November 14, 2011

Funival Crashers


Every year our homeowner's association hosts a neighborhood carnival, paid for with our homeowner's dues.

It's because of this fact that the minute that we got to the so-called Funival, I ordered my children to eat several hundred dollars worth of hamburgers.

"But I'm not hungry!" they cried in unison.

In addition to a "free" lunch, the Funival also had a D.J., a face painter, a temporary tattoo artist, and several moon bounces.

There are several hundred families that live in our neighborhood but there were easily several thousand people in attendance at the Funival.

"Something doesn't seem right," my husband observed as a group of kids ran by. They were wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the name of the elementary school across town.

I realized what was going on when I saw spotted half of my kids' soccer team in attendance.

"I didn't you know you lived in this neighborhood," I said to one mom.

"We don't," she replied casually. "But we come here every year."

On our way back from the Funival, we passed by the back gate. On the other side of the wrought iron fence were rows of parked cars. Entire families were climbing the fence.

"Why do I have the uneasy feeling that I just bought half of Orlando lunch?" my husband asked.

"Because you did," I said matter-of-factly.

So it is. So it is.

26 comments

BeckyB.West said...

There's nothing like giving back, eh? On the next Funival, perhaps you should suggest that a percentage of the HOA fees go towards professional bouncers and security to keep out the moochers.

Rachel C said...

Seriously, who would do that? weird..

Tammy said...

Perhaps you should find other neighborhoods in your area and crash their Funivals. That way you'd get your $'s worth:)

Mom of 12 said...

I've sat here for five minutes trying to think of something witty to say and I'm still speechless... I guess there really IS such a thing as a free lunch.
Sandy

Toni Marie said...

definitely suggest hiring security ... and then crash another neighborhood's 'funival'.

Jenny said...

It's nothing new. People will crash anything for free food. My father worked for 35 years for a company who always threw a huge picnic for the employees and their families. This was a company with multiple businesses, so it was a major event. There was free GOOD food, ice cream, prize drawings, games -- you name it. It became a community event, because no proof of employment was required. I guess the powers-that-be didn't want to offend customers. They finally had to stop having the picnic, because it got so out-of-hand. Sad state of affairs when people think it's okay to essentially steal from others and don't even think twice before doing so.

I'm surprised at very little these days.

Jennifer said...

I would never do that, but I have been known to drive to the "good" neighborhoods to trick or treat. Not a gated community, just the big houses with the rich old people who hand out the big bars.

MaLeah said...

We have this problem with our gated community pool that requires an access card to get in! People tail gate in behind those that have a card and those with the card are too nice to speak up. This is compounded by the fact that there are two large apartment complexes across the road from the pool. Yeah, both complexes have their own pools but ours has kiddie pools and a water slide. So, they come over here. The HOA has tried everything to keep people out, but they always seem to find a way. It burns me up every time we get a letter about our dues going up. People are used to mooching though, so as long as there are no consequences, they will continue.

Nancy said...

I'd be sure I was at the next homeowner's association meeting and let them know just how you feel about the way your dollars are being spent.

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Oh man. I would be so tempted to tell that lady, "You do realize my HOA fees are paying for this, right?" Is this by chance the same lady who said you could take her son to Chuck E. Cheese to make up to him for missing his party?

mom24orsinis said...

man oh man...people have no shame...do they really think this is free? Do they walk into peoples wedding, retirement parties or bar mitzvahs and sit down and eat too???? Just so totally irritating...you definitely should go to the next HOA meeting...that's just wrong...

Molly @thewaffler said...

I find something a little creepy about the sound of the word "Funival." I'm not sure why...maybe like it's trying too hard to be "fun."

the emily said...

Oh man do I ever hate HOAs. I was the HOA president when we lived in Utah and I regularly called the police on people in the pool that didn't live there. I seriously hate HOAs (and the fact that I'm still paying $161.75 per month in HOA dues and I don't even live there anymore). Also, you're a member of the HOA--go to the meetings and motion to cancel those block parties based on your recent experience. In my experience, nobody really goes to the meetings and it won't take much for that motion to pass.

