florida around 1990 give or take a couple of years. Prior to that usually only gated or golf communities had deed covenants or HOA’s.

    The main reason behind requiring an HOA has to do with drainage and care of retention ponds. You see the state required the retention ponds to protect the environment. Then local governments soon had sticker shock when they suddenly found themselves responsible for the maintenance of those retention ponds, many of which were shoddily built. So they raised hell with the state and viola HOA’s for all.

    Most of the older neighborhoods were exempt from this law because they were established and because they don’t have retention ponds. However, by and large through the years most of those neighborhoods have come under the rule of various historical organizations/boards…….except the ones where you probably wouldn’t want to live, LOL!

    It is true you are provided a copy of the deed covenants prior to making a purchase, however those can be changed and frequently are. In addition to that most deed convenants grant a lot of power to the HOA to create rules as they go under the vague category of nuisance and eye sore. Also, pretty much all HOA’s have an architectural committee which can wield considerable power, these are the rulers of shades of beige……therein lies the problem.

    Point being, yes you know up front you must abide by the deed covenants and most people are happy to precisely as you said to protect their property value and live in a decent neighborhood. However, by and large over time it has been my experience that HOA’s become laden with busy bodies on a power trip.

  33. I served on the HOA in my last neighborhood, because there was an activity I wanted stopped so my husband and I both got elected and controlled two of the three votes necessary to enact or kill things. My current HOA is smart enough not to allow that sort of coup. One thing I’ve learned is that most of the people who live in communities with HOAs want the strictest of regulations on…the other guy. The common theme is “If I do it and you tell me to stop, you’re all Stalinists, but if my next door neighbor does it I demand that you make her cease and desist immediately!”

    Sidewalk chalk? Really? I’ve never known kids to do it for longer than a day or two and then they get bored and then it rains and it’s over. Maybe these kids should draw the American flag with sidewalk chalk and then sit back and watch the nutjobs’ heads explode.

  34. Maybe these kids should draw the American flag with sidewalk chalk and then sit back and watch the nutjobs’ heads explode.


  35. Ah so my parents’ home had to have been grandfathered. I sold it in 2002.

    You are right about the power trip. I would NEVER live in a HOA community. No way. I call them covens for a reason. I’ve seen some horrid stuff.

  36. Well the grumpy old goats in our association would LOVE to outlaw children or require them to be locked away in the house when not at school until they are 18……trust me they’d love that.

    They wanted to make the community pool adults only from 3pm to 7pm. Hmmm during the school year basically no kids would be using the pool because those are precisely the hours they typically use the pool, funny that.

    I don’t really use the pool because I’m rather anti-social, LOL! However, I pay the same fees as everyone else and my family is just as entitled to use the pool as anyone else. Just to be clear this neighborhood is mostly families, but the retired older set runs the HOA.

    The pool solution they came up with btw SUCKS! Every hour for 20 minutes is adult only time. Every child under the age of 16 is required to get out and sit quietly. Oh boy isn’t that so much fun, NOT.

    The pool is huge, it’s olympic sized with a large lagoon like area protruding out on one side. Most of the kids hang out in the lagoon area as that is the shallow section. The olympic sized part has swim lanes roped off on one side that are adult only all the time, but still that wasn’t good enough.

    Again, I’m just saying the road runs both ways. People with kids need to courteous and make their children behave and respect others and their property. However, if you are anti-kid then FCS buy a house in a retirement community!

    This is mostly a Floridian thing I know. That’s why when I retire I’m going to move north, drive slow in the left hand lane and annoy the crap out of all my neighbors, LOL!

  37. Let’s say you buy a car. A really nice car. It’s your car. You paid for it. Can you imagine the car coming with restrictions like, you can only drive it on Tuesdays and Saturdays? Or you can’t drive it longer than ten miles a day? No trips! Or you can only wash it on Wednesdays. Also if it’s not clean enough, you would go wild and say that’s my property! I paid for it and can drive it any damned time I want to. Yet people buy homes and just shrug through HOAs, which make you feel more like you are renting. So you have GOT to figure some people like the idea or they would all have vacant homes.

