Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Lithium isn't just for Nirvana

Tintin and I spent the better part of Saturday morning looking for apartments and actually managed to find one that we didn’t hate, that didn’t smell like cat, that wasn’t on the first floor and that had more natural light than most professional darkrooms. So we agreed, called the landlord, and waited for a response. He called Tintin back yesterday and rather than try and make up the exchange, I’m just going to transcribe it as best I can as it really is so unbelievable that I cannot do it justice with exaggeration.

Tintin: Hello. My name is Tintin and I was interested in speaking with you about the upstairs apartment for rent in your building.
Landlord: Are you the one who lives up the street?
Tintin: Yes, that’s me.
Landlord: In the blue house next to the Strawberries?
Tintin: Yes, that’s the house I live in. Now, about the apartment, I was interested in renting that and wanted to talk to you about drawing up a rental agreement.
Landlord: Now, wait a minute. There’s been some domestic violence problems in that house. Just a few weeks ago the cops got called and there was a large woman in a cast out front yelling. Are you her? I don’t want anyone with domestic violence problems living in my building.
Tintin: (nervously), Um, I have no idea what you are talking about. We haven’t called the cops and there’s no woman with that description living here. So, about the apartment…
Landlord: (insistently) No, no, that happened a few weeks ago. I saw it. There was a lady in the street yelling at the top of her lungs about something and she had a cast. The cops were over there and told me it was a domestic violence disturbance.
Tintin: I have no idea what you are talking about. There is no large lady living here.
Landlord: You’re in the blue house, right? Who do you live with?
Tintin: My godmother.
Landlord: Is she a big woman with a cast?
Tintin: No, she’s tiny. Anyway, about the apartment…
Landlord: Is there anyone else living with you?
Tintin: No! It’s just the two of us and no one has called the cops! There has never been a domestic violence problem here! I have no idea what you are talking about.

Now there are several problems with this scenario to begin with. First of all, there is obviously no fat lady with a cast. There are also ostensibly no cops. And the guy is obviously in the wrong, but continues pressing on.

Landlord: I know what I saw. There were cops and a big lady in a cast.
Tintin: OK, was it on her arm or leg?
Landlord: I don’t remember anymore. It was a few weeks ago. Do you have a roommate? What’s her name? Where does she live?
Tintin: (hesitating), I’m not sure that’s any of your business, but her name is the Captain and she lives in NoPo.

Well, we aren’t even going into what I think of that whole scene, but whatever. It’s none of his business and I’m not even sure it’s legal to ask. Whatever.

Landlord: Well, I’m going to have to get a background check because I don’t want any violence or criminals living in my building. I think you’re not telling me something.
Tintin: OK, fine.

She hangs up and proceeds to call her neighbor to see if she knows what’s going on. Turns out, the neighbor has a restraining order against her ex-husband and the cops come by once every few weeks since the ex has inevitable done something stupid and violated the order. So the neighbor offers to call the landlord and sort things out for him. She does, and ends up having much the same conversation that Tintin had with the landlord. It’s ludicrous. She calls Tintin back.

Tintin: So, how did it go?
Neighbor: Well, he’s an asshole. Everyone in that building complains about him.
Tintin: Oh, good. Did it get straightened out?
Neighbor: Well, I tried explaining and he kept insisting that it was your house. I told him that I email with your godmother every day, so he asked if I could have her email me telling me the whole story and then I would email him.
Tintin: Oh, good, so we’ve reverted to grade school.
Neighbor: It gets better. He fervently believes what he saw, so he doesn’t think that I really have a restraining order against my ex because he knows my ex and he would never do anything like that.
Tintin: Oh, God. OK, thanks for all of your help!

So the moral of this story is: It’s a good thing to find out if your potential landlord is batshit crazy before moving in.

Quote of the Day: “Ready? Let's roll onto something new/But heaven ain't close in a place like this/Anything goes but don't blink you might miss.” Somebody Told Me, The Killers

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