Many of you will say “let sleeping dogs lie” or some other idiom for not bringing up an unpleasant event from the past. And you’ll caution or even threaten with something like: “Don’t even think about writing a single word about that sordid and embarrassing chapter from our recent history.” But I’m going to anyway. Why, you scream. Why, because I played an unwilling and an alarmingly serious role in the stupidity of the times. That’s why. And, I’ve wanted to tell this story for years, so quit grumbling and read on.
It’s been a little over six years since the patients ran, or thought they ran, the asylum that was the Country Club Estates Home Owners Association back then. You guessed it; I’m referring to that brief period in the fall of 2007 shortly after the home owners had voted to unseat their board of directors. But the ousted board refused to be ousted or stay ousted or even acknowledge that they had been ousted. They just continued fumbling along as if nothing had happened until a judge finally told them to pack up their playthings and go home. It was during this highly unusual time that my story takes place. It all came to light with a call from the Deming police.
Let me back up a bit and say that I was naïve (and probably still am) enough to believe that I could actually play some small part in quelling of the stupidity of the time by writing something. Something that might emphasize but poke fun at how dumb we all were. So, with my tongue firmly in my cheek, I wrote a piece I titled Angry Adult 55+ Community. In this short piece I pointed out how our board was spending their time on the wrong stuff, like making new rules and policing the neighborhood looking for infractions instead of positive things like making this a better place to live. I made a couple of mistakes and they turned out to be doozies. I used multi-syllable words that the board members couldn’t pronounce and sarcasm that they still don’t understand. I should have known that my one sarcastic comment would be misunderstood or taken literally by the room-temperature IQ folks on the ousted board. You all know who they are, so I don’t need to name them.
Yes, I screwed up; I used sarcasm and a few big words in my piece. I would have been much better off writing: See Dick. See Jane. See Spot run. Run Spot run. They might have actually read and understood that. Probably not. Remember sarcasm is defined as: A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule. It’s like when you told your son that you would wring his neck if he ever did that again. You never intended to wring anything. You just said that to emphasize how angry you were. Got it?
Here’s my misunderstood text. You can read my complete article at Angry Adult Community. I wrote it in 2007 and posted it on my website in 2009. See if you can spot the one word that triggered all of this stupidity.
…Our other amenities are an unused bocce court and horseshoe pitch that lie dormant without any semblance of organized leagues, women’s groups, tournaments etc. Why? Let me tell you why. Because our HOA has been too busy arguing about process, trying to make more rules, and wandering the neighborhood trying to catch someone committing rules infractions. I’m going to shoot the next board member that cruises past my house thinking it’s his job to be a patrolling rules enforcer.
Shortly after I emailed my piece to a couple dozen friends, including one member of the ousted board, a Deming Police Sergeant came to my home. We were away and missed him, but we returned home to find his message on our answering machine. He said something along the lines of: “I want to discuss the serious threats you’ve made to your neighbors.” Little did I know that the police visit and subsequent telephone call were the first waves of the stupidity that was yet to come. A friend, in attempt to stem this nonsense, showed my story to the Deming Chief of Police. He laughed, apologized, and reassigned his officers before recalling his SWAT team (not really, I added the SWAT team to inject a bit of sarcasm into this story) from their positions around my house. Unlike the members of the ousted board, the chief actually read my piece and easily recognized and chuckled at my use of sarcasm. Did that deter those dimwits on the ousted board? No, they spent November discussing new ways to nail me. Me, the Lee Harvey Oswald on Bogie Court.
The following are excerpts from the official minutes of the November 2007 meeting of the unofficial, ousted board. I’ve not changed a word. Promise. You can read the actual minutes in their entirety at the CCEHA website.
Shortly after the meeting was called to order, the minutes read:
Special Visitor: President Ewert announced we were having a special visitor at our meeting this morning but he has not arrived yet.
A bit later in the meeting the minutes recorded:
At this point, the special visitor we had been waiting for arrived at the clubhouse. Deputy Sheriff Daniels introduced himself and his partner to the group. Donna Robbins explained to the assembled members that the reason we elected to have a Deputy at our meeting was because of the threat we received on October 27, 2007 about being shot.
She explained that this information was included in the letter that was sent to the membership this past week regarding the results of the 2007 budget vote. Donna informed the group that the person who made the threat is a member of the Country Club Estates community. The threat was that any member of the Board seen on this person's street would be shot.
