Suburban Status Report 20240524


When we got back from the cottage on Wednesday night, there was a Canada Post ‘pick up a parcel’ slip attached to the front door. This was decidedly odd. Normally, the mailman leaves any parcels in the parcel sequestering area of the super mailbox. This being suburbia, mail does not arrive on its own to the door of anybody’s house, nor do any parcels conveyed by Canada Post land on your doorstep, regardless of the fact the mailman drives right past it.

The strange unsolicited parcel was the subject of lots of speculation. Could I have won a fabulous prize in some sweepstakes I’ve never heard of and certainly never entered? Could I have forgotten I’d placed an order for my summer reading list, a tower of volumes that couldn’t possibly fit in the parcel cubby? Could the rebate cheque from Revenue Canada be too large to be automatically deposited? These questions remained unanswered, until today. That’s because today it became slightly less inconvenient to go down to the drugstore at the mall to collect it. As in, on a scale of inconvenience, with one being grit-your-teeth-and-just-get-it-done inconvenient and ten being I’d-rather-be-eaten-by-a-grizzly-bear inconvenient, today the task came in at around seven. Call-the-dentist-back inconvenient.

The walk down to the mall takes about 25 minutes and the weather was warm and pleasant. On the way, I ran through my imagined scenarios once again. I really hoped what awaited me was not a massive pile of books that would be impossible to schlep home on foot. I really hoped it was a massive pile of cash that would be impossible to schlep home on foot.

I walked to the back corner of the drug store and presented the pick-up slip and my driver’s license to the clerk at the post office counter. She looked at my address then looked at the slip. “Oh! That’s what it says. I’m thinking some of our posties missed their calling. They should have been doctors.”

Instead of going into the back to grab a cardboard box, she opened a filing cabinet, which I could see held a number of large envelopes. After navigating through the contents of the drawer, she retrieved my ‘parcel.’ It was a letter. A registered letter. The return address on the upper left of the envelop showed the name of our municipality. It may come as no surprise, dear reader, that we have run afoul of suburban “community standards” yet again.

Here’s what the letter said (in part): A formal complaint has been received by the Regulatory Services Department. On May 10, 2024, a Property Standards Inspector completed an onsite inspection which revealed boat cushions/seats, trailer ramp, wood, metal and other miscellaneous debris were found on the exterior of the property.

I infer from this that other suburban residents don’t find it necessary to stash their loose pontoon boat seats and utility trailer ramps and sundry bits of metal in their side yards. Who knew? It’s as baffling as trying to understand where they all store their Lift-Rites.

The anonymous neighbour who continues to closely monitor our compliance with suburban norms remains anonymous. The ones next door point the finger at the ones across the street. The ones across the street point the finger at the ones behind us. The ones behind us point the finger at the scrap metal guy who drives his truck down the street every week, scavenging detritus.

Just another day in paradise.

1 thought on “Suburban Status Report 20240524”

  1. Oh my, to have such a quiet pile of flotsam and jetsam beside, behind and across the street. I’ll trade you for the yapping, barking and howling dogs on all sides of my house.

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