"MBGA: Or, America’s First HOA" by Allison Vincent

NARRATOR:

Good evening, I’m Bartleby Zane and you’re watching the Cracks of Time where we examine historical moments that might have fallen through the cracks. Tonight we share with you a small, but important scene in real-estate history. The year is 1797. Beacon Hill is an affluent neighborhood of brownstones built around a small, common square park in Boston Massachusetts. The residents have agreed to have a meeting to address several ongoing concerns of the neighborhood.


We flashback to a colonial meeting hall.


CHARLES:

All right, thank you all for joining together tonight for the first meeting of the Home Owner’s Association of Beacon Hill, Boston. On this the 23rd of July, year of our lord 1797. And might I add, this is the first of any such meeting in our young nation!

(Polite applause from the crowd)

CHARLES:

Yes, unlike the unwashed masses of Philadelphia or New York, we have decided to come together as a community to create rules and governing operations for our shared land rather than leaving it to the lowest common denominator, we shall hold each other to certain standards in order to keep our living spaces pristine.

ALL:

Here, here!

SULLY:

FUCK PHILLY! GO SOX.

CHARLES:

Yes, thank you, Sully. If we could please only speak when called upon.

SULLY:

Sorry, Charles. Take it away.

CHARLES:

And let’s try to keep the anachronisms to a minimum, yes?

SULLY:

Sure thing. (Sully pulls out a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee)

CHARLES:

(sighs deeply) Right, our first order of business is a point of concern from Mr. William Blaxton. William, I yield you the floor.

WILLIAM:

Good evening, friends, neighbors. I arose early yesterday morning to the sounds of cardinals chirping outside my window.

SULLY:

FUCK THE CARDINALS, GO SOX!

CHARLES:

SULLY! William has the floor!

SULLY:

My bad, sorry Bill, go ahead.

WILLIAM:

As I ventured from my front door to take in this revelry, my boot sunk into a pyramid of feces, the likes of which I have never seen.

(The crowd reacts with disgust.)

LADY BLAXTON:

In his new boots, to boot.

WILLIAM:

Thank you, dear. The warm muck was so thick, I well nigh- lost my boot. I humbly ask this group that we immediately and forthwith institute a mandate that if one’s horse is out of stable and defecates on a neighbor’s lawn, it shall be the owner of said horse who must dispose of said feces from the property in question. The Widow Kent and I have designed a receptacle for future horse droppings (they hold up a burlap sack proudly) and these will be strategically placed around the square for ease of care. We only ask that if you take one, leave one.

(Enthusiastic applause from the group. A few “here, here’s”)

THE WIDOW KENT:

Instead of a gunny sack, we’re calling it a runny sack for when your horse gets the runs, you see.

CHARLES:

Excellent points! All in favor…

SULLY:

Just to be clear, if we deuce in a neighbor’s yard we gotta clean it up, but numba 1’s are still okay, right?

(Charles glares at Sully and continues without addressing the question.)

CHARLES:

All in favor…

(Ayes and nays)

CHARLES:

The Ayes have it! The motion is approved!

(Applause from the aye voters. The nays pout. Roger raises his hand.)

CHARLES:

(Annoyed) The chair recognizes Mr. Rodger Crumperdin.

ROGER:

Well, I just find it rather amusing that the crowd so obsessed with “Freedom” is mandating where a creature of the wild can and can not defecate. ELOUISE:

Excuse me, Charles, but if I might have the floor, my issue actually concerns Mr. Rodger Crumperdin.

CHARLES:

The floor is yours Ms. Minuet.

ELOUISE:

I have the great misfortune of having a clear view into Mr. Crumperdin’s dooryard and he has recently erected a sign stating, “Make Britain Great Again.” What is most offensive is that the sign first appeared on the anniversary of our great nation’s independence day, July 4th.

Gasps and hubbub.

ELOUISE:

Furthermore, when I confronted Mr. Crumperdin on the matter, he insisted that George the III was still the right ruler of America and none of our stately laws bind him.

CHARLES:

Roger, is this true?

ROGER:

Yes! There are many of us who know who our true sovereign is! MBGA! (It’s awkward to say, so he tries again) MBGA!

SULLY:

Hey Charles, you want I should kick this guy’s ass or what?

CHARLES:

No, Sully, we are here for intelligent discourse, not showcasing brute strength. I’m sure we will be able to settle the matter with reason and shared common values.

ROGER:

George Washington is a false god. Those of you who worship him as such will be smote by the almighty himself and I will put that on a flag to fly in my dooryard.

WIDOW KENT:

Can you even put that on a flag?

SULLY:

Oh, you can put anything on a flag, waddya need? I got a flag guy. My cousin, Stevie.

ELOUISE:

Do you see what I’m subjected to? The ravings of a madman! When I asked him to remove the sign he threatened my very life. And with my husband passed, God rest his soul, I find myself frightened to lay my head at night.

SULLY:

Whoa, you came for an old lady, bro?

ROGER:

You are all charlatans and snakes! You will be dealt with in due time. The red tide shall rise up once again and engross these tyrannous banks and the loyal shall rule once more! RED COAT LIVES MATTER!

SULLY:

Charles, all due respect, this guy’s a fucking asshole. I beg of you, let me punch him in the throat.

WIDOW KENT:

Let the morons fight!

WILLIAM:

FOR THE GOOD OF OUR NATION!

CHARLES:

Ladies and gentlemen, please, I beg of you to be civil! This man is clearly not well, he means not what he says.

ROGER:

CHARLES MATTHEWS IS A SYSTEM OF SERPENTS PILOTING HUMAN SKIN. You all are witches who feed off the blood of children. You filthy Yankees will never take me!

SULLY:

NORMALLY I WOULD SAY FUCK THE YANKEES HERE, BUT IN THIS INSTANCE, (Sully looks around)..LET’S GO YANKEES. LET’S GET THIS DOUCHE!

CHARLES:

FUCKING- A, SULLY!

(Charles and Sully chest bump. The crowd cheers and tackles Rodger to the ground. They start singing “SWEET CAROLINE” on “BA BA BAAAAA” they kick Rodger in rhythm with the song. They freeze when the Narrator takes center stage. )

NARRATOR:

And with that, the residents of Beacon Hill bonded together over a shared sense of decency despite their differences. Although there were some initial hiccups, the HOA of Beacon hill continued to meet and provided a blueprint for other such communities. Roger Crumperdin built a brick wall around his house to keep his neighbors out and starved himself to death out of spite and insanity. His home was eventually demolished and a horse park put in its place. I’m Bartleby Zane, and this has been Cracks in History.

BLACKOUT