Happy(ish) Halloween!

halloweenI’ve lived in Parkfairfax for a number of years now, and in spite of my best efforts on Halloween there have been no trick or treaters on my block. I’ve actually run half a block down the street shouting “I have candy!” when I saw kids dressed up. In hindsight, that was a bit creepy.

I was super thrilled to see the last couple of years that a resident started up a map of addresses that will be giving out candy. I live up two huge flights of steps, in a rather dark and secluded courtyard. No one around me is very festive. So being highlighted on a map sounds like a fantastic idea given how many courtyards there are in the neighborhood.

Apparently, not everyone shares the idea that this map is a very neighborly attempt to make trick or treating a bit easier.

What is this map thing about Parkfairfax? Why in the workd [sic] would anyone make trick or treating complicated. Last year I bought $100 worth of candy only to have one family come to my house.

Just now I see a post in response saying there is a map. I didn’t see anything in the newsletter. I dont see anything in the by-laws.

Is this a secret club? Why is Northern VA so weird?

Complicated? Try being a parent and trying to figure out who is giving out candy in a maze of thousands of garden style condo units, up numerous huge flights of steps, in darkened courtyards. If it’s weird to come up with a nice solution for trick or treaters, then OK, I volunteer to be weird.

Also, nothing is secret in Parkfairfax. Hate to burst anyone’s idyllic bubble. Things you THINK are secret and you don’t want your neighbors to know about…they’re not secret. Everything is posted to the Facebook group. (Why else would I have this blog?).


In Your Face

Today’s gripe are water guns, which gets +5 points for being a creative topic that does not involve poo or trash.

please ban water guns from the pools. got it in the face today .

A reasonable request? Some didn’t think so.

A kid splashed me in face the other day playing with his friends. Should we ban kids at the pool? 

Large capacity squirt guns have no place in society and certainly no place in our public pools. What’s next? Water balloons? As a responsible water pistol owner, I am truly sorry.

Poor kids. No wonder so many turn to drugs for fun these days.

Someone ran into my car last year…I want all other people banned from driving on the road!!

As you can imagine, the OP wasn’t thrilled with these responses.

And it really does beg the question, did the kid do it on purpose to cause such upset? If it was an accident that happened only once and the kid apologized, and it never happened again, shouldn’t we all just move on?


If the kid had this ^ look on his face, then yes, be very, very afraid.

Bottom line that everyone seemed to agree on is that it’s much more productive to speak to the parent or the lifeguards in this situation than to open yourself up for sarcasm on Facebook. Because what good is Facebook if you can’t enjoy a little sarcasm and humor?

We Interrupt This Program for an Important Message…

It’s all fun and games in Pffx, until sometimes it’s not. A digression from my usually scheduled programming of humor to share a more serious story.

A neighbor reported this morning that her car had been vandalized overnight– very methodically and entirely keyed with deep, large gashes across every panel of the vehicle. And a flag was stolen from her front door– it was a rainbow flag.

We all hear about hate crimes, but most of us don’t live next door to where one has taken place. We stare at our screens and have a certain amount of disassociation from events that have been taking place over the last year.

This was much too close to home — a phrase I’ve said too often lately.

But I’m heartened to see an outpouring of support from residents that will not tolerate it. This is one day where I will not be mocking anyone, and I feel fortunate to live in a community that accepts everyone for who they are (as long as you don’t leave dog poo on the sidewalk).



When Life Hands You Lemons, Keep Them Off My Lawn

Growing up in Brooklyn, we didn’t sell lemonade on the sidewalks outside our houses. I’m not sure anyone would’ve bought lemonade even if I’d tried, people would’ve been suspicious. I always loved the idea as a kid, and wished I lived in a suburb or a small town where lemonade stands are a viable option.

I tried selling Girl Scout cookies, but I don’t recall that going very well since most people in New York City don’t want solicitors at their door even if they’re selling tasty cookies. Mostly my own family purchased them.

So you can imagine my shock when I was recently tipped off by a fellow neighbor to check out a thread on a lemonade stand that popped up.

Lyon’s Ln. Pool perimeter stroll today and there were residents selling cold drinks from their home/stoop. I’ve always felt PFFX. to be a bit more sophisticated. Lord. I feel like a snob but damn!

As my mother used to say, if you feel like a snob, then probably rethink the rest of what you’re about to say.


These were not the actual kids, but I imagine it was something similarly adorable and innocent. A bunch of residents jumped to the kids’ defense.

I think it’s way cool. I want to live in a community. Not a manicured country club.

I think shaming children for being children doesn’t support the values of the families here. It’s summer. They are kids. If you don’t like it, don’t buy anything. But also don’t use social media to criticize children being children.

Then the OP dug the hole even deeper by saying she only saw adults standing at the drink stand and admitted her mistake. Because when I see a drink stand, I automatically assume adults are running it. Our rents are just too damn high.

When other residents continued to comment, the OP responded:

Let it go and move on!

