Dear Mr. Esteemed Chairman of the Cobb County Commission and Assorted Esteemed Members of the Board:
We are writing you to comment on an application scheduled to come before you on Sept. 15 under the category of “Other Business,” specifically, OB-51.
The application concerns a 0.8 acre parcel of land on Hyde Road. As we all know, an acre equals 4,840 square yards (4,047 square meters) or 0.405 hectares. Having consulted our trusty abacus, we calculate the parcel comes out to about 3876.8 square yards or 0.324 hectares.
We were informed of this matter by a modest and much-beloved columnist who wishes to remain anonymous, given that he eschews controversy. Actually, he only told us about the application. The part about hectares we figured out for ourselves. He wouldn’t know a hectare from a hipbone.
It isn’t the size of the parcel that has compelled us to write you, it is the proposed usage therein. The applicant says he is requesting permission to allow livestock on the parcel. He further states he maintains goats, donkeys and horses and leases the adjacent field for those animals to graze and for riding.
We would like to point out to you that even though this parcel is adjacent to historic Hyde Farm, nowhere on the application is there a reference to mules. Here we go again. Discriminating against mules. Only in Cobb County.
Most of you were not on the board when we were invited to Hyde Park from Alabama amid much fanfare in 2009. The only downside at the time was that our leaving Alabama caused a precipitous drop in that state’s IQ level.
The intent was for us to live at Hyde Farm and show schoolchildren how the land was farmed in the good old days before frozen dinners. Then-chairman Sam Olens led the effort to get us here and the esteemed commissioners at that time agreed unanimously.
When it became clear it would cost the county $3 million to tear down some outhouses and buy us a plow as well as discovering that kids would rather play “Fortnite” than watch a couple of mules doing their thing, the whole project tanked. Suddenly, instead of heroes, we were pariahs.
Commissioner Bob Ott who had voted with his colleagues to bring us here, led the effort to get rid of us. That hurt. We had thought he was our friend. The ACLU turned their backs on us and they would defend a doorknob if they thought it would get them some free publicity. Even the county’s public relations maven came out of hiding briefly and referred to us publicly as being “fictional.” He hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
We are truly at a loss to understand the animosity in Cobb County toward mules. We would call to your attention to an excellent treatise by John Hauer entitled “The Natural Superiority of Mules: A Celebration of One of the Most Intelligent, Sure-Footed, and Misunderstood Animals in the World,” (Skyhorse Publishing) which is in its second edition. In his book, Mr. Hauer says a mule is “one of the most fascinating, yet often unappreciated, creatures in the world.” Modestly, we could not agree more.
Our writing you is not to oppose the approval of OB-51. We have nothing against the applicant or his attorney. We are sure they are nice and well-meaning people. Neither do we have any particular issue with donkeys and horses. After all, without them where would we mules be? (You may want to look that one up.) But goats? How does having a bunch of goats running around make Cobb County a better place to live?
You will recall that a goat named Oswald decided for reasons known only to him to swallow a balloon at the annual North Georgia State Fair at Jim Miller Park last year and ended up in goat heaven, or wherever dumb goats go when they swallow balloons. We can assure you that you will never see a mule swallow a balloon.
We only ask, esteemed commissioners, that you question the applicant about the obvious omission of mules on that 3876.8 square yards or 0.324 hectares of land they seek to have rezoned. In an election year, we don’t think you want to be perceived by voters as being anti-mule.
We are told many of our citizens now look back with dismay at the shabby treatment we received at the hands of your predecessors and have every confidence that you will erase this unfortunate stain from our county’s past.
We are, of course, available to help you in any way possible as you deal with this critically important issue. And please know that if all goes well, we can be back plowing in Cobb County before you can say “gee-haw.”
With hopeful hearts, we are,
JACK AND JILL
Somewhere in Montana or Canada