The enemies of my HOA are unauthorized pool users and an amorphous group of dreadfuls referred to by our leader as simply "the homeless." Both of these groups are being held at bay by the steely resolve of our President, even though no one else has, as far as I can tell, ever suffered at their hands, or in my case, even seen any of them. A nation needs enemies, however, lest it grow soft and weak by having no one to oppose. The President knows that. He and his all-volunteer force routinely pace the perimeter of the pool when it is occupied, which is rarely, demanding of its occupants, especially young ones, their relationship to any of the owners here. Both my son and my Significant Other's daughters and their friends have been closely questioned by these damp Stasis, who follow the rule of security personnel and policeman everywhere—youth alone is cause for suspicion. You can't blame them for that here. While it is not one of those "55 and Over" condo complexes it's full of oldsters anyway, people who all bought younger and fossilized into the place.
Our unit has pool view, and I would personally rather look at a party of lithe trespassers than my actual pale, scarred and flabby neighbors, but I am not consulted. While the guardians of pool purity don't find intruders often, they do engage in loud shouting matches with youths who claim not to be trespassers, shouting matches in which phrases like "My grandmother lives here" and stark queries like "Is she an owner or a renter?' ring through the soft Southern California air. The second-class status of renters is taken for granted here. Like Mexicans in Arizona, they officially have most of the rights of owners, but in practice they had better watch their asses.
Our enemies attack—several hours after a particularly vicious verbal altercation with a suspected outsider, the lock to the pool was injected with Super Glue in a daring guerilla raid. Our leadership was not content to absorb one of the eternal lessons of life illustrated by this incident, i.e., "Don't screw with other people and they won't screw with you." We are escalating with the weapons of conventional warfare, consisting of a host of new "No Trespassing" signs, fake security cameras and partnering up with our powerful ally, the City of San Diego, to gate off the dead end street upon which we sit. The street dead ends upon the biggest public park in the city, which the HOA thinks is crawling with hobo camps, although if you actually go down into it, all you see are coyotes and rattlesnakes. Also it would take a Berlin Wall type structure to actually shut us off from the 5,800 acre park, so if we really want to stop vagrants from that direction, we would be offering a fresh palette for local graffiti artists, so we could find out if we have any of them.
But the pool remains the goal of any invaders, the bunker of our final stand, the perfectly chlorinated jewel our enemies want to pocket. Apparently they have breached the wall—the letter says a transient was caught using the pool shower last year. We are against clean homeless people, by policy, because once they clean up, how can we tell the difference between them and us? Fortifying the pool is the obsession of our leadership. We are getting new locks. Moreover, the Jacuzzi—the crowning glory of our private swimming hole—is being fitted with a separate lock of its own, one that will render its jets inoperable unless we have a key to it. If we forget that key, or don't bother to trot over to the office to obtain one, we residents will have to steam silently in an un-bubbling hot tub, just like any fence-hopping drifter.
Thus the first goal of any government is achieved by our modest HOA--installing inconveniences to its citizens, in order to combat a nearly nonexistent threat. The TSA has nothing on us.
I'll be heading over to the office to get that key. Right after lunch.