  38. Again you don’t have much choice in this state. You can opt to buy a much older home, but not old enough to be historical because that is WAY worse than an HOA.

    Anyway you can buy an older home or buy a piece of property out in the country where you most likely won’t have water and sewer, possibly not even garbage service.

  39. Whoa Somebody. Sounds like a freaking prison.

  40. Yes, Uppity, I’m one of them. Until I’m rich enough to build my home on enough acreage so that I don’t have to look at my neighbors, and the tacky, cheesy BS they do to their homes and property, or the fact that they don’t think they should have to maintain their property, doesn’t affect my resale value, I’ll always live in a house with an HOA. For me, it’s all about the money and the quality of life. I don’t want to have to sit outside and look at other people’s junk.

  41. I just keep to myself, like Janice I was part of a coup in my last neighborhood. My husband and I were both on the board. Then when we bought in this neighborhood I volunteered right away hoping to have influence on the eventual board. Initially the builder controls everything until the neighborhood is mostly developed then they turn everything over to the HOA. Most builders set up adivsory boards that eventually morph into the HOA. I had the resume to be selected by the builder for the advisory board and in fact was.

    Little Somebody was diagnosed with leukemia when transition time came and I simply didn’t have the time nor the desire to serve. Sadly this HOA ended up like my last one loaded with grumpy old men and the rules here make a coup nearly impossible. Like I said I keep to myself, maintain my yard which I would do no matter where I lived……the old men mostly leave me alone.

    I did get a notice about leaving my trash cans out once. You see Little Somebody had the nerve to be diagnosed and hospitalized on garbage day and my cans weren’t put away by sunset, gasp! Even knowing where I was and what was happening (one of my immediate neighbors is on the board) the bastards sent me a nasty gram and threatened to fine me…….none of them thought it might be neighborly to put my cans away for me.

  42. Janice I feel exactly the same way……..but oh to have a big enough piece of property as you describe…….heaven!!!

  43. Geez, Somebody. Not putting your trashcan in by the end of the day? Now that’s a hyperactive HOA. I would have shown up at the next meeting and given those asshats an earful.

    Like you, I follow the rules and keep my head down. We haven’t gotten a letter yet, even though the trim on our house needs painting, but it looks so much better than a couple other houses nearby that we can skate by for another season.

  44. Somebody there’s an old couple who are my neighbors and we do things for them or help out when we see them out there trying to trim bushes and mow and things. I couldn’t stand myself if I watched people that old doing that kind of work and didn’t just help out a little. It’s not such a big deal and it’s good exercise! That old guy is out there at sun-up and he brings my trash cans in for me every time. And she bakes the best pies and cakes. Ding Dong. Here’s a cake honey. My dog sometimes spends the day with them, it cheers their lives. They miss having pets and lost their cat and it broke their hearts. Now they feel they are too old to have another pet. My dog fills a need for them and she’s all to happy for the attention. It’s just little stuff like that, that doesn’t cost anything, that makes a difference. You never know how important that little thing can be to somebody. Little to you, a wonderful thing to them.

    I think a lot of that is missing in neighborhoods now. It’s not a good thing. You don’t have to be in each others’ pants day and night but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know somebody. I remember one late night last year when I had the lights on upstairs in a spare room. I decided to “throw things out” and was working from there. You all know the mood. lol. It was like 3 AM and I couldn’t sleep. My neighbor called me to make sure everything was okay. We don’t hang out with each other a lot but we have always been friendly and courteous to each other. When her husband had a heart attack we mowed their lawn. We took care of their pets while she spent entire days in the hospital with him. You just do that kind of thing sometimes, and it comes back at you. It’s the reason my neighbor came out and cracked a baseball bat in half over a pitbull’s head when my dog and I were attacked. Today, most people just watch the show. An ambulance shows up, they look out the window and go back to whatever they are doing. When you give a little, you get some back. You can’t put a price on that.

