Mr. Jamoke's Housing Crisis
I woke up to the sound of metal striking metal. Bang! Bang! Bang! 130 AM, sleepy and confused, I rolled over in hopes that sweet silence was just around the corner. It wasn’t.
I grabbed my chrome knuckles (since I don’t have any real weapons) and a flashlight to assess the situation. The commotion was 15 feet outside of my apartment. Two young men were smashing the bike lock of an electric bike with a metal bat. Determined to go back to sleep, I naively hoped that shining the police-strength light into their eyes would spook them and they would run off.
The only person who got frightened and scampered off was me. They had the eyes of a demon. Giant yellow pupils darting wildly from side to side. Meth? PCP? Perhaps both? Sprinkle that in with some innate mental illness…. There was no humanity or rationality within these creatures. Nothing short of lead or perhaps elephant tranquilizer was going to keep these goblins from that bike.
I spent the next 45 minutes on patrol with two butcher knives in case Lucifer directed these savages toward my house. Finally, the banging stopped. The two rode off together on their new toy. A visual paradox, two extremely dangerous criminals sharing a bike like two love-struck dandies.
This latest episode of urban living got me thinking: Am I getting soft and prissy or is it finally time to leave the city? If not, how do I improve my current situation?
Here is my beef with the suburbs:
(1) Longer lasting neighbors. An apartment rental in the city… people move in and out all the time. In the burbs though, that’s a home owner that is there to stay. If that neighbor is a prick or a Nosy Nancy you have to deal with them for decades. It becomes a war of attrition.
(2) Say goodbye to your crew: “You should come over, man!”…… Fuck no. That’s $100 worth of uber rides and I’m too old to risk getting a DUI. Plus, now that you’re a proud homeowner, you’ll no doubt regale me with the ins and outs of your home. I’d rather you just take that fancy new drill you bought and press it against my skull.
Here is my problem with rural America:
I’m a pussy. Rural living is for real men. Men that can fix shit, own guns, and can overcome a litany of inconveniences. What am I going to do if a bear comes onto my property? Outbox it with my chrome knuckles? Nah, I’m not man enough. Chances are that my urban warrior 2004 Altima would break down on some country road and I’d get eaten to death by mosquitoes. I’d be memorialized by the locals as the soy-boy, college-boy who died within 3 hours of losing cell service. The butt of jokes repeated for decades at run-down bars that serve only Coors and Old Crow.
Which brings me back to my urban conundrum:
A more talented man would make a lot of dough and buy one of those houses you typically see in poorer, crime-ridden countries: The big house, just outside of downtown, with a giant, cement, white wall blanketed by security cameras. That way I could keep the riff raff out, avoid neighbors and still be in the heart of the action. However, given that I am but a middle-aged middle manager whose sole side hustle is running a blog that nobody reads (and actually loses $40 bucks a month in GoDaddy fees); the urban mafia house is probably unrealistic. Perhaps I could buy a gorgeous, luxury penthouse condo in a nicer neighborhood……… oh wait….. that takes money too.
So, what is this city-dwelling jamoke to do? Here are my top four, cost-effective ideas to make my current situation better:
1) Procure and install a few of those airport bird control devices that make extremely loud sounds at sporadic intervals. Pros: This will scare off all local pests/neighbors and the more mild-mannered bums. Cons: Likely to further enrage the zombie meth-heads.
2) Trade in my two useless dogs who just demand food all day for a vicious beast. Pro: It could actually defend the house. Cons: It will take giant dumps that I have to pick up and I’ll spend half of my life for the next 12 years exercising it.
3) Move to a much shittier neighborhood. Cons: High chance that my current dogs get eaten by a real dog. Much higher chance of life-ending violence. Slumlord landlord. Pros: No HOA. Improved street-cred. Increased capital reserve. Higher chance of zombie meth-head thieves getting shot dead by a neighbor who also wants to get some sleep.
4) Slap NRA stickers, mount stuffed animal heads and a MGD sign on my patio – thus fooling locals that I am, in fact, a hard-ass.
Decisions, decisions. We will see. Having re-read this entry though (especially the four “improvement ideas” above) I must admit that I have grown more depressed. Clearly, there is a reason why the penthouse apartment is and will likely remain out of reach.
Screw it. In the words of the one and only Ronald “Mac” McDonald: “Stuff it down with brown, baby.”
Now where’s that fucking Old Crow!?