Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Rental stories of the damned...

So I've officially lived in my new apartment (technically a "condo") for a month and nothing has broken and needed to be repaired yet. Yet, being the operative term. But this is actually quite a step up from the previous hole-in-a-basement that I lived in. By the time I had hit the one month mark there, my apartment had already flooded 2 times, the toilet had broken down, the kitchen sink drain had broken, and the pipes in the false ceiling had burst, causing a foul-smelling brown liquid to rain down on everything I own. Good times.

But possibly the best story comes from when the pipes in the wall burst and my kitchen and bathroom walls become little art deco/po-mo waterfalls. So I call the landlord's maintenance guy, who's really nice, but clearly a full-blown alcoholic, and kinda insane. So he comes over at 11 p.m. on sunday night to fix the problem. Not exactly an orthodox time for maintenance work, but such is life. Now, I lived in a one room efficiency, so it wasn't like I could ignore him. I mean, I could go around the corner so I couldn't see him, but he talks loudly to himself, so it was semi-distracting.

Well, he finds the problem, and he now thinks he knows why the pipes burst. He found my bottle of emuratic acid under the sink (my Dad's a chemist, so he can get even cooler cleaning solvents than your average janitor) and thinks that the fumes from this tightly-capped bottle caused the pipes inside the wall four feet away to burst, which makes some sense, I suppose. But not to worry, he comes to me and says "I think it's your acid, but I went ahead and beat the hell outta the whole area with a wrench so the landlord doesn't know it was your fault, but you didn't hear that from me." How nice of him.

But then it turns out that this is too much work for him, so he calls in an associate. The time is now a little after midnight, and I have to work in the morning. It's now like a bad 3 Stooges episode, only there's only 2 of them, and I think they're both drunk. But it gets more entertaining, because I hear snippets of conversation such as:

Dude 1: "Did you turn off the power?"

Dude 2: "Yeah, I already took care of it"

Dude 1: "If you turned off the power, why is the light still on?"

Dude 2: "Must be on another breaker"

Dude 1: "Ok" (slight pause) "Ow! Damnit!" (sound of Dude 1 hitting the floor)

Dude 2: "Oops. Maybe I didn't turn it off."


Dude 1: "It should be fine as long as there's no smoke"

Dude 2: "Well, I'm getting alot of blue smoke back here"

Dude 1: "Hmmm...well, I don't know what that means, but it can't be good."

Out of sheer curiosity, I round the orner into the kitchen, and my stove is sitting on the patio outside, and they're doing somehting with an acetylene torch. It's now 2 in the morning, and a third person has come over. But this one's a girl, and I don't think she's a maintenance worker, because she's just sitting on my kitchen table drinking one of my sodas and telling dirty jokes. Finally, it get's to be about 4 a.m., and seeing as how I have to work the next day, I tell them I'm taking off to sleep at a friend's house for the night and that they should lock up when they're done. When I get home at 10, they're gone, but they've taken a bunch of food and used all of my dish towels to wipe up grease. Fortunately no valuables are gone.

I consider it a pretty good repair job.

Except for the fact that they removed a very important support for the sink, so it now leans forward so far you have to pull up on the front and bend it the other way to get the water to go down the drain. I thank God I'm moving out of there in a few weeks and go on with my life.

In short, pretty much nothing could happen in this new apartment/condominium that would really throw me.

"Latex condom? I sure wish I lived in one of those"-Abe Simpson

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