September 20, 2016 Leave a comment
When my ex-wife and I lived in South Pasadena from 1986-1991, we encountered an eccentric French couple who became our landlords. The woman was in her 60s, of a highly suspicious nature and was always going through other people’s trash to find evidence of their misdoings, which she never found. She also liked to place a quarter near one of the laundry machines to see who would take it, but nobody ever did. Whenever she got angry at a tenant, she would exclaim, “And you’ll gonna pay!” She used to scream at her husband, yelling out that he was the son of satan and a monster. However, her spouse merely shrugged his shoulders and turned his back to her. Unlike the woman, he was quite cordial and agreeable and loved to fix things. “I fix, I fix”, he would proclaim whenever we had a plumbing problem. But he used scotch tape methods rather than any bonafide plumbing tool, so the problem always became recurrent.
The Case of the Water Men:
When we moved into this apartment complex, two men from the water company occupied the apartment opposite us on the second floor(We lived on the first floor). Not long after our arrival, the water men left and the space was to remain un-rented for the rest of our stay. Now many people went up the stairs to visit the apartment, but nobody took it. We began to wonder what was so terrible about that apartment that kept prospective tenants way. We thought about what the water men could have done to have made the space so repulsive. These thoughts kept us busy on dreary days and were the source of much amusement. However, this was a case that had no solution.
Roach motel: Reservations Recommended!
When I first told my ex about a roach motel, she envisioned several rooms with furniture, a dining table and several accessories for comfort. She was truly disappointed when she saw a bleak rectangular box with glue-like material inside, which would be the last object a roach would see before heading into eternal silence.
My roommate and I lived in a relatively clean, well-furnished apartment for several years until a couple of girls moved in downstairs(This time we were upstairs). For amusement and extra money these girls sold their services on the top of the roof, so their clients could get an aerial view of Westwood as a bonus. Alas, the girls had a habit of leaving garbage bags outside their room for days.
Word spreads quickly in a college town, and soon every UCLA roach dropped its studies to head for our apartment building. Unfortunately, these roaches were not like our current garden roaches, large and orange-brown and quite choosy about their mates, but small German roaches that mated with every female roach no matter how unattractive she might be. Soon our apartment was full of roaches that liked the dark, especially for their nightly rendezvous. We bought a roach motel. The next day it was filled with roaches and a few other curious insects that met their doom. And every day it would be the same story. Finally, we resorted to other methods.
Our owner’s in-laws came over when repairs were needed. The man was quite the gentleman, but the woman we called “The Wicked Witch of the West”, because she needled us and said that the repairs were our fault. We honored her presence by intoning the theme from the 1939 MGM movie to set the appropriate mood. One day she was showing our apartment to to possible renters. She yelled at us: “What is all this white powder on the floor?!” I replied, “That’s to kill off the roaches.” My roommate and I laughed and laughed, but I will draw a curtain of silence over this scene and this post.