Earlier this week I sent Matt out to find us an apartment to live in during our many 4 to 5 day breaks from driving. You see, I've grown so weary of watching Matt have to move so much junk out of the truck every time we take time off at a hotel, that I've decided to allow Matt to spend some money on a permanent type of residence for both of us. Unfortunately I sent him to the Harrisburg, PA area to do this. Little did I know the horrific stories he would tell upon his return.
Apparently, apartment living has changed somewhat in the past twelve years, according to Matt, who lived in apartments from '82 to '95.
"It's a lower class of riff-raff than ever before," Matt says. "The housing boom has taken most of the good renters out of the market and made them owners. The landlords, in turn, have to lower their standards and fill empty residences with ho's, drug dealers, and trash of a general nature. This results in dangerous apartment living conditions and at the very best, trashy looking domiciles." After going out for 3 days and viewing several dwellings he has returned with nothing but a broken spirit.
MATT: They're nothing but a bunch of animals, Buster! Oh, sorry...no offense.
BUSTER: (shakes head) I can't believe you just said that. Apologize!!!
MATT: I just did.
BUSTER: Oh....uh....your apology is not good enough. I will suspend you for 2 weeks, but after 4 days of it I will fire you instead. I will declare your career over, but you will probably resurface in a few months on the radio somewhere.
MATT: Sounds like a nice gig. What station?
BUSTER: (smiling) Very funny. So what happened out there. You find us a place to flop?
MATT: Yeah, plenty of places to flop!...which is why I didn't grab any of them. It was very disappointing to say the least. Lots of beat up cars in their lots, noisy teenage kids with skateboards, and other eyesores. Plus, some of the landlords like playing games with prospective renters.
MATT: I had one tell me on the phone they accept cats. But when I filled out the application I noticed it said "no pets" at the bottom. When I asked her about this she said "no pets" is also written on the lease, but that it only applies to dogs. I told her that cats are considered pets, too. And I'd like her to include an addendum to the lease allowing one cat. She said they have a few residents with cats but they don't include it in the lease. I answered by saying "if it isn't in writing then I can't sign the lease." So after talking to her manager on the phone she said "sorry, guess you gotta keep looking."
BUSTER: She's a crook!!!
MATT: Yup! Big one.
BUSTER: She could change her mind at any time and boot us out for violating the lease!
MATT: Yup. I stomped outa there.
BUSTER: Good! Did yah throw your saucer of milk at her?
MATT: Uh...no...I don't drink it that way.
BUSTER: Oh...yeah. You've got those great, long thumbs....hmmm...yes. Well, don't take any crap from those two-legged rat-bags. My litterbox biscuits have more character.
MATT: Well, another one told me on the phone "no monthly cat fee" and "yes, you can view the apartment before you put down the deposit," but that changed when I showed up. Still another one told me I'd have to sign the lease before I could view the apartment. It's crazy! But then I discovered http://www.apartmentratings.com/, which would've saved me several trips. Problem is there aren't more than a couple of good ones to rent from in the whole area. Good thing we aren't desperate.
BUSTER: I dunno. I was kinda looking forward to that big jungle-gym scratch post you promised to buy me. Remember that 5'x7' Picasso-like carpeted thing you said I'd get?
MATT: Yeah yeah.... Sorry, it won't fit in the truck.