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Response to the Angry Letter from my Neighbor

A letter I received on Tuesday, November 13, 2018:



My response, should I ever discover the identity and home address of the sender, is below:

To my (Unfortunately) Anonymous Neighbor near 531 Viking Drive:

Thank you very much for the heartfelt and informative letter that I received from you in the mail very late yesterday. I knew Election Day was coming up sometime in November, and I must admit it really snuck up on me! Fortunately, I was able to exercise my civic duty in time for my ballot to not only be cast but also be counted in a timely fashion. There was even enough time for me to vote a second time! Ha ha- just kidding- that would be illegal. You would think there would be more information out there leading up to an important day such as Election Day, which I now know (thanks to you) is on every first Tuesday after November 1st. I will definitely put this on my calendar- on repeat!

We are blessed to have kind neighbors, such as those who reside across the street as well as those on my own side of the street. It just occurred to me all the addresses on my side of the street are odd numbers, while those across the street are even-numbered. Isn’t that curious? I am a little embarrassed to admit they are much more attentive to the state of their properties than I am to my own. I also noticed they removed their political yard signs promptly on Wednesday. I must appear to them to be very lazy! I did not think to remove that one sign in my front yard until Thursday or Friday. Maybe it was Saturday- I remember very specifically pulling it out of the ground and placing it inside my garage, but I honestly don’t remember what day it was. I did bring in the mail at the same time, so it couldn’t have been Sunday, right? Thank goodness I finally did it, otherwise my neighbors might think I didn’t know the election was over! Wouldn’t that be funny! I don’t know when you wrote your letter (as you did not date it by way of the conventions of personal letter writing), but I do know by the time I received your letter I had removed the sign from my yard.

You are not mistaken- I’ve only resided in Batavia for ~7 years, so I may have missed the opportunity to vote for real scientists like Bill Foster. Where have all the real scientists gone? I would have voted for him this year if I could, but that would be about as illegal as voting twice, I think, as he does not represent our district. I am very happy eligible voters in that other district did vote for him this time. Did you know he actually won? This is a wondrous time for real scientists and science in general, don’t you agree?

I am a little confused about the information you have provided about Lauren Underwood- are you trying to convince me not to vote for her? If so, you’re a little late- the election was over a week ago! I don’t think I could go in and change my vote, even if it was legal to do so. I have no doubt about the facts you have presented, but I don’t see how they disqualify her for political office. I am not familiar with the “White Eagle” subdivision in Naperville. Is it as nice as “Johnson Woods” or “Fox Trail” here in Batavia? Probably not, I bet! And I think my dentist, and all the dentists I have had before, and all the dentists I will have in the future, as well as all those dentists who other people go to would be disappointed to know they are not actually doctors! At least, they do not practice in a doctor’s office, which you inferred is one of the qualifications for being a doctor. I wouldn’t know, I am only an engineer. Certainly, just getting a Masters of Science in Nursing and a Masters in Public Health doesn’t make you a nurse unless you go on to work in a doctor’s office, or register as a “nurse” by meeting the requirements outlined by a country, state, province or similar licensing body to obtain a nursing license.

You mentioned another sign that I keep in my yard all year, and now I see what may have caught your attention. We were given a “Conservation@Home” sign recognizing the environmentally-friendly practices we employ in our landscape design. Perhaps you read it as “Conservatives@Home?” I can see how that must have looked adjacent to a campaign sign for Lauren Underwood, who probably does not identify as “conservative.” How funny is that? In all seriousness I certainly do hope this sign shows my support for- and hopefully recruits friendly neighbors to- the cause for environmentally-friendly landscaping practices. After all, without the environment, where would we get our landscaping in the first place? Am I right? I am glad you recognize my right to put signs in my yard that inform others of what I believe in as a resident of Batavia, and by extension, Illinois and America.

My goodness, I just realized there is another sign that I have kept posted all year and every year since July, 2018. I am so glad you noticed it! I was afraid perhaps it was too far away from the sidewalk (used by pedestrian traffic, particularly those who have disabilities and rely on a cane, crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair) for others to read clearly. I guess it is plenty clear! I am heartened to hear that Randy Hultgren agrees with most of the virtues signaled by the statements on this sign. I would be interested to know which ones he disagrees with – perhaps “Water is Life?” Okay, I admit water “supports life” or “is essential for sustaining life.” Maybe I can work on a different version that is more technically accurate yet fits on one line, while maintaining readability from a distance. Regardless, do you think Randy would like one to place in his front yard? We have an extra one (if you know anyone else who wants one, I know where to get more!).

You know, I have some connections in the printing industry, and I could have some yard signs made up that I’m almost positive everyone would agree with! I propose a sign that expresses, in varying weight and colored font, the following facts:

Water is Wet

Everyone Poops

Punctuation Matters

The Earth is Roughly Spherical

Trains Always Win

Don’t Eat Yellow Snow

Evil and Stupidity are Equally Harmful

I am so glad to have shared this dialogue with you, my faceless neighbor. I hope someday to actually meet you, see your face, maybe learn your name- perhaps we can discuss pedestrian safety and city ordinances over a couple of beers or other beverage of your choice!

With best regards,

Your Neighbor John