Friday, April 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Homeowners

Let's say you just finished building a patio cover on your home. You took out a permit for it and hired a licensed contractor to build it. With two good coats of paint, it looks real nice. You get compliments on it all the time.

Your neighbor also built a patio cover, but he did it over a weekend with no permit and he hired some dubious-looking fellow with a broken-down truck to throw it up. It looks dreadful. Your asshole neighbor didn't even paint it, so now the weather is going to age it and make it look even worse. And that's not all. The damn thing shakes in the slightest breeze. Why, if the thing fell down on your neighbor and his kids, the lot of them would end up in the county hospital on the taxpayer's nickel, because you know your neighbor doesn't have any insurance. Christ, you wouldn't be surprised if he was collecting welfare and food stamps.

Question: Do you turn in your neighbor to the building department? Nah, too risky. He might figure out who turned him in. So the best thing to do is agitate for a new law to require yearly home inspections by the building department. But it backfires, and after the law is passed and your home gets its first inspection, the inspector finds a long list of things that don't comply with the building codes. You'll be paying for "repairs" for months. Damn! And even worse, your neighbor's house still hasn't been inspected. The son-of-a-bitch seems to be getting away with it!

You're still mad at your neighbor. You notice that his old car has expired plates and the asshole probably doesn't even have insurance for it, which of course makes your rates go up. You still don't want to drop a dime for fear of retribution, so you agitate for a law that says the po-lice can confiscate any vehicle on your property that isn't fully registered and insured. After this law gets passed, you come home one afternoon and see a tow truck hauling off the '47 Buick you've been restoring in your garage. You find out that the building inspector that flunked you on your home inspection made a note of the "unlicensed" vehicle in your garage. Your neighbor's car remains in his yard, uninsured and with the same expired plates. You grind your teeth in rage.

Do I need to continue, or do you get the analogy?


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