A New Year Dawns at Happy Hills by Myna Chang

Shortlisted in the Funny Pearls 2020 Short Story Competition

Happy Hills Homeowner Association

*Please Chat Responsibly*


Dec. 26

>MaryAnn Blint — I hope you all had a merry Christmas! This is a gentle reminder that all holiday decorations are to be removed from the exterior of your homes by January 1, per the newly updated homeowner association rules.

Dec. 27

>MaryAnn Blint — Gentle reminder: decorations must be taken down soon. Thank you all for your cooperation.

Dec. 28

>MaryAnn Blint — I still see a lot of blinking lights on your trees. Please do your part to maintain our property values.

>Anonymous — Stuff it, MaryAnn!

>MaryAnn Blint — I take my role as President of the Homeowners’ Association seriously. Also, as soon as I figure out how to do it, I’m going to ban you from this group due to your rude comment.

>Fred D. — Don’t you have anything better to do with your time, MaryAnn? Lighten up. (Lighten – get it? Christmas lights?? Heh.)

>Berenice — Why are you so worried about property values, MaryAnn? Are you selling your house??

>T.F.P. — For sale? MaryAnn, I hope you’ll give Dan a second chance. Divorce is such a drastic step.

>Gerald — Wow, Dan, divorce? I had no idea you two were calling it quits.

>Gerald — That was supposed to be private! How do you delete stuff here? Please ignore this.

>MaryAnn Blint — We are not getting divorced! And our house is not for sale!

>MaryAnn Blint — I just want you all to follow the rules.

>MaryAnn Blint — Please take down your lights. And also those blow-up Star Trek things flailing around in your yard!

>Anonymous — *Star Wars. Holiday Vader is from Star Wars. You philistine.

>MaryAnn Blint — Ha! I knew it was you, Jaden Martin, with your sci-fi crap! You can’t hide behind calling yourself “Anonymous”. I am banning you right now!

>Anonymous — Nope. Still here.

>Jaden M. — Nope still here.

>Anonymous — LOL

>Fred D. — If you’re worried about crap in the neighborhood, you could LITERALLY clean up Ranger’s crap. He pooped in my yard twice last week.

>MaryAnn Blint — My son did not defecate in your yard! Why would you say such a thing?

>Fred D. — Wait. Your CHILD is named Ranger? I thought that was your mutt’s name.

>MaryAnn Blint — Mutt?? He is a pure-bred CutiePoo!

>Anonymous — Well, at least they got the POO right

>Berenice — CutiePoo is not a real breed. You got ripped off.

>Fred D. — If your kid is named Ranger, what’s the poo dog’s name?

>MaryAnn Blint — He is not a “poo dog”, he’s a genuine CutiePoo. I did not get ripped off, I did my research and his name is Steve.

>Anonymous — LOL Steve

>Berenice — You bought it from that “breeder” in the grocery store parking lot, didn’t you?

>MaryAnn Blint — No.

>MaryAnn Blint — And also, Berenice, those little Santa hats do not legitimize your tacky plastic flamingos.

>Berenice — My festive flamingos fall within the Homeowners’ Association rules for holiday decorations.

>MaryAnn Blint — You are gaming the system!

>Gerald — Let me know if you need to commiserate over a beer.

>Gerald — Damn it! That was supposed to be private! I hate this new group thing!

Dec. 30

>Anonymous — This is a gentle reminder for MARYANN to please clean up all the holiday stuff in her yard. Ha!

>MaryAnn Blint —Jaden Martin I know it was you who dumped all those broken light strings on my lawn! That is vandalism and I am calling the police. And banning you.

>Berenice — Serves her right!

>T.F.P. — MaryAnn, didn’t your fancy new doorbell thingie record the vandal?

>MaryAnn Blint — Dan hooked it up wrong.

>T.F.P. — That’s not a good enough reason to divorce him.

>MaryAnn Blint — We’re not getting a divorce!! Stop spreading gossip about me!

>Fred D. — Ranger has been pooing all over the neighborhood again.

>MaryAnn Blint — His name is Steve!

>Anonymous — Nope. Still not banned.

>Gerald — Yes, of course I will keep it secret.

>Gerald — lksjf

>T.F.P. — Gerald, are you OK?

Dec. 31

>MaryAnn Blint — This is not funny. Whoever put that horrible mess all over my porch is going to pay. The police officer said I can charge you with vandalism.

>>NEW GROUP MEMBER: Hal & Katy Lee — Hello everyone! We moved into the house on the corner of Woodbrook last month and just discovered this GroupServe. We’re eager to meet all of you. Happy Holidays!

>Fred D. — I’m pretty sure Ranger is responsible for that entire poop storm on your porch.

>MaryAnn Blint — My son is not pooping on porches. It’s Steve!

>Jaden M. — So, you admit all that poop is rightfully yours?


>MaryAnn Blint — I admit nothing. I know one of you did this. I. WILL. FIND. YOU.

>Berenice — That shouldn’t be too hard. We all live on the same street.

>Gerald — Yes, 11 pm

>Fred D. — Gerald, what in hell are you up to?

>Gerald — Nothing.

>Anonymous — Maybe Gerald is planning a secret poop-dumping escapade?

>MaryAnn Blint — GERALD Did you put poop on my porch??

>Gerald — What? No! Is this public?

Jan. 1

>Berenice — My flamingos have been decapitated! Their mutilated bodies are wrapped in broken Xmas light strings. I know it was you, MaryAnn.

>Fred D. — Ranger has been at it again. I need a hazmat suit. MaryAnn, you have to make your dog stop this.

>T.F.P. — OMG the remains of 13 flamingos are crammed into my mailbox! Plastic feet and beaks! What kind of sicko would do this?!

>Fred D. — More importantly: where are the rest of their heads?

>Jaden M — WHO DESECRATED LORD VADER?? His mylar sides have multiple stab wounds and all the Force Tinsel is strung into the gutter. I am calling the police.

>Anonymous 2 — Laughing LOL

>Berenice — Anonymous 2? MaryAnn, is that you??

>Gerald — under the train

>T.F.P. — Someone please show Gerald how to use the damn internet!

>Dan Blint — Happy New Year Everyone! I’m probably going to take down our holiday decorations tomorrow or the next day. Anyone want a hand with theirs?

>Dan Blint — BTW, has anyone seen MaryAnn?

Myna Chang writes flash and short stories. Her work has been featured in Atlas and Alice, Reflex Fiction, Writers Resist, and Daily Science Fiction. Stories previously featured in Funny Pearls include ‘First Impressions‘ and ‘It’s Not Christmas Without Butter.’ Read more at MynaChang.com or @MynaChang.