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Wednesday, 04 October
I Am Trying To Break Your Toilet

The wife and I have been living in our current residence for two and a half years. Frankly, we love it. It's a condo building, but we do not own the apartment; its owner is, the last time we checked--which was two and a half years ago--a pastry chef at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I have literally had one conversation with the man, and that was the day we moved in and noticed that the toilet was broken.

(Is there anything more dispiriting than taking a rather satisfying dump and then realizing that the recalcitrant toilet is simply giving you a firm shake of the head? I submit that there is nothing more depressing than taking a crap and finding out that the toilet is malfunctioning. You feel betrayed. Then you have to morosely trudge out of the bathroom and tell people--people you love--that you somehow broke the crapper. There is no good way to pull this off without feeling humiliated.)

Anyway, after a lot of confused phone calls--on moving day--I finally found myself on the end of a phone call with my new landlord, outraged and squawking, wondering why I was demanding a new replacement toilet. Hanh? Things had gotten garbled, and I explained to the man, who was probably staring resentfully at his neglected creme brulees, that no, I'd really just like a plumber to come over and fix my fucking toilet, which was still smirking over in the corner of the bathroom, with my wretched turds still lurking merrily unflushed in its fucking bowl. Please?

You wouldn't think that, after such an inauspicious moving-in, we would still like to buy this place. But we would. And we drop hints about it all the time, such as the sticky notes I attach to our monthly rent checks, which crudely depict me fellating a Bellagio pastry chef. But we get nothing. We love this place; if it has anything wrong with it, it's the horribly in-need-of-replacement-if-not-eradication of the carpet, which some loon decided should be ivory in color. It has since devolved into a sort of nicotine shag (hey, I smoke out on the deck, okay?) that displays every single insulting stain possible, the most egregious from when we had the stove replaced: it looks like a morphine addict was dragged out of our kitchen, leaking fluids from every possible opening.

We'd still very much like to buy this place. The condo members constantly ask us: "Are you guys going to buy it or what?" They love us, and constantly give us helpful building hints. "10A has lung cancer! You guys would be so cute in 10A." Which is sweet.

My friend K. lives only two blocks away from us. And her building has gone condo. K. is emphatically not being courted by the new regime, unlike us, and the results have been . . . startling. She invited us over a couple weeks ago to see how it is when people stop wanting you in their building.

"Welcome to Bosnia!" she chirped as she buzzed us in. The laughter died in our throats as we entered a hallway stripped of its vintage wallpaper. A heat register lay torn out of its socket in the hallway like a set of casually discarded dentures; the hallway carpet had been torn up and left rolled carelessly into corners. We glumly trod across bare cement. I found myself thinking about recovery nuts ripping copper wires out of the walls. It really did look like a crack den, except that nobody here smoked crack. Hell, nobody here smoked.

It wasn't just the interior, which was bad enough. The developers had also made sure to--for some reason--remove every single bush, tree and green thing that surrounded the building, including a particularly fine aspen. They just ripped all that fucking shit out, ostensibly so they could paint.

And paint they did. I . . . I wasn't able to find any images to post to display this paint job, and I fear I don't have the vocabulary to describe it. It's not an attractive building to start with, a boxy thing with no inherent charm. It was just fine sitting there being all beige and all, and at least it had some nice trees around it. But then . . . hoy. Look, the building now stands out on satellite imagery. In some sort of Mondrian-meets-Tristan Tzara spasm, the owners opted for some non-Euclidean geometrical color scheme that features gold, turquoise and cranberry quadrangles that owe absolutely nothing to anything resembling sanity. Especially in this very geen city, this building, denuded of all masking plant growth, simply looks like a demented child's mad arrangement of colored blocks. It is an unequivocal horror.

K. sensibly moved out. The question is, Who on earth is moving in?

This new condo recently put a sign out advertising the newly vacated spaces. It reads:

VERTIGO The city is a game of tag This is your base VERTIGO

Are you joshing me? This whole thing makes my hair fall out. I'm upset that I live within walking distance of something this awful.

I wish I could have saved K. It was a lovely apartment with a lovely view. Now it's a ridiculous joke of a building with an extravagantly embarrassing sign in front of it.

It's too late for K. But maybe I can figure out how to take that one disastrous shit in just one apartment. I will break their shiny new toilets.

I can bring these fools to their knees.


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Comments

"In some sort of Mondrian-meets-Tristan Tzara spasm, the owners opted for some non-Euclidean geometrical color scheme..."

WTF? Do you supply reference manuals with your stories? ;-)

Comment number: 008469   Posted by: Jeff on October 5, 2006 06:50 AM from IP: 209.32.109.28

Huh, I didn't know they did that to K's building. That sounds... atrocious. That was a nice apartment, too. Yes, crap in their toilet for the good of humanity! BREAK THEIR BOWLS! BREAK! THEIR! BOWLS!

Comment number: 008472   Posted by: Ian J on October 5, 2006 09:49 AM from IP: 192.150.22.150

Mark and was OUTRAGED by the new marketing sign (which I drove him by so that someone else would share my disdain). We were still talking about it 2 days later. "Who the fuck is "it" in this stupid game of tag? Me or the herion fiends?" "What kind of pussies play tag with a base?" etc.

Don't you think that bluey color is more teal then turquoise? And doesn't that make it worse?

Comment number: 008477   Posted by: Peggy on October 6, 2006 12:18 PM from IP: 128.95.169.35

So they chose to name their building after a disorienting dizziness, often accompanied by nausea? I hope there are balconies.

Comment number: 008492   Posted by: flamingbanjo on October 9, 2006 04:10 PM from IP: 64.65.181.81

The new owners are Japanese mobsters. That would explain everything.

Comment number: 008672   Posted by: Squidley on October 22, 2006 09:31 PM from IP: 206.55.252.146

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