Wait, it gets better. That paragon of brilliance (you know who I mean) is going to try to get the FBI involved in what surely must be a federal case. Do you think they’ll put me on the Ten Most Wanted list? What for? Writing an article with too many big words? Serious, huh? Read on:
Deputy Daniels opened the meeting to questions from the assembly. Linda Drilling asked if e-mail threats were more grave that spoken ones. Deputy Daniels said that they are equally serious.
Bob Nelson asked if it was a federal offense because the e-mail went to a Board member who is in Washington State. Deputy Daniels was familiar only with New Mexico Statutes.
Steve Barish wanted to know if all should be aware of the street the person who made the threat lived on. The Board identified the street as Bogie Court.
Janis Workman asked what to do if any of us receive a threat. Deputy Daniels told her to contact the Sheriffs Department and make sure it is documented.
Sue Gomes asked if it made a difference if we contacted the Deming Police or the Sheriffs Department. Deputy Daniels answered that if you live outside the city limits in the county it should be the Sheriffs Department. If you live within the city limits you can call either entity.
With all of this concern and all of these questions you would have thought someone would have asked to see the actual “threatening” document. No, they just kept wallowing in their stupidity, worrying, fretting, and scheming. It amazes me that anyone got any sleep during all of this. Not with a “killer” on the loose in the neighborhood. Hold on, it gets better. They tried to get a search warrant to search my home. Search for what? Printer cartridges, floppy disks, flash drives, printer paper, you know, the usual writer’s stuff. Stop laughing and read on:
Steve Barish wanted to know if the City was responsible for protecting a group of individuals in the event of a threat by an individual. Deputy Daniels said that he could not say much about the incident since it was an ongoing investigation.
Marilyn Gottschling wanted to know if the threat was made by a person on Bogie Court or was a person on Bogie Court threatened. It was clarified that the person who lives on Bogie Court made the threat against the Board of Directors.
President Ewert added that he asked the police if a search warrant could be obtained and the answer was no. More evidence was needed. Marilyn further inquired if this person was going to be prosecuted since after all, he was talking about killing someone. Deputy Daniels answered that it would be up to the District Attorney to make that decision. Marilyn asked how we could protect ourselves. Deputy Daniels said to use 911.
Did you pick up on that “he was talking about killing someone” line? A little later in the meeting they continued this meaningful discussion with:
Marilyn Gottschling reiterated her concern about what we should do if we received any threats. President Ewert offered that right now this person was focused on the Board of Directors and she should not be too concerned since she was not on the Board. Bob Nelson offered that dispatch should be made aware of the situation so if anyone from the community called with a threat, they would know to act more quickly.
Steve Barish offered that in this state you are able to carry a gun and your car is considered an extension of your home so is his home and his car equivalent? What happens if you get near his car? Deputy Daniels said that since this person is not a convicted felon there is not much they can do.
And lastly we read a reference to the person who called the police and the sheriff’s office and most likely instigated and ramrodded this whole comedic affair.
Donna Robbins said that she has been in communication with both the Sheriffs Department and the Deming Polite. She has contacted Sheriff Cobos and the Under Sheriff and they are both very aware of our situation. They are concerned for our safety. The person who sent the threat has not been heard from since.
Hal Wheeler thanked both officers for coming to the meeting and they were given a round of applause.
There is no evidence that any member of the ousted board ever read my article, asked to see the article, tried to speak to me, or attempted to understand the context of my alleged threat. Many months later I gave a copy of my Angry Adult 55+ Community to a friend who was at that faux board meeting and who is cited in the minutes. She read my piece, turned red with embarrassment, and couldn’t have been more apologetic. She apologized for her own stupidity and for all of the other dunces involved in this sad but true, black comedy. She had been told that I had emailed a serious threat to shoot the members of the board.
There you have it. I finally get to show my tormentors for what they really were, and most likely still are, complete idiots. Tormentors is probably too kind a word—morons would be more like it.
Does anyone question why we ousted these nitwits?
©2013 by Bob Rockwell
Final Note – If you disagree with anything I’ve written herein or believe I’m mistaken or if you just want to piss and moan, don’t call the police—call me. Or better yet, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can yell all you want, I can take it. And if I’m wrong I’ll fix it with a retraction or in a subsequent piece. So there!