Thursday, January 12, 2012

Apartment Swap Journal, Unwanted Visitors Edition

January 12, 2012 - Sometime in the afternoon (I'm sure neither of us really care that much)

Here I sit at the wobbly table, CC’s laptop weighing it down so heavily in my direction that I’ve considered making a pre-emptive call to the search and rescue folks. There’s nothing worse than getting buried alive under a pile of newspapers, a Scrabble board, and its accompanying scorebook filled with pathetic seven point tallies – just ask Seymour Skinner.

So I was busy manning the apartment today, minding my own business. A knock at the door. “This can only be trouble,” I thought as I trundled over to see what all the fuss was about. I opened the door to a couple scruffy looking dudes – one carrying a tool box and some weird panel of something-or-other, the second a fella that had come to the door two days prior to “fix” something (though he didn’t even know what it was until I told him – the bathroom; all of it, please). This guy hadn’t actually fixed anything two days ago, since CC was showering when he arrived. Rather than wait out the ten minutes for CC to vacate the bathroom, the man decided to stand in the kitchen for about seven minutes and subject me to his ravagingly awkward presence, then leave just moments prior to the bathroom being vacated. Oh well, I suppose I can deal with this guy one more time.

As soon as I opened the door the two men burst into the apartment as if executing a search warrant on a drug den. “Hello?” I offered. No response. These two fellas were clearly far too busy and important to exchange customary greetings. Their important standing in this world also exempted them from taking their boots off. Cool, we’re not trying to keep the place tidy or anything.

“So what is it that needs fixin’ in here?” the shorter, stockier, and stupider (not a word, I know) of the two inquired. “I thought we went over this the other day,” I pretended to say out loud. “I’ll call the people that live here and check.” This clearly wasn’t going anywhere productive. I called Henry and kcerwd to confirm what needed to be done. As I suspected, it was exactly what I had told this idiot the other day. 

By this time the second guy was in the bathroom, spilled all over the floor like my ex-wife after a night of drinking. “Alright, well the problem here is someone who didn’t know what they’re doin’ went in and welded this part here, but he did it too high, blah, blah, blah, I was dropped on my head a half-dozen times before the age of three, blah, blah, blah,” he spewed in an accusatory tone. “No, I didn’t try to weld away the water pressure issues,” my brain said to my inner ears. 

“Well, people aren’t gonna be happy with you guys; I’m gonna have to get Derek in here to shut the whole system down. No water or heat for anyone in the building for half a day, minimum.”

“Well, let’s get a bucket under that leaky faucet in the bathtub and we should have enough to cover half the building’s needs by morning,” raged the conversation taking place in my brain.

“I don’t live here. I’ll pass the message on,” I politely replied. Blank look. More browbeating over what he suspected to be a clandestine welding operation I was running out of a swapped apartment.

And so for the second time this week, they packed up and made their way out of the apartment; not before exchanging “you’re a fucking idiot” looks with me.

Sure, I’d love to have at least a modicum of water pressure coming from the tap in the bathroom sink. Having the faucet in the tub not gurgling 24 hours a day would be swell, too. Why not patch up that gaping hole in the wall that inexplicably spews cold air all day and night? These would be great upgrades to get me through the home stretch of the apartment swap; but if it means encountering these yahoos again, I’d rather just do without, thanks.

Hatefully yours,

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