Saturday, March 24, 2012

For a good time, stay the hell away from my apartment

I don't know what it is, but weird shit tends to happen to me on a pretty consistent basis. So often in fact, that I've made a habit of leaving my apartment less frequently than I did in the past. Step out the door and I'm bound to end up at some foreign party, drunk and disorderly, touching all sorts of strange people. Go to sleep one night in the comfy confines of my own bed, wake up two nights later in a Chicago hospital with a lampshade around my neck. Leave a birthday celebration with my friends for a mid-afternoon date with a rocket I'd been zooming for a while, end up back at home wondering what in the world prompted me to kiss her on the top of the head, instead of simply saying "goodbye". Sure, I let alcohol get the best of me sometimes. And yeah, maybe I err on the side of social awkwardness more often than not, but I swear this world is out to make me into some sort of caricature sometimes. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, PEOPLE????

Given this emerging existential crisis, I thought it a wise idea to turn down the numerous textual advances I was receiving from the ladiez one night last week and stay at home to craft an ad cunning enough to deceive some random mope into subletting my apartment for a 38 day period spanning late-April and May. "Take that, cold world", I snickered to myself as I posted the droll piece to craigslist and this blog. And so I lollerskated off to bed, thinking it would be a cold day in hell before anyone wanted a five week sublet, let alone in Ottawa.

Boy was I mistaken.

I'd estimate that I received at least a dozen responses within the first few days. In fact, I still get the odd straggler popping up in my inbox even now. Some respond in kind, offering witty applications of their own. Others acknowledge the humour of the post and proceed to express their undying love for my apartment. A few just get right to the point. Nobody thought it was a hoax. Good, right? Well, kinda – allow me to elaborate.

I thought the application process was wrapped up early on when I received an eager and eloquently written response from a married couple. They just so happened to need a place for April 24th – exactly when I plan to hightail it out of this joint for another part of the Earth. Ray and Alicia. Trustworthy names, to be certain.

And so I invited them over to see the place. 

As soon as I opened the door to my apartment (directly on my own toe), I knew that things were about to go terribly awry. Ray eagerly strode across the threshold of my tiny abode, sweating profusely and sucking on an ice cream cone. Alicia stumbled in behind him, haggard as the ex-wife, looking like she'd just come from servicing a client down at the local brothel.

"Great place! This is perfect, isn't it honey?" said Ray to Alicia. She agreed.

They'd hardly been in the apartment three minutes when Ray had his wallet out and was driving $20 bills into my hand to cover the deposit that I didn't plan on asking for.

"I kinda want to see some references first," I told them.

"No, I insist. If it doesn't work out I'll just come back for the deposit."

Ray was borderline forceful in his enthusiasm and twisted desire to shack up with his tramply wife in my humble digs. So I took the money, and exhaled as they left the apartment.

"What the fuck just happened?" I thought to myself as I contemplated whether or not I would have to soak my bed in a vat of acid because one of their jackets had rested on it for six minutes. 

I knew something was amiss, and I planned to get to the bottom of it. Google. I started with their phone number (613-804-4874 – give them a call, and tell them Uncle Hal sent ya)... And the case was cracked after 30 seconds. Alicia, as I suspected, was a prostitute. Need some proof? Maybe just want a rim job at a reasonable rate? Plug their number into your favourite search engine and behold this woman in all her inglorious repugnance.

Well, that eliminated the one percent chance of them getting the apartment; but how to proceed from here? I suppose let them know that they were out of the running.

So I e-mailed them:

Now I'm no expert on the matter, but in future I'd recommend using a different phone number when looking to set up a brothel in someone else's apartment. Google can be a very handy tool, indeed:

Happy searching!

Next order of business: track down the reference that they provided and let him know that these lummoxes have been performing all sorts of disgusting business in his parents' west-end condo whilst they vacation in Panama. I didn't have this fella's (let's call him "Daniel", for that is his real name) phone number, only that of his parents, so I spent a couple minutes tracking him down on Facebook. No big thing. (Funny how these young people are so savvy with social media these days, eh, ya filthy rodents?).

My message to him:

Hello Daniel,

I'm writing to you to give you a heads up about the tenants that are occupying your parents' place on Poulin Ave. They contacted me about subletting my place for the month of May and offered you as a reference. I did a little digging with some of the info they provided me with and came up with this (connected to their phone number):

...and a host of other similar links.

I figured you and your parents would probably want to know about this.


Crazy ol' Uncle Hal
(real name withheld for reasons unknown)

The poor guy hasn't got back to me yet. I figure he's either in denial, doesn't check the 'book too often, or is busy steam cleaning/burning his parents' apartment to the ground.

Now I was left with this $200 deposit that I can only imagine had gone from a bank machine, to a desperate middle-aged married man's hand, to the weaselly claw of this washed up wreck of a woman, to her equally unkempt husband, to me. And of course, Ray wanted it back. After screening his first few calls, I decided to pick up. He told me that there was no plan to use my place for his wife's weirdo business, as she was going out of town for "a big job". Right. And I was born yesterday.

But I played along. "If you're so certain that I'm mistaken, then perhaps I'll just leave your money with the police and you'll have no problem picking it up," I offered. Predictably, he wasn't on board with this idea. Whatever.

In the end, I couldn't be bothered to deal with this schmohawk anymore so I agreed to have him send an intermediary and skip the process of going down to the police station. He got his money, I feel I exacted a small measure of revenge. 

After the ordeal had ended I got to thinking about another application that popped up in my inbox early on in the game. It stood out for the bizarre poem that accompanied it. There was also a picture attached that screamed "under no circumstances should you rent your apartment to me!" I had politely replied to the woman, telling her that the place had been rented – no point in going down that weird road.

The poem is as follows:

I like your place I really do
If you don't mind a tiny Jew
I'll keep it clean and in repair
Won't clog your sink with my long hair
I have your money in my hand
I want your rental, understand?


Now, that's kinda funny right? Maybe a little disgusting, what with the hair thing and all. But, I thought it was kinda clever... until I saw the picture. What person in their right mind would send a photo of themselves that looks like they've just spent the evening trolling for johns on Gladstone Avenue?

And now, sitting at my computer, I looked at the picture again. It looked just like Alicia of the $90 rim jobs. And then I looked at the name – Allyson; eerily similar to Alicia. Then I thought back to some of those craigslist ads she put up, advertising BBBJCIM (look it up, then picture Ray and Alicia kissing in front of me, then go shower in peroxide). A few of them had poems similar to what this Allyson lady sent in her application although in this case markedly less sexually explicit. It was the same woman; I was certain of it.

Going away for a "big job" in a week? Not gonna use my apartment as a brothel? Gimme a break, pal.

For those of you wondering what this woman looks like (either for curiousity's sake, or if you just wanna see before you pay), here ya go. Drive this into your eyes:


Ray, I'd give you Lad of the Week, but for two reasons: One, it's Saturday, and the award is handed out on Monday. Two, you're a sick freak. Try to topsy-turvy me again and it won't end so well for you.

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