Oh-my-lanta, it’s been AGES since I’ve ranted. I’m so sorry to leave you hanging for waaaay too long. Boy, do I need a good purging. Who’s ready??
Let me just begin by saying I have a few excuses for not ranting for a while. School finals. A little vacation to VA to see The Fam. Getting on a first-name basis with the local police dept. That’s right, kids, the excitement never ends here at Derelict Arms.
Oh golly I don’t even know where to begin.
There’s the story of how one morning some weird woman hit a car in our parking lot then took off. Police were called, said that was the third hit-and-skip report that morning matching her description. WTF?
Or the tenant who, while we were in the process of evicting him, flushed silverware down his toilet - thereby breaking it, punched a hole in the middle of his closet door, left bags of garbage on his kitchen counter, and cut a square of the drywall out of his kitchen so he could hide his weed in there.
Or the other tenant we were in the process of evicting who left the place with a toilet that hadn’t been flushed in months, a fridge with no power to it that was full of food and actually buzzed from all the bug life inside when you opened it. Maggots? Oh you ain’t SEEN maggots until you’ve seen them breeding in a crap-filled toilet. I wish I was making this stuff up.
Or the old nosy busybody who has an issue with the young stripper who lives next door. Can’t nobody earn a dollar these days. Punches get thrown, tires get slashed, used condoms get plastered to the windshield. Cops had a good time with that call.
Or the tenants who complained about the stray cats meowing outside scaring their dog/parakeet/3 mo. old baby. Seriously. 3 separate tenants complained. Really??? “Hi, JCPenney? I’d like to complain about my new bedspread. Yes, the pattern is soooo loud, it’s keeping my pet hamster awake. It frightens him, actually, and his nerves are shot. He gets so depressed when he misses sleep. His wheel hasn’t turned in days. What? Well, I’d like you to come over and cheer him up. And bring me a new bedspread too. What? No, I’m not on dope, how dare you?”
OR the young hipster who was hiding in his shower smokin’ a bowl when our ex-cop maintenance man entered his apt with pest control. Little did he know that pest control was spraying in his bathroom as well that day. Color HIM surprised! Color us all amused.
OR the goofy character who came in the office asking if we had any units to rent in this fashion: He slams a $100 bill on the counter and shouts at us: “I need a unit TODAY.” !!!! Nope. Noooope. Oh HELLLL no.
I suppose I’ll begin with the story of Mr. Magoo. Mr. Magoo is 88 years old, legally blind, and practically deaf. He still manages to walk across the street every day to the local diner for breakfast, always stopping in our office to take a rest and chat with “The Girls”. Our office is 12 feet by 25 feet. It’s a single car garage, basically. Yet you have to shout at this man like he’s across a football field. He wears coke-bottle glasses, and he will look in a vague direction toward you when you shout. But he INSISTS on visiting for at least an hour, telling stories, and repeating himself 3 or 4 times an hour. A typical sweet grandpa type. We nearly lose our voices from all the shouting by the time he leaves.
Mr. Magoo lives alone in a one-bedroom unit. He’s very neat and takes good care of himself, considering. He just can’t see, so he will bring us a blank check at rent time and we fill it in for him, then direct his hand where to sign. [Good thing I’m trustworthy. ;) ] His wife is deceased, and his children aren’t on speaking terms with him anymore – except for one. Magoo Jr. Or as Mr. Magoo calls him “My baby boy.” “Baby Boy” is 62 years old. (Let’s all roll our eyes together, shall we?) BB is an alcoholic, with warrants, never been married, can’t hold a job yet inexplicably drives a brand new Mustang with party plates. (Come on Ohioans, you know what Party Plates are, right? Yellow with red letters, given to you after your 3rd or 4th DUI. “Follow that car! You KNOW he’s headed for a party!”) BB used to come every Friday to take his dad grocery shopping, then they would go to the local tavern for lunch and a beer. Harmless quality time. Until…
BB got in a tiff with his old lady, and so he moved in with Pops to take cover, you dig? Then MM’s checking account was emptied. [OH SNAPS] Same first and last name, it’s easy to take advantage of that, I would guess. Then the old lady started sniffing around. [Like they do, amiright?] BB moved back in with her, and he stopped coming to check on MM. Then shortly after that we hear that BB and his old lady were engaged, and all was bliss for about a month. Until she kicked him back out again, and BB moved back in with his dad. Wellwhaddyaknow, MMs checking account gets emptied again!
One night shortly after that BB comes home from drinking, about 1 am. Encounters the locked door and discovers that he has no key. So, he does what anyone else would do: pounds on the door and windows, hollering to be let in. No answer, so he starts beating on the window trying to break it. Only problem is, it wasn’t MMs apartment. Woman who lived inside called the police and they arrested him and hauled him away. Good times!
Well now, lo and behold it’s rent time. We haven’t seen Mr. Magoo in days, which is odd since we usually see him at least once, if not twice, every single day without fail. More days go by and still no sign of him. Newspapers piling up outside. We knock on his door and no one answers, and call his phone too but – well, he’s deaf.