If only she had taken that statement as her personal motto to begin with and not posted at all.

And now if you don’t mind, I’m going to relive my lost youth and open up my own stand, which I think is in great demand–


The Ever-Present Dangers of Poo


My first thought is how do I get my dog to pick up its own poo? I mean, that is one really talented and coordinated dog. My dog is why we can’t have nice things, and you’re more likely to catch him doing this* than anything remotely helpful like cleaning up after himself:


*Not my actual dog.

But back to the sign. Residents have this really unhealthy obsession with poo, and not just their own bowel movements, but those of our four-legged creatures. We have a “serious” problem of people not picking up after their dogs, so like all normal responses, someone decided to put up a bunch of signs. Because in case you weren’t a responsible dog owner that picked up after your pooch, you will be now. Or else that dog is going to chase after you with its scooper– it really means business.

Now instead of giggling –like any sane person– on your daily walk when you happen upon this sign with your dog, residents have started getting angry (*gasp* shocker). As one resident eloquently put it:

Those look terrible to me, but hey, the slum look helps keep the rents low by attracting people with low standards. Thes [sic.] signs demonstrate to shoppers that PFFX is doing our part to support affordable housing in the DC area.

That escalated quickly. These signs are going to single-handedly ruin our neighborhood, next we’ll have gang shootouts, abandoned boarded up houses, crack vials on our sidewalks and it all started with those signs. Because when I look at low-income neighborhoods my first thought is always “if only they hadn’t put up those dog poop signs!”

Dead Mice and Rose Petals

rose-petals-2272x1704_14368If I ever write a memoir it’s going to be titled “Dead Mice and Rose Petals.” Bet you’ll never guess how those two things are connected…

The OP had quite a story to share: She’d left a dog poo bag outside her door overnight, and woke up the next morning to find a neighbor had put the dog bag inside a plastic bag. But wait, there’s more.

To her surprise, the bag had also acquired some other contents along the way:

…in the bottom of the bag was a DEAD MOUSE that this neighbor thought was a good idea to put into the bag.

Also, red rose petals.

As most of us can imagine, it’s startling to discover a dead rodent on your doorstep, and even more disturbing to realize someone purposely placed it there. The rose petals, I just don’t know. Maybe they held a funeral for the mouse.

For some inexplicable reason, every single comment skipped right over the dead mouse and rose petals, and chastised this woman for leaving a dog poo bag outside her door.

Some choice comments:

Perhaps they thought it was a more polite way of saying please pick up the poo.

I think you are reading way too much into what I almost consider a random act of kindness.

WHAT?! This is about as much of an act of kindness as a horse head left in a bed.

Pick up the dog poop. Stop being passive aggressive.

Has everyone failed reading comprehension? Did you miss the dead mouse that was mentioned? How on earth…

RIP dead mouse, may you live a long happy existence in the afterlife. You’re definitely in a better place now.


Because Traffic Cones Solve Everything

Let’s kick this off with one of my favorite subjects– vehicle parking.

21130_10100239652825871_1574372124177523217_nThere are more spaces than cars in Pffx. That doesn’t stop people from throwing a fit about parking, the distance between cars, and cars that end up parked illegally overnight. There’s even a resident that calls in expired Alexandria county decal stickers to the police, but that’s a story for another day.

And sometimes the stories on Facebook even include photos– those are the best.

This post is a particular favorite of mine:

I found my “neighbor” had called the police because I was parked “too close” to her car (my car is the silver Prius in the pictures.) Instead of doing the decent, rational, neighborly thing to ease her mind, insure that her vehicle didn’t get bumped, and to make my life a little easier, she had called to police to complain about what I believe to be a reasonable amount of distance for a parking job done at a very packed 11PM on Martha Custis when I got home from work.

Let’s get this straight. Before I’m even functional on a Saturday and desperately chugging coffee, this woman starts off her weekend by calling the police to complain a car is parked too close to hers. Because, logic? Boredom? Depth perception issue? That must be it, maybe her glasses are an old prescription.

No damage to the vehicles. No bodily harm or injury. It’s too bad we don’t have a picture of the officer’s expression. That poor officer had much more important things to attend to, for instance, actual crimes and emergencies.

So what did the officer do that any respectable person should do in this situation?


The officer placed a cone between the cars. Because, why not?

H/t to the exceedingly patient man that has to deal with this crazy neighbor, and credit to him for the photos.

Where should I begin?

Preston Road, Alexandria
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Let’s jump right in…

This blog was created after a friend sent me a link to the Beverly Hills neighborhood blog. That author inspired me to create this one, where I will be posting the craziness that ensues on the Parkfairfax Residents Facebook page. Don’t let the cute colonial brick buildings fool you, the crazies live in Pffx too.

So if you’re interested in hearing about Pffx’s sagas of parking spaces, dog poo, pink lawn flamingos, outdoor cats, landscaping, proper grill sizing, and much, much more– you’ve come to the right place!