Chicago McMansion battle reaches the McMansion pumpkin stage

One battle over a proposed McMansion in Chicago recently turned to pumpkins:

The large pumpkin popped up over the weekend next to his lot at 829 S. Bishop St. It was painted with the words, “When size matters … McMansion Pumpkin.”

Many neighbors have referred to Skarbek’s plan for his home as a “McMansion.” He plans to build a home much larger than the row home that had been there, and the home will eventually interrupt a string of front yards that are all set back from the street…

Later Tuesday, Skarbek’s next-door neighbor, Paul Fitzpatrick, said his wife decorated the pumpkin, which actually sits on his yard to the north of a fence surrounding Skarbek’s lot while the new home is being built.

“I meant it as a good gesture,” Carrie Fitzpatrick said. “He likes big houses, so I thought he’d like a big pumpkin. I spent a lot of money on that pumpkin, and if it backfired, I’ll feel really stupid.”

A holiday-themed McMansion fight turned petty. Both sides appear to be trying to pass it off as no big deal but even in a country of moral minimalism (the argument of M. P Baumgartner in The Moral Order of a Suburb), this is an odd way to go about things. If the neighbors are already pursuing a lawsuit, the other main way for Americans to settle irreconcilable differences, why move to the pumpkin stage?

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