So now we try calling his family. BB has no contact number, naturally. He can’t be contained, man. So we try the only other number we have, MM’s daughter, Betty. Well, Betty ain’t havin it. She has put up with MM’s drunk ass for her entire life, she says. Betty then bitches to her hubby about it, and hubby shows up at our office. He dislikes MM as well, but he is the least emotional of the group so he just wanted to see what we wanted from them. Well, we want rent, first and foremost. He says he’s not going that far for him. He tells us how irresponsible MM is and what a jerk he is to his kids, and he doesn’t deserve any help anymore from his daughter because MM has been nothing but horrible to her. I couldn’t give less of a shit about all this family drama, so we basically just shooed him out, saying “OK, well, his items will be out on the street by the end of the month if he doesn’t pay rent.” He shrugs and leaves. [I sincerely doubt we would’ve put him out on the street, but you know, we want peeps to know we mean bidness.]
The next day after his visit, we decide the call the police to come enter the apartment with us to make sure everything is ok. By now, all we have to say is “Derelict Ar——“ and the dispatcher knows my name and the address. “We’ll send someone by, CocktailLady.” Sad. Sad state of affairs, let me tell you.
OK so the cop shows, and after yelling for Mr Magoo from outside a few times, he tries the door. It’s unlocked. Well, I immediately get a sinking feeling. The cop stops, doesn’t enter, looks at me and goes: “Did you unlock this?” I shake my head at him, and he unsnaps his revolver and walks in, announcing himself, shouting for MM. I follow him to the first room, the living room, and I don’t enter any farther. The couch has a few pairs of jeans on a hangar, spread out over the back. Like he was packing. The policeman gingerly walks toward the bedroom, again, hollering. I’m waiting with bated breath, but he finds no one. The place is empty. Then he starts looking at photos in the living room, asking me who is who, who MM hangs with, what’s his story, etc. The cop then confesses to me that he hates these kinds of calls and is glad we didn’t find a corpse. I am happy about that as well, but I’m getting more ticked at the irresponsibility of our tenant. Who leaves an apartment unlocked?? Did he wander off and get hurt?? Where is he???
Well, the next few days pass with no sign of Mr. Magoo, but his daughter calls every day, sometimes twice a day, asking us what she should do. Sweetie, this isn’t Dear Abby. We are not a law enforcement agency nor a law office. We would ask: “Do you want to pay his rent for the month?” “Oh, no, no I’m not going to do that.” Well, then call the police. Short of that, we don’t have much to say to each other, do we? Every day we had the same conversation. “What should I do?” “Wanna pay his rent?” “Oh, no, huh uh.” “Gotta go.”
On the 14th of the month— TWO weeks into the month— Halfway through the entire month— here comes Mr. Magoo’s ass. Strollin in the door happy as you please. Flash and I hollered at him (we had to, deaf and all): “Are you ok? Where have you been? What happened?” He kept his usual vague expression. “Wha??” he asks. All innocent.
After much yelling we deduce that Mr. Magoo and his Baby Boy decided to Thelma-and-Louise it down to Myrtle Beach for a fishing trip. Happy go lucky pair. What’s the harm?? Well, we told MM that he still owes his rent. “So? I’m good for it, you know I’ll pay ya.” Really? Prime example the mentality here. “Sure I know the rules, but its ok if I break them because it’s ME.” We tried to explain that he was a c***hair away from having his belongings put out on the street and he had the utter GALL to be OFFENDED that we even suggested such a thing!!!!! He was floored. “Why would you do that???” “UM, well, Magoo, because here it is the 14th and you haven’t paid rent. We have had no contact with you for over 14 days. What are we supposed to think? Tenants move out on a whim around here. We thought you were dead in a ditch somewhere!!! You are impossible to get a hold of!” He stormed out and said he would be back tomorrow with his checkbook to pay.
I’ll bet you can guess what happened next.
He returned the next day, first apologizing for his daughter butting her nose in and calling us. Apparently she had left a few messages for him. We said “No, Magoo, your daughter was the only person we were able to contact. You don’t need to apologize for that at all.” He ignored that, and kept apologizing for her anyway. Then he lays it down for us. Bank account has been compromised. Yet. Again. Now, we’re not sure if this was BB again, or if this was Magoo just having too much fun in Myrtle spending money without a care. Either way, it’s beyond irresponsible. He tells us it’s going to take a week for the bank to figure out his finances. !!! So, no Magoo, apparently you’re NOT “good for it”.
He ended up paying the rent he owed along with the next month’s rent. BB is living with him. He hasn’t been in to talk with us since. Maybe it’s time for assisted living.
2 oz. Malibu coconut rum
3 oz. Dole pineapple juice
3 oz. tonic water
Pour rum in a collins glass filled with ice cubes. Add juice and tonic water and stir. Place a chunk of pineapple on top.