Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The Great Housing Debacle of Ought 6
You may recall that I have recently relocated. I found a decent little house at the right price and I trucked the kids and (hardly any) of our belongings right on into it.
And that went well.
For about three weeks.
Then my new landlord - let's call him Jethro, as he seems to have a penchant towards plaid flannel shirts and would look right nice with a piece of straw hanging out of his mouth - showed up at my door one day while I was on the phone with EB and announced the following:
"Hi there. Well. Yeah. So, we've decided to sell the house. For financial reasons."
"I don't think it'll sell right away or anything, y'know. Prolly take six months, at least. At least. Hope you understand. Financial problems 'n all. Yeah."
"So, real estate agent will be here in a couple of days, look around 'n all of that...but still, I don't think it will sell right away. You're more than welcome to stay here 'til it does sell."
After I shut the door, I sat down on the floor and shouted, "MOTHERFUCKER!" or something similar into the phone, where EB was going, "What? What?"
It was right then that it dawned on me why Jethro had kept putting off my queries about a lease. Me, being the dimwit that I am, had moved in without signing the lease right away - mostly because I am a cheap bastard and I couldn't resist the lure of the rock-bottom rent on a three bedroom that wasn't infested with roaches and falling in. I can handle one or the other, but not both. I have standards, after all.
Anyway, the real estate agent, accompanied by Jethro, dropped by and took measurements of my new abode while I sat on my newly acquired couch and shot daggers at them with my eyes.
After they left, I started plotting. How could I make this house less attractive to potential buyers?
First, I immediately stopped unpacking things and left boxes around in a constant state of "Ack! Put Me Away!" Okay, I admit that part of me was pleased to have an excuse to quit unpacking - if there's anything I hate more than packing, it's got to be unpacking. This is also the part of me that revels gleefully in all of my myriad misfortunes. And the part of me that is on constant lookout for any and every excuse to be as lazy as possible. (Those are two parts of me that really shouldn't get together and go bowling, though they often do, anyway - but that's a post for another day.) I thought that if anyone mentioned the boxes, like, "Oh, are you already getting ready to move out, then?" I could then answer, sweetly, with a look of wide-eyed innocence, "Oh, no. Actually, we only just moved in here less than a month ago, and I hadn't had a chance to get everything sorted before I found out that Jethro was selling the ranch. It's okay, though...I'm sure the children and I will find...somewhere...to go. Oh, do you know of any good homeless shelters in the area? Or somewhere that frequently unloads appliance boxes? We don't need anything as fancy as a refrigerator box, of course...I'm sure a washer or dryer box would suit us just fine..."
I then proceeded to make a mental list of people I know that look at least slightly deranged. Excluding me. Ahem. I figured if I could get a decent-sized list of neurotic and/or psychotic folks to be on call, I'd always have someone available at the drop of a hat to show up on my front lawn and start acting insane. Then I could casually say to the potential buyer, "I don't know who that is. S/he's out there every day, though, just spinning around and mooing and eating dirt. Not sure what's up with that. Also can't figure out how to get rid of him/her. Isn't life funny? Ha ha! It's really no trouble, though, unless you count the piercing shrieks s/he emits rhythmically between the hours of 1 and 7 AM. Daily."
If all else failed, I figured I could just hurl myself to the floor in another fit of pique (I am prone to this - it's really rather relaxing, but the subsequent rugburn can get annoying) and sob relentlessly all over the potential buyer's shoes, appealing to his or her sense of pity for the weakest among us and thus rendering him or her incapable of buying this house, lest they condemn this sad excuse for a person (me) to a life of hard-scrabble begging on the streets or rent at a higher price elsewhere. I supposed that would work best on a female, since women are often subject to having their emotions played upon in sordid fashions such as that.
And if the potential buyer was male, I decided I'd just flash him my tits. After all, what man wants to bear the sole responsibility of having made some breasts homeless? I ask you.
My final step in this highly scientific process was to collapse, face-down and mouth open, into a large plastic bowl of raw cookie dough, consuming all of it in one fell swoop. Did you know mass quantities of sugar behave like Zoloft in a pinch? Well, now you do!
And thus, armed with these many strategies, I was ready to face whatever came my way. Y'know, in between the weeping.
But I wasn't quite in Full Panic Mode yet - after all, Jethro said he didn't figure that the house would sell for at least six months, and this was the beginning of October, which is not exactly prime real estate time.
And, also, the house is painted turquoise. Did I mention that? That I live in a turquoise house? This offends every sensibility I have, quite honestly. Except for the one that makes me a cheap bastard. Cheap rent trumps all. But the house is turquoise. I assume Jethro saw they were having a Semi-Annual Sale on Ugly Paint at the Tackiest Shit Ever store and took full advantage.
Who wants to trudge through bad weather to buy a house that's painted a glaring turquoise? Right?
Two days later, I get a call that someone wants to look at the house. It was a woman. I pulled out all the stops - explained the boxes and added a few carefully placed sniffles. Oh, and I said the furnace sucked, which isn't entirely true.
Never heard from her again. Whew.
Two days after that, another woman came to look at the house. She didn't seem all that enthused, either, so I figured I was safe.
And I heard nothing else until last week, when the real estate agent called.
"Did your new landlord call you about the new lease?"
Jigga say what?
"Er, no..." I said, delicately. "I wasn't aware that the house had sold."
"...oh," she said. "Jethro didn't call you?"
"No, no he didn't."
"Well...oh. Well. The house sold two weeks ago. It's closing on the 10th."
"O...kay," I said.
"But the new owner wants to keep you as a tenant! So you just need to sign the lease and it'll all be fine!"
"How much is the rent going up?"
"Well, I don't know about that...but you do want to sign the lease, right?"
"Depends on how much the rent is going up."
"Oh. Well. Right."
"I'm not made of money, you know. After all, I live in a turquoise house with dodgy wiring and Rooster Apple Orgy wallpaper that the landlord sold out from under me after only living here for less than a month."
"I'll just get back to you on that one, okay?"
"You do that."
Two days after that (Are you starting to see a pattern here? I know I am. Stuff happens to me every two days. This is proof that I should sleep for 24 hours straight on that second day, so that I can avoid whatever thing is going to happen), my new landlord called, and after much hemming and hawing, we decided that my rent should only go up 50 dollars.
So I still live here. In my turquoise house. And the rent is still really low. So that's okay.
But still, I think Jethro should be shot. Because I'm all about the vigilante justice like that.
And thus ends The Great Housing Debacle of Ought 6.
PS - If you're very good, I may post a picture of the turquoise paint, so you may all "oooooh" and "ahhhh" at the Overwhelming Display of Tacky. But not a full picture of the house, lest all (3) of you figure out my address and try to hunt me down like a dog. Stalkers.
link | posted by Zombie at 9:47 PM |
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