A continuation of the blog post titled Living in a Stepford Community
by cheri sabraw
The Rules of Engagement that govern the Stepford Community’s voluntary e-mail group are more extensive than Robert’s Rules of Order. At this writing, I have broken two of them.
Suffice to say that when I forgot to sign my name to my short e-mail, the Moderator (one of four men who volunteers his time) dropped down through the hot Arizona bandwidth, slammed the heavy anvil of censorship onto my newly muscled shoulder of nonconformity, and then admonished me with without a peppercorn of humor.
How did this happen?
I’m not a television fan and find it challenging to find thoughtful and creative programming. As such, I revisit shows that make me laugh or have enduring characters. The Andy Griffith Show ,with its iconic and earnest small-town sheriff, Andy Taylor, and his bungling and officious deputy, Barney Fife, and a host of other lovable and laughable players, tickles my funny bone like no other.
That day—of the said censored e-mail—I had been watching an Andy Griffith Show marathon. I was laughed out, completely, so much so that I had to eat a chicken breast for protein. You see, I had been watching one of the funniest episodes out of the entire 269 produced titled “The Pickle Story” in which Barney and Andy must eat Aunt Bee’s homemade pickles which taste like “kerosene.”
What to do after so much laughing?
Why, look for some more less sophisticated humor on the eGroup! And there, among emails from residents selling three 7-year-old silk tulips for $2.50 to used toilets that are still “like new” for $25.00 or two for $35.00—I spied a piece of very low-hanging fruit among the e-mails.
A woman with an unusual name, which I will not reveal in case she is litigious (who isn’t today?) penned a hilarious email. In it, she rages against the machine, literally—two machines,cars, whose drivers, she reports, were “speeding” around Robson Circle traveling way over the limit by 10 mph, each recklessly careening those curves at 35 mph. OK…an old lady who had been a prison matron or a kindergarten teacher is annoyed. I get it.
In her email, she alerts these two drivers publicly that she not only has secured their license numbers but also their addresses (because she followed them home) These numbers she publishes in her e-mail, which melts down into finger-wagging and then delivers a harsh penalty: she will now report all collected data to the Stepford Police (which is, essentially, a volunteer group of former sheriffs, policemen, and prison matrons). Oh boy, I thought, now those drivers are really in trouble…
I could not resist.
I uploaded my email response, regrettably without my signature.
“Atta girl, Deputy Fife!”
Before I could get up to make myself a vanilla latte, the Moderator struck, like a rattler.
Chastised for abandonment of the rules.
No smiley emoticon. 🙂 No happy face. 😉
Not even one of Barney Fife’s most famous lines, “ Nip it, Nip it in the bud!”
Now that would have been clever.
* Another of Barney Fife’s common lines.