Wednesday, November 15, 2006

if good fences make good neighbors, what do obnoxious fences do?

fence #1

So, sometime the pleasant picket fence went by the wayside and was replaced by the fence that doesn't let you see into the yard at all. Or, at least, there are a lot of these in Cambridge. The usual height of these fences are about 6 - 6 1/2 feet, which is tall enough. The owners of the property spent a lot time/energy/money renovating their house so that it looks splendid, and then their final act was to put this giant fence up to hide it. This fence is at least 7 1/2 feet tall, on a side of the street that is otherwise unobtrusively fenced. I tell you, this fence is aggressive. I walk by and I feel like it's provoking me. It speaks, this fence. Sneery, taunting things.

Or maybe not, but the fence is too ostentatiously tall for an otherwise laid-back neighborhood. After all, the menace right across the street that they are keeping out is the Harvard Divinity School.

Anyway, if you look at the picture above, you can see over on the right there is a sheet of paper attached to the sign. Close-up:

fence #2

I didn't do this, nor was I the one who added "I agree!", although I do agree. I think if I had written the sign it would have said, "This fence is an atrocity" or "This fence bespeaks an ugly soul." I'm normally not one to give into Schadenfence, but I'm not going to feel bad if some teenager tags this fence.


dorotha said...

in the woodlands, a real hometown (tm), we require fences of an exact height, assuming you put up a fence. i can't remember the minimum and maximum height. maybe there are such rules in the neighborhood and this person exceeded them.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing compared to the "fences" in Rio (concrete walls, barbed wire or pieces of glass on top, alarms, dogs, security gards for richer folks). It's all relative :-)

astrid jane said...

They might have/have recently acquired a pet of the fence scaling variety. Some dogs and almost all cats could escape a picket-fenced yard like greased lightning. Almost no dog could jump a 6 foot fence, and, if you had very fat and lazy cat, a fence like that might be able to keep it in the yard.

jeremy said...

D: That would rock if this person could be litigated against.

L: Yes, no dogs on top of Cambridge fences.

AJ: True, not even a gazelle could jump this fence.

astrid jane said...

Dude, most cats could totally jump that fence. Clearly you've never watched a cat go all 'Matrix' and defy gravity all of a sudden when it really wants something. My mom's cat jumps effortlessly from a sitting position to land on my mother's shoulder (a jump of a little over 5 feet.) An old housemate of mine had a cat that could literally climb walls...the thing would just zip up the wall using her claws like crampons.

You know what other animal is surprisingly good at climbing things? Snakes! Snakes can climb trees. Maybe that family has a bunch of pet snakes and they just want to keep them from running amok throughout your neighborhood. Bet you'd feel bad if you found out that that fence was acually there for your own protection. Protection from the yard of snakes.