Dude, I Just Want to Join the Neighborhood Association – and Other Remarkable Tales from the New Albany Re-NAY-ssance.


Hello, I’d like to rejoin the South Bling Street Neighborhood Association.

Praise Gahan; that’s wonderful. Do you live within the boundaries of the Neighborhood Association?

I’ve lived in the same house for 13 years.

That’s what they all say. To process your application, we’ll need to see a payment book, proof of tangible wealth or as a last resort, a deed .

But I live only two doors down from you!

This ain’t Silver Hills, bub. We have to be sure you’re not a slumlord, a poor person, or even worse, a progressive. It’s not our rule, it’s the new ordinance.

What new ordinance?

Z-BR-549, the Omnibus Neighborhood Association Purity Act of 2017.

But it isn’t 2017 yet.

It doesn’t matter – we already bought the votes for it.

I thought you said it wasn’t YOUR rule.

I never said that. Anyhow, Knucksie Duggins wrote the checks. By the way, you’re not friends with Jeff Gillenwater, are you?

Is that a rule, too?

It should be. Look, shouldn’t you be joining the Midtown Neighborhood Association instead? It’s closer to your house.

But it’s defunct.


And I seem to recall that you’re the ones who put it out of business.

Listen, if you already know the answers, why keep asking questions? Big Daddy G doesn’t like questions, not at all. It makes him mean, and then the phone rings at 2:00 a.m.

Who is Big Daddy G?

If you have to ask, you’ll never know. Try to understand; if we don’t do exactly what Big Daddy says, we’ll never get what we want.

Have you gotten what you want?

Not really, but this time he promised – and I know he means it, because he took those stupid confusing bike paths out of the two-way street plan, so we’ve got that going for us.

I see. Have you ever biked?

Seriously? In that traffic? On second thought, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable with Silver Grove’s neighborhood association? They have plenty of malcontents over there, too, and they don’t exist, either.

Let’s start over. I have $5, and I want to join the South Bling Street Neighborhood Association. Do you want my money, or not?

How do you know the dues are $5?

I’m not sure. Maybe I saw it on the web site.

That’s a bald-faced lie. Our web site doesn’t have that or any other information. If you go putting membership information on-line, then every Tom, Dick and Greg in the neighborhood will want to join — and then what?

Isn’t that what you want?

It’s not about me – it’s about Big Daddy G. You know, his helper Adam helped us with the settings on social media, and now we’re no longer bothered by pesky comments or questions.

Can I join or not?

If you insist, yes, but you can’t attend meetings, receive e-mails or come to the Christmas party. That’s a real steal at only five dollars a year.

Here’s a $5 bill.

Sorry, I don’t have any change. Do you have a credit card?

Yes, here it is.

Oops – my Square is down. Have any coins?


Great. That’ll be a dollar in pennies, two dollars in nickels, five dimes if it’s a full moon … got any Euros?

What about a roll of quarters, and I can join for two years?


Right. Big Daddy G doesn’t like paying it forward. Just tell me why I can’t join the South Bling Street Neighborhood Association when my house is right in the middle of it and I have the membership dues.

Truthfully, Long Tall Shane says your security clearance comes up beet red.

Who is he?

Long Tall Shane’s the gatekeeper, and he collects the fines for multi-syllable violations – shit, how many syllables did I just use?

You’re safe. What does a beet red security clearance mean?

It means you’re a grave and persistent threat to crassly exploit actual facts to score extremely cheap points for your pet agenda of fairness, transparency and urban empowerment.

So they really do read my blog, huh?

Every single word. Now, we all know you’re toast, so let’s talk turkey. Have you considered leaving town? We’re authorized to pay YOU if you’ll move away.

How much?

Five dollars is the going rate.

That’s not very much.

Well, Big Daddy G is the most profound accounting genius in municipal history, but even he can’t get blood out of every TIF bond.

Thanks. I’m glad we had this talk. I have just one question.

What’s that?

Can he get that $5 out of EDIT instead?