Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Lord of the Land

LANDLORD. What a weird and archaic word. Have you ever thought of the breakdown of this word? Land - lord. The term is completely medieval. Maybe I would have a more positive view on the title if every landlord I've had hasn't been kind of a total loser in his own special way. I unfortunately have had to play modern day serf to a number of cigarette dangling, fast talking, poorly clothed and entirely inept lords of the land for many many years now.

My first New York landlord was taken off guard the day we pulled up with a U-Haul ready to start moving in. The Landlord (who was occupying the apartment) had somehow forgotten to move out and do any cleaning at all. As my roommates and I stood on the front porch crying in the pouring rain, the landlord and his brother began to pretty much throw their belongings and spare furniture down the stairs. They hurriedly and spastically raced about hurling chairs, blankets, pillows and tchotchkes down to the first floor hallway. They "cleaned" the apartment for us by filling up buckets of soapy water and dumping them all over the floor. In between the hurling and dumping they kept shouting down the stairs " Almost ready guys!" and "we'll have this place clean in about 10 minutes!"


But still, better than my previous (Buffalo) landlord who thought the best way to deal with the rotting, wooden, front porch was to place a soon to rot piece of plywood over the ever widening hole. I had several unfortunate (read intoxicated) run ins with said hole. This landlord took a similar approach to the moldy bathroom ceiling as well. I was very sober the morning that came crashing down on me mid shower.

I should be thankful for my current landlord. While lazy and whiny, his appearance is ultimately the most offensive thing about him. He's a little bit Barney the drunk from the Simpsons and a lot Hoggle from the Princess Bride. I initially thought he wore the worst toupee ever slapped on a scalp but I have come to realize that it is in fact his very own hardened, crusty hair that has been permanently yellowed by the cigarette that inevitably dangles from his lower lip... even when he's in my apartment!

He lives across the hall and for the most part responds to maintenance issues when I bring them up. Still, though, he is always looking for a way around the issue or more likely, having to pay to correct the issue. Sometimes this results in the most ludicrous line of questioning.

My landlord on a faulty stove pilot: "Well did you try to re - light it?"

On a mysterious puddle of water in my bedroom: "Well did you maybe spill a pot of water?"

On a wobbly toilet: "Well were you standing on the toilet?"

Yes I was standing on the toilet. I was jumping up and down on the toilet. I was DANCING ON THE GODDAMNED TOILET! Because that's what I do when I'm unwinding from a stressful day. I come home, put on some music and make like Michael Flatley on the porcelain throne!


Until I can get it together to buy my own little place and start struggling with 'Plumbing for Dummies' (or more likely pay a professional) this is what I am left to deal with. But you'll have to excuse me for now, I have a jar of mildew that I have to rub all over my window panes.

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