This post is delayed for two reasons. The first is my newly acquired addiction to Breaking Bad. Holy crow, that show is addictive – a fact that I find funny, since it’s about an addictive substance and all. The second is that I’ve been trying to draw a stupid map for y’all so this story will make more sense, and I couldn’t get it to work quite right and now i’ve lost the file altogether, and it didn’t make much sense anyway. Oh well. No illustrations for you.
So, picture if you will a street that goes around in a circle, with a side street that comes… oh, never mind. Here’s a picture for you. It’s pretty crappy, so I can’t promise it will help you follow this story any easier, but maybe it will.
So! You can’t really tell from this picture, but the neighborhood is designed in a way that allows several people to see into each other’s backyards. Only the turquoise, pink, and green homes have fences, and those fences are split-rail, so it looks like a giant piece of land shared by all.
The houses at issue are marked either with a heart, stars, or ducks (there was no chicken option in Photoshop Elements, so I used ducks).
The story goes that the folks in the turquoise house (let’s call them Mr. & Mrs. Turquoise) bought themselves a chicken coop and some chickens, and then a rooster. The folks in the pinky-purpley (Mr. & Mrs. Pinkish) house didn’t mind the chickens. The three houses with stars on them DID mind the chickens.
Incidentally, the orange house is mine, but I didn’t live here yet. Apparently, Mr. & Mrs. Orange (the previous owners) and Mr. & Mrs. Green were particularly bothered by the chickens. Or maybe they weren’t too bothered by them, but once the rooster came along, they had a problem. I’m not sure. Anyhow, Mrs. Orange asked Mrs. Turquoise if chickens were allowed in residential areas in this county, and Mrs. Turquoise said yes. Mrs. Orange was annoyed by the chickens, either because she is anti-chicken for one reason or another, or (as I heard from an across-the-street neighbor, whose house is not pictured here) she hated the chickens because she was trying to sell her house, and buyers were turned off by the chickens clucking in the yard. (Our yard extends pretty far back, so the first half of the yard abuts Mr. and Mrs. Green’s yard, and the second half abuts Mr & Mrs Turquoise’s yard). Does that make sense?
So, Mrs. Orange looked up the regulations for our county and learned that one must have at least 3 acres of land in order to keep chickens in this county. The houses in our neighborhood are each on about an acre/acre and a half of land, so Mrs. Turquoise was wrong when she said her chickens were legal.
I hear there was a petition at one point that was circulated around the neighborhood to try to force Mr. & Mrs. Turquoise to get rid of their chickens, and eventually, Mrs. Orange sought some sort of legal action. As a former attorney, I’m hesitant to say she sued them or brought them to court – my googling, which yielded very little about this – makes me think the issue was brought before a zoning board, but I’m not sure. I may even be misinformed about Mrs. Orange bringing legal action. Mr. & Mrs. Turquoise may have requested to be rezoned somehow in order to keep their chickens. At any rate, there was a hearing, and the the Greens, Oranges, and Yellows argued against the chickens. The Greens claimed the chickens and rooster were causing their autistic son to have seizures. The Oranges and Yellows – well, I don’t know what they argued, but they didn’t want chickens in the neighborhood. The Pinkishes supported the chickens. It was all very dramatic, or so I’ve been told. There were tears. And there was shouting. Mrs. Pinkish tells me the Turquoises were humiliated and she feels terrible for them, and that the Yellows and Oranges were some of the meanest people she’s ever seen, and she also cannot stand the Greens (for other reasons).
I should note here – the Yellows moved away about a month after we moved here, and I thought they were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Then again, I’ve also never tried to have chickens in my yard, so perhaps chickens bring out the worst in the Yellows.
Anyhow, the Turquoises lost, and they had to send their chickens to live on a farm elsewhere.
You’d think the story would end here, but it doesn’t. Here’s where it gets really crazy. Apparently, things did not end peacefully. I haven’t heard the Turquoises’ side of things, but my across the street neighbor told me the Turquoises did all kinds of crazy things. For starters, they erected a giant chicken statue in their backyard.
I’ve also been told they started calling the Oranges “a bunch of Nazis.” (I asked my across the street neighbor if the Oranges had exhibited anti-Semitic behavior, and she said no.) (Also, interestingly, the Turquoises are not Jewish.) Even weirder, they allegedly painted a swastika on their chicken coop, intending to illustrate…I don’t know. And if the Oranges or Yellows or Greens had people over and were outside, they would yell crazy things (like, “You are a bunch of CHICKEN-HATING NAZIS!!!”) on a megaphone until everyone would get fed up and go back inside.
Of course, this is all hearsay, as the only thing I have experienced first-hand is the giant chicken statue.
For what it’s worth, the Turquoises seem like lovely people, so is it possible that everything has gotten completely exaggerated? From what I hear, this completely tore our neighborhood apart. Chickens! Chickens tore our neighborhood apart!
Well, what is even crazier is the fact that I have started hearing chicken noises coming from the Turquoises’ yard. So, either they are thumbing their nose at the law and have brought their chickens back home, OR they are playing recorded chicken noises to torment the Greens. I don’t know which is crazier.