Everybody Hates You
I’ve never seen anything like it. Never. This man is so detested, so reviled, has made so many passionate enemies. He has united strangers with little in common into deep friendships and alliances because they all share one thing: A deep, deep hatred for this man. This person has shattered the traditional parameters of what one would associate with poor vs. strong performance in his role. The image / metaphor I have in my head is as follows: Imagine a high school baseball player going up to bat. Not only does he strike out but in the process of the final whiff he launches his bat toward the dugout, bashing his coach in the head and putting him in a coma.
Who? Who could stir such passion and make so many enemies? A politician? A military figure? Perhaps a star athlete or controversial journalist?
No. None of the above. It’s our motherf#*king HOA guy.
Exhibit 1: Homeboy and the property management company somehow got into a beef with the waste management company. Four weeks. 4 freaking weeks we had no garbage service. The HOA’s advice to us: “Hold on to your garbage until the issue is resolved”. Brilliant. How did I not think of that? I can repurpose my second bedroom into a trash room. Perhaps in time I’ll attract so many rats, roaches and raccoons that together we’ll reach an equilibrium between new trash produced and old trash eaten.
I spent the first two weeks of June calling random buddies out of the blue:
“Hey, what’s up man?”
“Hey dude, how are you? You trying to chill tonight?”
“Nah, nah. Maybe tomorrow. Can I um, can I, can I come use your building’s dumpster?”
Pathetic. Too embarrassed to keep calling folks about their dumpster status, I spent the last two weeks of June driving around the neighborhood at midnight with my lights off scouting for unattended construction site dumpsters or single-family homeowner garbage cans that the poor sap had yet to bring back into their house. I can picture the initial irritation of knowing that your garbage got picked up in the morning but then finding it completely full again 12 hours later. What I CANNOT imagine however is the mindfuck they experienced upon reviewing their RING video doorbell footage: Some guy pulls up with his lights off. He appears to be a poor man given the advanced age of his vehicle. He steps out of the vehicle wearing a baseball cap that says “Cockfighting” on it and has a drawing of two birds going at it, sunglasses, and a covid mask. He pops the trunk. Grabs 40 lbs. of garbage. Calmly and confidently walks over to YOUR garbage can and has his way with it. He then drives off into the night having rendered you a garbage cuckold.
Exhibit 2: A recent convo with the HOA:
“The cops called me yesterday. They want a copy of the surveillance footage from when that lady broke into my car a few months back. How soon can you pull that from the building security cameras?”
“What? Are you too busy!?”
“No, the cameras don’t actually record anything. We stopped paying for the recording and video storage service 8 months ago. It was too expensive but we left the cameras up as a deterrent.”
“Deterrent!? Motherfucker, I got robbed. That kid upstairs had his Huffy jacked. We got package pirates breaking in here every other week!”
“They’re not breaking in! That’s an inaccurate description. There is NO forced entry. They are tailgating residents and THEN taking the packages. If anything, the residents need to be more careful.”
“Got it, got it. So yall spent 15 grand planting flowers outside the building that predictably got flooded with dog piss and died within 2 weeks, but we can’t afford what I suspect is 200 bucks a month to have proper security cameras? Fuck this”
Exhibit 3: Third World Plumbing. Every week there is some 8-hour water shut-off. As a grizzled veteran of 1990’s central Europe, I handle these situations with unrivaled expertise. I fill up both bathtubs with water, get the buckets ready, and fill up a few vases which I place around the sinks. You novices may think this is over-kill but let me ask you this: What happens if you have to poop twice? Do you really want to be locking eyes with that floater for the rest of the day?
Preparation is key. However, the HOA took its incompetence to a whole new level last month (flung that bat right at coach again) and I must admit even I wasn’t prepared. Sewage started pushing up through our bathtub drain. One of the grossest things I have ever seen. My years on the mean streets of Central Europe did not prepare me for this. This was some straight up Bangladesh or Nepal type shit.
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Given all of the above, I wasn’t the least bit surprised the other day when I came home from a 3.5-week trip (including an unfortunate covid quarantine extension) to see that the interior decorating project that was supposed to take 10 days was now comfortably into month 2. While not surprised I was still fuming at the incompetence and continued inconvenience, the $700 a month HOA fee, and the fact that the HOA douchebag had blatantly tried to usurp my primo parking spot to install an EV charger (side note, he of course is one of 2 people in the building with an EV) while relegating me to the parking dungeons.
In the midst of my rage however, I had a most wonderful flashback that made me smile and brought the whole situation into a rosier perspective. This historically incompetent and abrasive HOA reminded me of a quote from the venerable Marge Simpson:
“Only your father could take a part-time job at a small-town newspaper and wind up the target of international assassins.”