Worthless Guide to Housing: Apartments

Apartment

It’s difficult to describe what makes a place feel like “home”. Is it the fetid air that wafts in when you open a window? The charming view of the local gang corner? Or perhaps it’s the way milky water bubbles back up from the drain each time you use the sink because of that mysterious clog you never quite cleaned out. Whatever it is that makes a home your own, eventually you’re probably going to have to move. You might wish to try a different style of home, but which is best? An apartment? Condominium? Townhouse? Trailer? Single family home? It’s madness I tell you, MAADNESSS!

Part I - Apartments
Part II - Houses


Apartments: Slightly Better Than Nothing


GarbageCertainly you are aware of apartment buildings. They’re the buildings you usually see around with all the windows and a bunch of cars parked outside.  If you feel like checking inside of one, you should call the office to make an appointment. Or you can do what a lot of people do: Stand outside the door smoking a cigarette until someone enters or leaves, blow smoke in their face, grab the door and mutter “Mmph” and step inside.

Minorities in the suburbs you may have a bit of trouble with this, because a lot of the whites out there are racists. If they see you standing out there they’ll probably just get scared and use another door, or call the police. Don’t feel too bad. Soon white people like me will be the minorities. I can’t wait. For one thing, I probably won’t ever have to hear any country music or corporate rock again. Stupid whites. But here are a few of the things you can expect to experience when living in an apartment complex.

Strange & Wonderful Smells

SmokeLiving in an apartment building is an olfactory adventure! Whether it’s the stench of burning noodles which inexplicably fills the hallway at all hours of the night or the musty mossy smell of the dangerous mold which grows in the dimly-lit laundry area, the air is always filled with some objectionable smell.

Oh, and good luck getting any fresh air in the summer, because the instant you open any window, acrid clouds of mentholated cigarette smoke will simply come billowing in and fill your apartment, courtesy of the chain smoker on the balcony below. Hope you’re a fan of lung polyps!


Laws, Rules, And Regulations

Maintain GuyEvery apartment complex has rules. Many of these rules have no logical basis, and seem to be added in order to maximize the discomfort and dissatisfaction of all residents. For example, if you have maintenance problem you are usually given a number to call, but usually this number is only available between the exact time you leave for work and just before you get home at night. So you’ll leave a message and forget all about it until a few weeks later when you’re lying on the couch staring at the ceiling with your hands down your pants when you hear the jingling of keys at your door and a bleary-eyed man in stained coveralls comes barreling in and stumbles towards your bathroom muttering something about a showerhead.

The rest of the rules are easy enough to figure out. If you want to do something relatively harmless, just assume there is a rule against it. Here’s a rule I would like to see: The apartment complex may not greedily increase your rent each year well in excess of inflation because they know most people don’t want to deal with the hassle and expense of finding somewhere else to live and moving. Aaagh.


Peace and Quiet (Ain’t None)

If there’s one thing you won’t need to take with you when you move into an apartment, it’s an alarm clock. The people around you are more than happy to take on the responsibility of waking you up. Here’s the weekly schedule for unrequested wake-up calls:

MONDAY:
The clumsy guy in the apartment above you seemingly rearranges his entire bedroom set at 5AM by dragging pieces of furniture around the room and hurling them roughly to the floor. While bellowing the coarsest profanities known to man.

TUESDAY:
The woman two doors down owns a tiny dog and it hears the noise of someone walking in the hall after she has left for work. Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  Yip!  

Yappy Dog
WEDNESDAY:
One of the school-age boys downstairs has a friend who comes to pick him up for school in a large and pointless truck. When the accelerator of this truck is pressed, the walls vibrate, pots and pans topple out of cupboards, and pictures clatter from the walls while the bass from his stereo compresses your eardrums so severely that they rupture, causing a mixture of blood and pus to ooze out of your ears and onto your pillow as you scream in hatred and agony.

THURSDAY:
One of the families adjacent to you has purchased a new couch and doesn’t feel like lugging it back down three flights of stairs. They saw at it with an un-serrated kitchen knife and bash it ineffectually with ball peen hammers for a few hours until it is broken up. They then proceed to heave large pieces off of their balcony and into the parking lot.

Old Couch

FRIDAY:
The building super pounds at your door, screaming accusingly about how a room air conditioner she’s spotted in one of your windows is against the rules, and that you’ll just have to roast to death in your sleep like everyone else because whoever built the place foolishly placed the single 12 watt air conditioning unit in the farthest wall of the living room, down the hall and as far away from the bedrooms as possible.

SATURDAY:
All of the small children in the building pound up and down through the hallways outside your door scratching at doors with plastic swords and bouncing large rubber balls against all the walls while screeching delightedly.

Dumpster

SUNDAY:
The couple next door screams at one another for a few hours until the sound of a gunshot rings out. All is quiet for a time, and then you head the sound of a door creaking open and the thump-thumping of a heavy object being dragged down the stairs. From outside there is a thud, the sound of the dumpster lid slamming, and then the soft tread of footsteps back up the stairs.



So now you know mostly what living in an apartment consists of. Check your newspaper today for listings. Next up is condos and townhomes in a very special dual article. Yeah, I know, who cares right?