Monthly Archives: April 2010

Word of the Day: Cul de Sac*

My neighbor’s house is for sale. They have two little kids and said that they are looking for a house with a bigger yard, on a street with less traffic – maybe on a cul de sac.

I nodded as she outlined her new home wish list – but I wanted to tell her that she should take the “For Sale” sign down. I wanted to tell her that yards are highly overrated. Not only are they a pain in the neck to maintain, but kids don’t play in their yards. You have to scream at them to turn off the computer or the TV or the Xbox and go outside. Then, they play basketball in the neighbor’s driveway or ride their  scooters on the sidewalk. Which is another reason not to move.

Cul de sacs don’t have sidewalks. The kids have to play in the street.  Sure, the street doesn’t get any traffic, but no one walks by either. It’s lonely at the end of a cul de sac. And with two-acre zoning, you don’t get to know your neighbors on the intimate level that you do when you can see them eating dinner while you are standing at your kitchen sink. No one on a cul de sac wanders over with a beer while you are working in your miniscule garden or feels compelled to invite you to a barbecue because they know that you’ll  go crazy from the unbelievable aroma of a smoking brisket wafting over the tiny backyards.

* Translation from the French: “Bottom of the sack”


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