Christine said...

Hilarious! We buy 1/2 the city Halloween candy. They bus them into our neighborhood and we never have enough for the hundreds of kids that come by. What gets me are the ADULTS from across town trying to score candy.

A lot of my neighbors stopped giving it out...I wonder why...

Emmy said...

Wow- yea I would be annoyed. So glad we don't have a HOA anymore.

Daytime Stories said...

That is unbelievable! I can't even imagine jumping a fence to get to a neighborhood unless it was for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 'Funival' in which case I probably would not want to take my kids.

Anna said...

Well, if your HOA has enough money to spend on moon bounces and whatnot, they should be able to spend a bit extra to set up a booth where participants must show proof of residence and ID (and have their name checked off a list) and then wear wrist bands before being allowed admittance or served food, etc. My husband's company does this every year for their annual picnic (huge, tons of people) and it's not a problem for them and keeps the moochers out.

Lisa said...

Nothing surprises me anymore. We were at a family reunion at a park and a man with two preteen aged boys walked right up to our cooler and helped themselves to sodas. They even dug around to see what kind was in there before making their choices. Hubby intercepted them, held out his hand to the dad and introduced himself. Asked him "and how are you related to our family?" Dad sheepishly hands over the sodas, without apology, and they wandered off. Weird!

Amy said...

I agree with Anna about the wrist bands. That is how my dad's company did things. Of course some workers ended up selling their bands but whatever, I still enjoyed the rides, games, and free food.

I just don't understand why anyone would crash the Funival.

Anonymous said...

Our neighborhood had a halloween party filled with games and such. There were tons of kids and now it makes me wonder if the same thing happened here in UT!
-Jackie @ New Bingo Sites

Cindy said...

Wow. People can be so bold and feel entitled to everything that's out there. Hope it's better next year!

Anonymous said...

We have a cottage in a "Dirty Dancing" type community. Everyone knows everyone, you walk around with a cold drink and say hello to all the other cottagers along the way. We have an adjoining cottage with friends, so there is normally a big group of us there... all to say, we medley all our drinks into one monster cooler. One night, someone woke up at 4:00 a.m. because they heard noise outside. There were 3 teens out there just helping themselves to our beers and hanging out on our deck.

Anonymous said...

SAME.THING. at our home owners party. Except we don't have an actual gate so the families just park in front of someone's house and walk on over. It's nice. And don't get me started on the actual TRUCKLOADS of kids brought into the neighborhood for Halloween...

Lin said...

Haha...that's totally something you'd see in my old ghetto neighborhood! No lie, I used to know kids who's parents would take them to the "rich" neighborhoods for Halloween because they gave out better candy.

Michelle Potter said...

First off, hi! I'm a new reader -- I just found your link in a comment on another blog. I subscribed to your feed, and was reading the however-many most-recent posts that showed up in my newsreader when I found this one and had to comment.

Wow. People were seriously climbing over the fence?!? Do people have no shame???

I wish I could say it was unbelievable, but our neighborhood has been having a real problem with people "crashing" our pool. Last summer, the mother of my daughters' friend took her daughter and some of my kids to the pool. I thought they were going into the pool in her neighborhood. Come to find out, they snuck into the pool in OUR neighborhood! Apparently this is common practice, and people stick things in the gate to keep it open for other sneakers.

IOW, they are willfully disengaging the safety feature (the self-locking gate) that prevents small children playing in the park from accidentally wandering into the pool area, all so they can sneak into our pool. Our tiny, private pool, which has no lifeguard and is often empty.

Since I take my 3yo to play in that park, I was pretty incensed. All it would take is a few seconds for my son to get through the gate and close it behind him -- locking him IN and me OUT.

So, we changed the locks, and we are hoping that helps. We'll see.

Oh... sorry for writing a novel! I love your blog! LOL.