  45. tsk< tsk< Such a TRAGEDY———how ridiculous, a little water and it's gone———

  46. Absolutely I see where all of this comes from. There are some people who refuse to pick up after themselves inside or outside. It used to be that people would put away their Christmas lights and ornaments. Some don’t anymore.

  47. You are so right, Uppity. My old neighborhood was like that. One nice thing that they did was present us with a list of neighbors and their phone numbers when we moved in. If someone’s garage door was inadvertently left open late at night, we just picked up the phone and called them. We looked out after each other and each other’s kids. This neighborhood is not like that. In my case, it seems to be a West Coast/East Coast thing. When we lived on the West Coast, the back yards were tiny so everybody pretty much hung out in their front yards, porches and driveways and communed with the neighbors. Here, the back yards are bigger and everyone hangs out in their own yards and rarely are seen on front porches. There are positive elements in both cases, but I think there should be an effort to get to know your neighbors.

  48. You’re preaching to the choir UW, but unfortunately not everyone feels that way.

    When I was on the board the architectural committee came before the board wanting their approval to move forward with a significant lien on a home in the neighborhood, because someone wasn’t maintaining their yard. Come to find out the man that owned the house was in his 70’s, had cancer and was fighting for his life.

    The thought never crossed anyone’s mind to be neighborly and cut his grass for him or have a conversation with one of his children about the yard…….nope just fine the crap out of him.

    I sealed my fate that night as far as not being desirable for the board, even before life threw me the curveball. In the end I contacted some nearby neighbors and guilted them into being neighborly, LOL! I helped out too, we also talked to the man’s children and they began maintaining the yard. The man that owned the house recovered, sold it and moved to a place where he didn’t have a yard to maintain.

    All it took was some simple communication a lost art to many.

  49. They appreciate boundaries when you show them where they are. What does that tell you?

    In many ways, this is a good thing. I read one comment where someone said that they didn’t care if the kid colored anything on their property, but the common area was different. There was a lesson that the parent was teaching the 3 year old.

    At first I had the same reaction as most of the posters, but wait a minute. This is a “common area.” I raised five children and have four grandchildren and they are not entitled to use chalk on sidewalks in front of our neighbors’ homes or in common areas. Our own sidewalk and driveway were sufficient, but then again I didn’t believe “we” were entitled to infringe upon common communal areas and I didn’t think any of our three year old’s were so talented and exceptional that their chalk scribbles should invade common areas.

  50. Somebody, it is a prison. Holy cow!

  51. Janice if you leave your garage door open in my neighborhood you can be fined……absolutely NOT kidding. This rule was not in the original deed covenants, but added later…….see what I mean about how they have a catch all to rule your life under the category of nuisance and eyesore.

    In my neighborhood your garage door is only to be open when you are entering or leaving the garage and for a “reasonable” amount of time while doing yardwork……FYI reasonable is in the eye of the beholder.

    This all stems from my street, because a garage door was left open for five days and it bothered someone with no life so they complained and viola we have a new rule. The house with the garage door left open was not occupied at the time, had the complainer bothered to check. The new owners closed on the house, but the builder had not finished several things so the new owners asked for those things to be completed. The builder complied but their workers inadvertently left the garage door open and it remained so until the new owners actually moved in a few days later from out of state.

  52. Personally, the kids on my block (few that they are) love chalk and I don’t mind it one bit. Water washes everything away. I like to see them playing outside. I like their parents to take a walk with them. It gives everyone the opportunity to talk and know what is happening within the block. We watch out for each other. We aren’t buttinskis, but we are knowledgeable about who belongs in the neighborhood and who does not.

  53. Maybe it doesn’t rain that often in Colorado where this is. I know here it rains just about every afternoon so no sidewalk art stays for more than a few hours.

    That being said if any of my HOA board members see this story they’ll implement a new rule all sidewalk art shall be conform to the standards of the neighborhood, be attractive and removed within 42 minutes of completion. That way most people would round to 45 in their minds…….then the old grumps could sit there with stop watches and squeeze some fines into that 3 minute gap. Once that played out then a committee would rule any and all sidewalk art unattractive or non-conforming and fine for that, LOL!

