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Thursday, 26 February
We Are Proud To Be Vermin

The move continues, and we are working in frantic spasms, like periodically salted slugs. We actually got the keys tonight, and wandered around the new place for a while, staring at its soon-to-be-ours features, such as the one orange-y wall in the dining area (WE HAVE A DINING AREA!) or the immense parking space in the secure garage (WE HAVE A PARKING SPOT IN A GARAGE!). We also have, by far, the crummiest car in there, which kind of makes me happy. I look forward to the first dirty look I get from some yuppie, so I can cheerfully pipe up, "It's a beaut, isn't it? You can hardly see the rust! I'll trade you straight across for your Lexus!" Then the yuppie, creeped out, will scamper to the elevator, wanting only to get to his apartment and to settle into a nice slice of Gouda, and the wife and I will chase him. "ONE OF US! ONE OF US!" we'll scream after him as he hunches crabwise into a waiting elevator. "WE'RE RUINING YOUR PROPERTY VALUES JUST BY BEING HERE!" You have to make your own fun if you're going to live amongst many people who all have much more money than yourself.

Yesterday I made the big sacrifice: I toted three huge bags of books down to the local cat-infested used bookstore to auction them off to the legendarily nutty (in a great way) proprietor. She asked me my name as she immediately attacked my miserable offerings. "My name's Skot," I replied. She stared at me as if I had said, "Hu-mans call me Klaatu!" But that's just her way: the woman is a champion starer, and you never quite know why. She fingered my ancient Dungeons & Dragons books from high school: "These are terrible, Steve. So old. I'll send them up the the University District store. The only people who buy these are the kids in black who mutter to themselves about the Lord of the Rings movies." She grabbed at my musty, horrible Piers Anthony paperbacks. "I guess I'll take these. They always sell. I don't know why. He sucks." I couldn't disagree. Also, I was taking a shine to being called "Steve."

It wasn't all tripe. I'm a book-buying nut, and over the years had developed a pretty big collection. In fact, on the whole, she seemed impressed by what I had brought, wretched crap aside. "So!" she crowed, holding up an improbable collection of New York Times Book Review pieces, "What did you do with all this education?" I fidgeted. "Let me guess. The arts." I surrendered. "Well, yeah, I'm an actor. I mean, that was my degree." She all but swooned: "I knew it! You have such a wonderful voice!" I shuffled nervously some more. "I have a cold. It makes me sound more resonant than usual." She blew me off and spun on the wife. "Do you ever just sit around and listen to him talk?" The wife, in what I imagine was a purely heroic effort, managed not to say, "Holy fuck, do you think I have a choice?"

It was very silly and embarrassing. Then she started telling me about her 21 pairs of Birkenstocks, and I'm afraid I had to kind of leave my body.

Anyway. She gave me an $80 store credit for all of my crap, and I'm pretty sure that at least $20 of that is going to go towards a t-shirt that they sell that says, "666 years of celebrating the Bubonic Plague."

In the soon-to-be-not-our-home, I was panicking earlier about being behind with the packing, but I think we're getting a handle on it. Plus I had forgotten that the wife is off for most of tomorrow, and will be able to get some more work done (and I'm taking Friday off, which will be the Uh Oh Am I Fucked Day? Because that's when I'll fearfully disconnect all the electronics with only a vanishing hope of being able to revive them again later). Move-panic also inspires some telling reactions in terms of your relationship with the items surrounding you in your home. "Honey? What about this leather bag with the broken strap?" "Ugh. Get rid of it." "What's this old bookshelf stereo system?" "I still have that? It's busted. To the dump." "Why are there four speakers in the closet when we have five around the apartment?" "Uh . . . all red-blooded males dream of a nonaphonic stereo system." "All right. What about this broken monkey-themed candleholder?" "Fuck it! Dump all of this shit!" "Even this solid bar of platinum?" "Gone!" "And this splinter from the One True Cross?" "Garbage!" "Oh, and here's a bottle of Bushmills. It has half an inch left in it." "Jesus Christ. Make sure to double-wrap that."

