The Ancient Giza Homeowners Association

Dear Pharaoh,

We, the chairs of Giza’s Homeowners Association, have reviewed your thoughtful proposal to build three pyramids in our neighborhood. We’re pleased to report that, following a thirty-day period for public comment and ritual sacrifice, your request has been granted! The H.O.A. agrees with you—pyramid-based development is key to revitalizing our neighborhood.

However, your second application, for an above-ground pool, has been rejected on the following grounds:

UNIFORMITY (H.O.A. Ordinance 17.2.1): Per ordinance 17.2.1, new improvements must fit with the neighborhood’s existing design standards. As yours would be the only above-ground pool in Giza, it would stick out like a sore thumb and be impossible to overlook. And as much as we appreciate your creative impulse to cover the sides of the above-ground pool with vibrant hieroglyphics, that would clash with the H.O.A.’s approved exterior-paint colors (Sahara Yellow or Mud of the Nile Brown).

PRESERVING HISTORIC LANDSCAPE (H.O.A. Ordinance 15.8.2, middle paragraph): An above-ground pool threatens to break up Giza’s sweeping and iconic views of flat desert and may cause huts in its sight line to lose property value. Slabs 5-A-12 and F-5 (which you have neglected to carve and submit), raise these very real issues. It’s precisely why the Sphinx was built so far from the residential area—for whatever reason, our homeowners simply do not want the head of a god-king on the body of a lion glaring into their breakfast nook.

EXCESSIVE CONSTRUCTION (H.O.A. Ordinances 14.9, 13.9.A): Above-ground pools are major projects that raise serious noise concerns and could disrupt the flow of oxcart traffic in our development for up to two days. Above-ground-pool assembly may not move forward without a detailed impact report and signoff from neighbors. On the other hand, we found your description of your plan for the pyramids to be more than sufficient. Admittedly, we were lost when it came to your explanation of the pyramid sizes (what are “cubits”?) but we trust you won’t go overboard with it.

SAFETY (H.O.A. Ordinances 13.8, 7.14, 9.0.8, others): Aside from opposing multifamily housing, safety is this H.O.A.’s top priority. If you’re serious about an above-ground pool, you will first need to erect a childproof fence around the proposed perimeter. A fence for an above-ground pool is the kind of redundant safety measure that just makes sense in this modern age. As for the pyramids, our only non-binding recommendation is to clearly post at all entrances a complete list of torments (death of firstborn, blindness, pestilence, etc., etc.) inflicted upon those who dare trespass.

You have another thirty days to correct your forms and resubmit them through the front office for a small fee. You are welcome to attend our weekly meetings and advocate for the above-ground pool in person (please, no more curses). Frankly, however, it appears that much of your planning and effort thus far has gone into the pyramids and not the above-ground pool. Perhaps it is time to move on and give up the fantasy of an above-ground pool in this neighborhood.

Thanks for being a homeowner! Together, we can preserve Giza’s natural beauty and build something that will last for decades.

—Giza Homeowners Association,
approximately 2550 B.C. ♦

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