  54. .then the old grumps could sit there with stop watches and squeeze some fines into that 3 minute gap


  55. Wonder what the busy bodies out in Colorado would think of this?

  56. Be nice to sneak up to one of those farts’ property and create some violations, run home and report them.

  57. Oh boy that sure sounds like fun.

  58. All great comments. 🙂

  59. Jeez, like a hose can’t take care of this? It is not like the kid is in an adult restaurant on Friday evening chalking up the floors with her idiot parents simperling adoringly.

    My husband recently took a trip to the UK and when he boarded in SF, a family with two kids deposited their toddler next to him, and went off to another part of the plane. The child kicked his chair continually. I would like to put that child in the community that has an issue with chalk. What sort of bleeping idiot parent leaves a 4 year old by themselves in a plane? I guess I answered my own question.

  60. LOL AnnE! We took a flight once where my 3 year old daughter, my husband, and I all had window seats. My husband politely asked the man in the aisle seat next to my daughter if he would switch seats so my husband could sit with my daughter. The man said no! So my husband say, “Well okay, but would you mind reading to her?” The man grudgingly agreed.

  61. *Agreed to switch seats, not read to her! lol!

  62. I’m with you Upps. I think HOAs are creepy because they always seem to have ego-centric freaks running them. But I wonder about my husband, he seems to freak out when others use our garbage/recycling cans. My thoughts are sheesh, be grateful that at least they actually tossed their garbage into a can. Us urban dwellers have constant crap thrown on our lawn.

  63. Planes and kids. I am reminded of a comment I made in another post last year and had a flashback to the flashback.

    I just had a flashback. I remember when I had to take a quickly planned business trip to Orlando. You already can guess how this is going to end. lol. Anyways, I got on the plane and found myself surrounded by a gaggle of kids and their parents. Some were wearing Mickey ears and singing M I C K E Y…..before the damned plane even took off. I was dressed in business attire as I had a meeting almost immediately after the plane would land, in fact was being ushered by someone to that meeting once I landed.

    Anyways, an hour into the fight, I had a headache. I was sitting next to a kid who simply never shut up. I had run out of musings and patience. Then it happened. The lunch was served. And guess what that lunch was? Why it was……….BURRITOS. Yes, they fed a planeload of screaming kids burritos. A half hour after lunch, the kid in front of my threw up. Then a couple of kids across the way threw up. The entire plane smelled like burrtos redux and at that point, the best I could hope for was to land without somebody throwing up on my clothing. I also handed out three dramamines.

    It doesn’t end there, because I simply couldn’t possibly be that lucky. I conducted business for the week and when I departed, I found myself on a plane with some of the same kids and families. Only things were different somehow. All the singing and happy parental horse shit was missing. The parents were grumpy. Some of them weren’t even sitting together. Most of them looked like they had been rode hard and put away wet. Some of the kids were sulking. Some of the parents had that Wait Till You Get Home look on their faces. Except for one family that seemed just as happy as they were when they left NY. I figured they were auditioning for Return of Leave It Do Beaver or the Donna Reed Show. I was almost amazed that I found one adjusted family considering what was around me.

    Nobody ate lunch that time. And they didn’t serve burritos either. Smart move. The ride was much more uneventful now that these families were beaten down by Disneyworld. Screaming was replaced with crying, which is second only to screaming on the annoyance scale. But I tell you, if I didn’t get some impressive company Epcot freebees, dinner in China and Germany a couple of times and a good shot at the Illuminations show–and the Peabody Hotel, I would have forever refused to go to Orlando again..

    From that day forward, whenever I flew, if I couldn’t get into first class (which is ALSO no guarantee), I always asked if it were possible for me not to sit near a kid. I was always politely refused but sometimes it worked out with a wink and a nod. I learned though, that if you fly late at night, the chance of Dennis The Menace being on the plane is lessened. Because whenever Dennis the Menace is on a plane I’m on, he always sits next to me. It is Written somewhere, I’m sure. Red Eye for ME, baby!

