Incantation against McMansion-dwellers

We didn’t get as many submissions of curses for the qarrtsiluni Words of Power issue as I would’ve liked, though we did get a few, and we’ll be running them soon. Here’s a kind of curse I imagine gets muttered a lot these days.

A plague on your unrealestate!
A descent of tent caterpillars, a fleet of mosquitos.
May the neighbors pit-roast goats & ululate.
May the farmer on the far hill
spread liquid manure during your dinner parties.
May termites decimate the fake Tudor half-beams
on your misbegotten horror-scene of a house,
may your drywall get dry rot,
may your lawn turn wild every full moon
& seed the subdivision with beggar-ticks.
May the INS arrest you in broad daylight
for employing undocumented workers
to blow from dawn to dusk
your goddamned leaves.
May you be forced to rake.

15 Comments


  1. Amen. I love the lawn turned wild. This is great. I’m not sure anything could force those folks to rake, but it’s a wonderful line.

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    1. Well, of course, I think it would be better if they learned not to have lawns at all, and let the leaves fall where they may. That’s what I do, and the neighbors haven’t complained yet!

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  2. I think whatever cosmic powers that might be have already heard this one. The last I heard, the realtors were cutting the dead/out of season grass and spray painting it green in order to try to sell these monsters.

    Great poem!

    P.S. You mentioned not as many submissions to your Qarrts.. thingy. If you were only getting pints instead of qarrts this time could it be because your blog has been down off and on all week? Whassup with that? For awhile I thought you were just keeping daylight hours because it would go down about sundown. I noticed Morning Porch was still going strong. Am way confused.

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    1. Yes, you’re right — I’ve heard about those spray-painted lawns! Glad you liked the poem.

      Actually, we got more submissions than ever this time, just not as many curses as I would’ve liked. I don’t think very many people submit to qarrtsiluni as a result of seeing my posts about it here, no. And this is the first that I’ve heard that Via Negativa has been down. That’s pretty alarming.

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  3. Newton is definitely the territory of tear-downs and yard crews. I understand there’s some sort of limit on the size of new houses, but there’s a loophole if you’re “renovating” an existing house. So you’ll see these massive homes that somehow squat on the footprint of a previous, much more modest home.

    There’s a house I pass nearly every day that burned & was demolished earlier this year. We had our own private wager as to how HUGE the replacement would be. We’ve been amazed to discover gradually, over the course of the summer, that they’re rebuilding the exact same house, stick by stick, as if from blueprints from the original. It’s such a refreshing relief to see a house that fits in with its neighbors rather than towering above them.

    J does his own yard work. We both wonder what suburban teenagers do these days, as yard work is clearly not a teen chore as it was when J and I were young.

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    1. Wow, that must require an insane amount of obsessiveness to rebuild a house to the same plan! Guess they really loved the old place. Maybe it’s all the insurance would cover, so they figured, what the heck?

      The kids these days, they just don’t know how lucky they have it! Why, when I was their age…

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  4. Actually it went down about an hour after I posted, and did not return until this A.M. The pattern has been up in the A.M. & down in the evening but on Sunday it took an almost complete day of rest. I tried coming at it sideways in case my computer was bipolar. Found that Morning Porch was still perking and or some Tweets but all the rest were down. I am guessing Negativa has another server. Sooo while I stewed I looked at your beautiful pictures on Flicker.

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    1. That’s weird. I would’ve thought that all my stuff resides on the same server, but maybe not. The next time it happens, could you email me, please? bontasaurus(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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  5. Do you know the mass of your cloud body, your on-line corpus, in bytes?

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  6. Sorry, that’s a rude question of me to ask. I’d read that server sheds were going up faster than McMansions and were consuming one to two percent of the world’s electricity so I started thinking about on-line carbon footprints. I know you’re very, very far from being as obese as I am, that you are wonderfully lean in fact, but still it’s rude of me. If I ever got thinking hard, quantitatively, about my energy consumption, my power to perceive it would gain; I would see walls not translucent air.

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    1. No offense taken, Bill — it’s a legitimate question, which I meant to try and answer yesterday, but got sidetracked from.

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      1. I’ve no need to know. I think I’m more interested in what I mean by asking such a question.

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