Sunday, September 7, 2008

Won't You Not Be My Neighbor?

First, the reason that steam is actually coming out of my ears (metaphorically, of course, because "literally" would be really odd and probably mean my brain was on fire and I was incapable of basic brain stem function, nevermind typing a rant).

My apartment building is for sale (it was before I even moved in). My apartment unit has a lockbox. My lease states that my landlord must give me 24 hours' advance notice before entering for repairs or just to see how I'm keeping the place, and that any realtor showing the place must make "every reasonable effort to contact me" at least 24 hours in advance orally or in writing.

Well, Wiley has been sick with the poops the past couple days, so I've been keeping him barricaded in the kitchen while I'm at work. I get home tonight and he is cowering in a corner (granted, he may just be feeling lousy, but...). There is some realtor's business card on my kitchen counter and all my laundry money is gone. I keep it on a small glass plate by my door. There was five or six bucks last I looked, when I did laundry a couple days ago. Today? Empty.

Yeah, my unit was shown with no advance notice whatsoever. Nothing in writing. No phone calls. And the jackasses who traipsed through my place stole money from me and stressed out my sick dog. If I were to learn that they physically hurt him (he was not his usual happy self, though again that could be from being sick) I would personally draw and quarter them. With a dull blade, so that it hurt more.

Speaking of quarters, it's not the amount, it's the freaking principle.

After checking to see that nothing else was missing, far as I could tell (and noticing that the jerks left my bathroom light on), I called my landlord's cell and home, the listing agent's cell and office and the number of the guy who showed the place.

Of course, this being Sunday night, no one answered, leaving me to stew in silence.

Have you ever experienced this? I know I may sound like I'm overreacting to not getting advance notice, but the fact that they stole from me and may have treated Wiley badly really presses my buttons. A stranger enters without permission and without notice and steals personal property... that's burglary, no?

Doesn't this incident violate the terms of my lease? Anyone who's had a similar experience or has some knowledge of the legal implications of this, please let me know. If you don't want to comment here, email me.

Now, deep breath, Pirate. Take another deep breath. There will be no running through of anyone with your sabers, however badly you long to hear steel sing through bone and flesh.

Let's take a third nice, big, deep breath and remember that, while you can't do laundry tonight, after a little walkies Wiley did pick up the fuzzy pink Barbie slipper that the Dread Pirate Iron Bluebird gave him and initiate some playtime, so whatever happened earlier he is apparently not too traumatized...


A little better.

In more scintillating, less infuriating neighborhood news, Glub and Mr. Absentia, my upstairs neighbors, are gone.

It's quite a juicy tale, actually. A couple weeks ago, as I was coming back from a walkies with Wiley, Glub, wandering the yard aimlessly like someone institutionalized either for dementia or extreme lack of ambition, approached us.

"We're movin'," Glub announced with typical eloquence.

I asked where to and he claimed Mr. Absentia's mom, in Georgia, had worked out some business deal to sell her homeopathy practice. She could get $200,000 for the thing as-is, or $400,000 if Glub and Mr. Absentia did a couple weeks' worth of organizing and painting, so they were quitting their jobs (well, Mr. Absentia was... I never saw Glub do anything other than be, well, glubbish, at home) and heading south.

(By the way, no, Glub and Mr. Absentia are apparently not a couple... both are divorced and speak frequently of girlfriends... whom I never see... hmm, maybe they are a couple. When the thought crossed my mind, I was interested that the next thought loping across the sun-kissed meadows of my mind was that their relationship would make more sense if there were a couple, because Glub is the passive, do-nothing glub and Mr. Absentia is the glib jackass who treats him like crap, which makes more sense in the context of an unhealthy relationship than of two single guys living together as friends or even just roommates... that was followed by another thought sashaying across the faded vaudevillian theater of my mind, which was wow, how appalling that the second thought should even lope across the sun-kissed meadows of my mind and how even more disturbing that further contemplation should lead me to the conclusion that yes, people in bad relationships put up with a lot more crap than most will take from a mere friend or roommate, and doesn't that bite the wax tadpole?)

And no, no rum is involved in this post.

Anyway... Glub's entire purpose for telling me they were moving, aside from gloating over the prospect of an easy $200,000 in his cargo shorts pocket (though I wonder how much Mr. Absentia really will give him, if anything), was to attempt to sell me Mr. Absentia's king-size waterbed or his own "normal" king-size bed.

Uhm, no.

I asked Glub what the landlord had said and he told me they weren't going to tell him. Nice. I said "you're going to lose your security deposit," and he shrugged, noting "the dogs destroyed the place, anyway."

Gee, thanks. From the bottom of my responsible-dog-owner-who-has-t0-jump-through-hoops-every-time-she-rents-and-pay-exorbitant-nonrefundable-pet-deposits heart, thanks for being a jackass and ruining it for the rest of us pet owners.

The next weekend, they had a little U-Haul trailer in the parking lot, one which couldn't fit much more than a king-size waterbed and which was, by the time I saw it, already full of clothing and Mr. Absentia's endless array of sporting goods (they had his three kayaks strapped to the roof of his Suburban). No waterbed, or "normal" bed, visible.

Then they were gone.

Both of their grills are still on the balcony above me, as well as the igloo-style doghouse. They did apparently take the dogs, but who knows? I hope the dogs are okay, because, despite their idiot owners, they were sweet animals.

Here's where it gets really juicy...

About a day and a half after they left, I went out just before dawn because Wiley heard the call of nature. As I stepped out of my building, I saw a strange car parked in the lot (it's not really a lot, just six spaces) with the motor running and a guy in the passenger seat scowling at me.

As I stood there with one eye on him and one eye on Wiley doing his business, I heard someone come thudding down the stairs from the second floor... a guy came out of the building and stomped past me, ignoring my "hello."

You know how some people just look mean? He was a tall, skinny, grizzled carny-lookin' guy with a rattail mullet, filthy, un-ironic trucker hat and deep smoker's lines on either side of his face.

When he opened the driver's side door of the car, he said to the other guy in a tight-jawed growl "the fuckers are gone!" then got in and drove off.


Whatever that was about, and why Glub and Mr. Absentia left in such a rush, I don't know. I just know, whatever they were up to, I'm glad they didn't burn down the building or in some other way wreck my life, such as break into my apartment and steal my laundry money.

Oh, wait a minute...

1 comment:

Dr. Virago said...

Holy un-cool petty theft, batman! At the very least, you could a) report the realtors to the BBB and b) take them to small claims court. Even if it was the prospective buyer who did the stealing, they must have some kind of legal responsibility. And you could report your landlord to the local landlord-tenant board.