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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)

TITLE: Breaking Rules
By Betty Castleberry


Mrs. Lexington,

At the last board meeting of the Pleasant Ridge Homeowner’s Association, it was unanimously voted that a letter of concern be sent to you.

As you know, when you bought your historic property on Pleasant Ridge Avenue, you were required to join our association. It is the association members’ belief that you have violated a number of regulations which I will present to you in this correspondence. A copy of the regulations is given to everyone upon moving into the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood. Ignorance is no defense.

Regulation number 3 A, states:

No structure shall be erected within the bounds of any Pleasant Ridge homeowner’s yard without prior approval.

You have a crude wooden structure in your yard which certainly would not have been approved.

Regulation number 6 C states:

No livestock or farm animals of any type shall be bred, raised, or kept on any lot.

There are sheep in your yard.

Regulation number 7 C states:

No property may be used as a dumping ground for refuse.

There is a pile of unidentifiable white debris near your front door.

Regulation number 9 E states:

Excessive noise past the hour of eight PM shall not be permitted. “Excessive” is any sound or sounds that cause dwellers in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood distress, or is responsible for their inability to enjoy reasonable peace and quiet.

Last Saturday night, the association received complaints regarding some unpleasant screeching sounds coming from your property.

We trust that you will take immediate action to correct these areas of concern. Otherwise, the association may impose a hefty fine, and/or instigate a law suit.


Harriet Allen
Pleasant Ridge Homeowner’s Association President

Mrs. Allen,

I can explain everything. My Sunday school class decided to have a get together at my house to sing Christmas carols.

A few people stopped by early to choose some carols. Marcia Litner requested her favorite, “Away in a Manger”. Our church has acquired a new life-sized manger this year, so Nate Holbrook volunteered to haul the old one off. He just happened to have it in his truck, and was kind enough to set it up for us. That is the “crude structure” that is in my yard. I do believe Nate was trying to get on Marcia’s good side, as he has a crush on her. It worked, too, because Marcia was moved to tears by Nate’s thoughtfulness.

You are correct about the sheep in my yard. What would a manger scene be without sheep? Becky O’Dell brought over her kids’ 4-H project; sheep. She tells me to expect an especially lush lawn this spring. The association should be pleased.

I wish you had been there to see all of us standing before the manger, live sheep and all, singing carols. I know it was touching. We had that sweet young couple, The Donaldson’s, with their newborn, stand in for Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. In addition, the Singleton triplets made perfect kings for the singing of “We Three Kings of Orient Are.”

After singing all the religious carols we could think of, we decided to do a few secular ones. “White Christmas” was first on the list. To add to the festive atmosphere, and because it never snows here, I dumped out several large boxes of cotton batting left over from my quilting days. That is the “unidentifiable white debris” you mentioned. It makes great fake snow, don’t you think?

We attempted to sing “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, but nobody could remember all the verses. Somehow, I just don’t recall “Six Snipers Sniping” being in the song. Our lovely night was almost spoiled when two gentlemen nearly came to blows over whether it is “Five gold rings”, or “Five golden rings.”

We did have to draw the line at singing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Grandma Mueller found it too upsetting.

The unpleasant sounds, although that’s a matter of opinion, are, by now, probably self-explanatory. I couldn’t say for sure which carol prompted the most complaints, but if I had to guess, I would say it was Nate singing “Winter Wonderland” in falsetto. One complaint undoubtedly came from Mrs. Brighton. When we were singing “Silent Night”, she opened her window and yelled, “I wish!”

If I have compromised any regulations, it is temporary. After December 26th, everything will be corrected.

In the meantime, deck the halls, and have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Arlene Lexington

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This article has been read 1010 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dixie Phillips10/09/08
So creative.... Loved the humor. Good job!
Laury Hubrich 10/10/08
Loved this. Very creative.
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/13/08
So appropriate for the day we live in and with such delightful humor. Great job!
Joy Faire Stewart10/13/08
Love the humor and creative take on the topic, a lot of fun.
Chely Roach10/13/08
Oh my, this was a hoot. Love it!
Lollie Hofer10/13/08
This is hilarious. Good job with the theme. Thanks for the laugh.
Joshua Janoski10/14/08
"Somehow, I just don’t recall “Six Snipers Sniping” being in the song."

LOL! This was very funny stuff! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I like the format you used with the first letter and then the rebuttal letter. A very unique way of presenting this week's topic. Thank you so much for making me smile and laugh. :)
Karlene Jacobsen10/14/08
Oooooh! I don't think I could live in a neighborhood requiring an association membership.

Nice work with the letter of reprimand and rebuttal.
Pamela Kliewer10/14/08
What a great sense of humor you have... I really like this piece. Well done.
Yvonne Blake 10/15/08
Hee,hee... loved it!
Valarie Sullivan10/15/08
When I get done giggling, I"ll try to write a comment...hooboy! That was exceptional!
Shelley Ledfors 10/15/08
I love this! Very creative and charming story. Love the humor!
Leah Nichols 10/16/08
I love the line about the boy trying to get the girl's attention and it worked. LOL Very creative - nice job!
Lyn Churchyard10/16/08
Oh BettyDee, only you could have written this! Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Six snipers sniping ... I'm still laughing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/16/08
Woo Hoo...Look at you
Congratulations on a well deserved EC placement...again!