  64. Chalk is the best. 🙂

  65. My husband and I flew from Boston to San Francisco together. He wasn’t coming along when I booked my ticket, and when he changed his mind we were unable to book seats together. I spent the entire flight listening to two IT guys argue about some networking issue, and my husband, the computer nerd, sat next to a 13 year old who talked his ear off about “stuff”. Too bad I never get up to use the rest room on a flight because if I had, I would have seen that he was seated next to one of my favorite students on her way to her sister’s wedding. I would have switched with him in a heartbeat.

  66. Aw, cute story Ellies. I bet your student was both disappointed she didn’t get to sit with you… and surprised to know she was sitting next to your husband.

  67. I am just happy that I live in an unincorporated area and also not in a subdivision. I just like my space, even though it is only 2 acres.

  68. Oh, and I do keep sidewalk chalk so my great niece and great nephews can draw to their hearts content on our driveway.

  69. Uppity — check your email!

  70. WLM I would probably do the same thing. Just not in YOUR driveway.

  71. Speaking of kids/babies on the plane:

    When Fran Lebowitz was in the high point of her writing career, one time she was on a publicity tour, going from city to city. This was at a time when smoking was allowed on the planes and Fran smokes. However, she swore that on one flight the entire coach section had to be filled with crying babies smoking cigars. 😆

  72. Does Bill not look smashing resting at his garden walk?

  73. I think Bill looks pensive. That’s dangerous when a kitteh gets in that frame of mind.

  74. UW at 1024,
    Gee. You ought to see MY neighborhood! The spiraling decadence that has occurred over the years. The selective enforcement and/or non-enforcement of city codes and laws. Swallowing hard here. It does not matter how much you pay for your property. There are always many around who feel they are entitled to do as they please, and as you clearly describe, whenever they please. Calling in violators is useless. This is a pervasive problem. Coven or no coven.

  75. UW, looks like someone else is seeing the shallowness of what many aspire to these days as well.

  76. Ha! Ha! The legislator that was silenced for using the part that cannot be mentioned is doing the Vagina Monlogues! I bet some heads are exploding in the capital!

  77. Ugh H.O.A.s I would rather live in a pup tent under a freeway bridge then in a neighborhood governed or should I say dictated to by a select few that have nothing better to do then stick their noses in someone elses life.
    This is bullying and control at it’s finest.
    I do have to say though since this woman chose to live there she ought to keep the kid at home and chalk in her patio or driveway not in a common area. I do think she is in the wrong.
    This is exactly why I think HOAs suck big time. My daughter lived in one and the kids had to play in the dinky back yard or stay in the house. It is no way to live. Once they put a badminton game up in the front yard and played and along comes the HOA patrol issuing a summons to appear before the governing board. They got it for garage door open too long, putting a tree in that was not approved and several other things. They ended up moving out.
    Most all cities have ordinances one must follow and that is good enough for me. I do not know my neighbors and do not want to that is why I chose to live in the outskirts. I personally think that a neighbor closer then 5 acres is too close. Unfortunately I did not find a place like that and am still looking.
    What I do with my place is my business not some busy bodies. I will paint it as I choose not as they will have me do. Yes some folks are slobs and ruin it for others but I would rather have that then be in a controlled environment. Suprised they ( hoas) do not have a booth at the gates with the TSA there to feel you out before you enter your own neighborhood.
    Sadly many places like Las Vegas are forcing HOAs so the city no longer has to maintain roads, lights and you name it. Leaves tons more tax money to stuff in the politicians pockets.

  78. Good comments all. I thought the mother in this instance was pretty obnoxious. If there were complaints about her daughters chalk art, she should have watered it down afterwards, not stalked off like she’s some kind of queen and let the peasants clean up after her kid. Besides, if its really that important for her daughter to have an artistic outlet, buy her some drawing paper and crayons, pencils, watercolors, etc. I like kids, but I don’t want other peoples kids infringing on my space, or screaming in restaurants or stores.

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