I have the pleasure or insanity of living in a hi-rise condominium in Boca Raton, FL where I just finished reading a torrent of emails blasting my beleaguered condo board’s alleged aloofness and arbitrariness.
Not only that, but there were a litany of allegations of incompetence, scapegoating and charges of board members speaking derogatorily about former board members. Not nice, said one of the critics.
Then came a charge that our board president committed the cardinal sin of operating undemocratically.
And that immediately called to mind a book I once wrote titled “King of Condo,” described as an “hilarious whodunit with an ocean view.” (still available on Amazon btw)
The “king” character was me.
I wrote this satiric novel about condo residents trying to assassinate the condo president (me) as my payback to all the residents who tormented me. Why did they attack me? I had dared to assess them to renovate a dreary, decaying, noticeably outdated lobby that was hurting property values.
Having endured enough, I resigned the presidency of this Palm Beach condo like President Lyndon B. Johnson once did announcing I would not seek a second term.
“I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination . . . for another term as your president.” I identified with poor besieged LBJ and bailed out of condo politics!
The chain-smoking, nitroglycerin-popping, heart-attack prone ex-president was agonized over Americans defining him only as the architect of the hated Vietnam War and not for his equal rights and Medicare legislation he was most proud of.
Feeling like an unappreciated outcast, the often-depressed ex-president repeatedly listened to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” until he died at age 64. It sounds incredible that LBJ should be attracted to that anthem by the passionately antiwar singers, until you hear the lyrics: “When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes…And friends just can’t be found…”
Bridge Over Troubled Water should be the anthem of all beleaguered condo presidents in Florida.
Feeling a little like Lyndon, my book was a farcical retaliation for all the torment I was put through for doing what I thought was right. I’m afraid I didn’t have time or inclination, however, to listen to a hundred different views of what colors, shapes and styles the new lobby should be. I appointed a committee to review proposals and then select an interior design firm to do the job.
Yes, undoubtedly the democratic system is the best form of government ever devised to run a country. But a condo? Too much inclusiveness tends to get awfully complicated, clumsy and cantankerous.
The poor condo president will always have a large bullseye on his or her back.
Still, I sort of miss the limelight of being President amid the clamor of condo politics and watching condo commandos’ stream onto the battlefield for a fight.
While I now stay non-political up in my safe bunker apartment, maybe you know someone who’d like to run for the board? There’s no pay, but there are benefits. I’m sure if you looked hard enough you can find one.
I happen to have a couple of bullseyes left you’re welcome to wear. Very fashionable. You’ll definitely stand out!