Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Butt Ugly Apartment Next Door

I live in a house I bought in 1999 – it’s the smallest house on the block, but in spite of that, it has tripled in value over the last several years. I like my house – my yard, my garage, the landscaping – pretty much everything. It’s a great neighborhood, good schools, ocean breezes, the whole nine yards.

Except that I live next door to a butt-ugly apartment.

The guy who owns the place bought it over 20 years ago, so he probably paid what you pay for a SUV today. It’s worth a tidy sum, but the huge rents he rakes in is where the real money is. But does he try maintain the place? Of course not.

1. The paint job. It’s a decomposing salmon color, that has blotched and faded since it was painted A YEAR AGO. Peeling paint and crumbling stucco add to the charm. Cheap paint, no prep and a careless disregard for wood rot have probably contributed to the paint’s refusal to stay put. Next time, hire a PAINTER to do the job instead of a color-blind crack addict. Bonus architectural feature: Someone chucked a wet glob of something at the building several months ago, so there’s a petrified splotch on the wall.

2. Landscaping. Or lack thereof. A crumbling assemblage of bricks surround a quaint dirt patch with a fine selection of weeds, brambles, dead plants, cigarette butts (courtesy of the shirtless loser who lives with his dad), Taco Bell cups (courtesy of shirtless loser, or his chunky girlfriend), rocks, cardboard box, broken glass, and dog shit (courtesy of shirtless loser’s chunky girlfriend’s dog).

3. Scary Tree: The one greenish spot in the dirt patch of death and decay is the WAAAAY overgrown Japanese Yew that threatens to devour your head when you try to walk under it. It’s growing like a green cancer, with branches and leaves filled with mold and mildew due to the lack of sunlight and air - Lord knows what other living organisms slither within it’s horrifying depths. Allow the crusty branches to touch your head, and all that crud rains down like nuclear fallout. No one over 5’8" can walk beneath it without stooping. It may very well obliterate all access to that stretch of sidewalk, so you’ll have to walk on the -

4. Dog Poo: Remember shirtless loser’s girlfriend’s dog? There’s more poop than green grass on the misnamed greenbelt where poo dog shamelessly deposits his runny stink chunks.

5. Driveway: Flotsom and Jetsom have taken up permanent residency on that driveway, and they ain’t moving out. Does the word ‘broom’ have any other meaning other than ‘the broken thing lying in the dirt patch’ (forgot to mention that earlier.)

6. Trash Cans: They gots lots of them, but somehow, the garbage ends up everywhere except in them. Curbside trash pick-up is once a week, but the tenants find it difficult to maintain that schedule, so the trash sits - nothin’ like the smell of putrifying garbage in the morning. And I don’t think the half-eaten bean burrito and feminine napkin in the recycle bin are recyclable.

7. Broken household items. Occasionally, a broken piece of furniture or bag of clothes appear on the greenbelt, and unfortunately, abandoned junk tends to reproduce faster than a welfare mother. I can’t imagine someone actually needing a 3 legged couch with mystery stains, black arm rests (the sofa is beige), a missing cushion and queer odors, so I don’t see the point of the ‘free’ sign. If you call, our city will pick up large items and take them to the dump, but the landlord apparently prohibits the use of the telephone for any other purpose than to scream into it at 2am.

8. Tenants: Needless to say, the good tenants move out as soon as they can, and the shirtless loser ones stay behind, inflicting their bad tempered women, armpit hairs, backdoor head shaves, pasty love handles, poo dogs, cigarette butts, butt cracks, 400 decibel cell phone conversations, and crappy oil-dripping cars on the rest of us.

9. Shoes on the roof: ‘Nuff said.

I’m tired, and I can’t think of anything else. I have other things on my mind, like how to pick up a feminine napkin that has leaped over the fence and landed in my shrubbery. Any suggestions?

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