Here's a strategy for which we are awaiting the result.
In our sleepy western mountain town, we have a problem with developers
building on the ridge-tops. In the foothills this means private drives
cut out of the mountainside, winding eventually to the unsightly boxes
sitting astride the top. The practice presents a number of environmental
consequences, and it defaces everyone's mountain view.
They ruined out view. They are cursed roundly and with regularity. They
ruined our view! What can we do about it? Is there a way do the same
thing to them?!
I don't mean wait for someone else to build on a ridgetop higher. They
don't have a mountain view to marr. Their view is of the city. Was there a
way to mess with that? Perhaps there was.
We climbed a nearby foothill to see what kind of view they might have
looking back at us. We took pictures of the city and noted which
rooftops featured most predominantly in their view. Again, also the
Next we contacted each of those residences with our plan. "We'd like to
spell out a greeting to the offending assholes up the hill." The assholes
who were marring their view of the mountains. We needed their roof to
help us out. What did we want to spell out? That would be up to everyone
who agreed to take part. (Not true. We had an idea for a message.)
Nearly everyone was in. We had to compensate for several houses whose
owners were not around. A couple houses were rentals, but it was agreed
that the landlords needn't know. The writing method on the roof would be
inobtrusive. White gravel, or on the steeper slopes, whit paint. Really
you could not see the roofs from the street. Most were flat, or the
sloped side faced the mountain.
We had made contingency routes along the rooftops so in the end we even
had to turn down certain houses. With the alternate routing we had the
fourteen houses we needed.
We made a committee decision as to what to say. Actually we had an idea
from the start: we would spell out HELLO ASSHOLES! At first we had
planned for just ASSHOLES! But then one might wonder if we meant to be
referring to ourselves. So we quickly shifted to add five roofs to
prefix a HELLO.
Now someone with an ego who'd build a ridge-top home might enjoy that
kind of attention, even the personalized greeting. But we figured it'd
get old having to explain it to every guest who was checking out their
view. "What a magnificent view of the city!" "But what is that?"
That's what we're still waiting to see. One developer's wife has already
left town. Maybe it was something intra-marital, maybe she was weary of
the open antagonism she felt every time she came down to shop. Her
No one's complained about the rooftop obscenity from down here. They
can't see it.
We're the only county in this state which does not forbid building on
the ridge-tops. That has to be changed.
The other strategy we are trying is to cut off the builder's access to
our fire department. By removing their contract for fire suppression
services, the developers will not be able to insure their constructions.
We are trying to raise the funds necessary to augment the fire
department revenue for the lost contract.
So we wait. Meanwhile we tell them at every sun-up: HELLO ASSHOLES!
Picture coming soon.