Hell, I'd keep even an empty bottle of Bushmills. Why? So I could loll around in the pool (WE HAVE A POOL! AND A PATIO!), decked out, say, in lime-green biker shorts, resting the empty whiskey bottle on my tummy. Then I'd wait for the fearful yuppies to creep out onto their balconies to look down at me with opprobrium and terror. And I'd scream at them, brandishing the bottle.

"ONE OF US! ONE OF US! SOMETIMES WE BUY OFF-BRAND MAYONNAISE!" The yuppies, terrified beyond lucidity, will scuttle back into their leatherette warrens, cowed into blank incomprehension by the dreadful invasion of Us.

And they haven't even met our friends yet. We're going to have a time.


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

skot, skot, skot! tsk tsk tsk, the term yuppie is no longer pc, it is now DINK- dual income no kids.

Comment number: 004389   Posted by: teena on February 26, 2004 07:08 AM from IP: 146.82.36.102

I've moved a looot in my life (going on every year for the past ten years or so) and I have one bit of advice to share with you.

Keep your bed linens out and bring them with you in the car. The first thing you should do when your bed gets to the new place is make it. You're going to be exhausted and having a nice, made bed to fall into after everything has been moved is one of the greatest things in the world EVER.

Comment number: 004390   Posted by: kimberly on February 26, 2004 07:40 AM from IP: 148.107.3.20

Ah, balls to that. I know where you're coming from, but it defangs the perfectly good derogatory term "dink."

Besides, we ourselves are dinks. In all senses of the word. We must maintain a hostile separation from the neighbors. Only in this way can I have fun.

Comment number: 004391   Posted by: Skot on February 26, 2004 07:42 AM from IP: 140.107.123.110

Er, Kimberly snuck in while I was composing my reply to Teena.

I'm a dink.

Comment number: 004392   Posted by: Skot on February 26, 2004 07:44 AM from IP: 140.107.123.110

I'm a dink.

*chases Skot*

ONE OF US! ONE OF US!

Comment number: 004393   Posted by: avogadro on February 26, 2004 08:13 AM from IP: 24.75.116.128

You rule, Steve.

Comment number: 004394   Posted by: Shawn on February 26, 2004 08:40 AM from IP: 209.233.130.252

NANOPHONIC. Brilliant.

Comment number: 004395   Posted by: Ariel on February 26, 2004 10:20 AM from IP: 63.228.106.188

Waaaiiit a minute--is that OK? You really get to ridicule the neighbors because of a demographic assumption based on where they live when you live in the same place? Hm. Maybe I'll try that. But I have to cure myself of the envy first.

Comment number: 004396   Posted by: Miel on February 26, 2004 11:24 AM from IP: 141.154.70.230

Skot.. EVERY OTHER PERSON IN THE WHOLE BLOCK is just like you. The Lexi in the garage belong to drug dealers selling to the rest of the 'hood. Your fellow apartmentistas are so poor they rent the car park to them. Plus it beats licking the rust off their fenders watched over by a GIANT person with a pump action blunderbuss.

Comment number: 004397   Posted by: david on February 27, 2004 02:25 AM from IP: 202.137.85.228

Re:reviving electronics later, maybe a little notebook so that you can note down which connector came out of which plug as you unplug them, also which wires were between which thingies...

...of course, then you'd have to not lose the notebook. And try to make things legible and later-readable.

"Reconnect everything, throw the switches and pray" is a perfectly acceptable method too, when you think about it that way.

Comment number: 004398   Posted by: Zeynep on February 27, 2004 08:41 AM from IP: 129.2.98.183

what's off-brand mayonnaise?

Comment number: 004399   Posted by: liz on February 27, 2004 12:11 PM from IP: 205.129.12.4

It's like off-brand Kraft mac n'cheese.


But worse.

Comment number: 004400   Posted by: dayment on February 28, 2004 11:00 PM from IP: 24.18.215.186

I thought yuppie's always liked slices of brie? DANG! No wonder my yuppie trap isn't working... apparently they like GOUDA!

Comment number: 004401   Posted by: bluecorvet on February 29, 2004 04:24 PM from IP: 207.190.64.73

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