For days now, I cannot get this song out of my head.
No, not because of my love of the White Stripes or my ”mostly attracted to, but slightly repulsed by” Jack White crush, but because my house has rats.
(I’m sorry, Mom. I know this is pretty much your worst nightmare. I was hopeful the title might have scared you off.)
The good news is I wasn’t here for the worst of it – although living vicariously through the friend staying at my place’s mortified texts and PHOTOS once she forcibly (fought one
on with one of my large kitchen spoons while it came at her and bit scratches into the other end of the spoon) caught two of them on sticky traps will provide excellent PTSD fodder for years to come – or was I?
See, I don’t know.
And I’m not sure what rats smell like, but I keep waking up at all hours and creeping around my house both hopeful (?) and terrified I will discover something and thinking I smell something “weird.”
Here are the facts as they stand:
1. They tore down two dilapidated houses next door. Three days later, I have rats.
2. Despite my $1600 a month plus utilities rent, my landlord is a total slumlord bastard. Nothing is fixed. Nothing gets repaired. The place is probably six months from falling in on itself. He’s also prone to threatening to evict me – or maybe worse. The notes say things like “you won’t like what I’ll do.” Maybe he means release a bunch of rats? – because he hallucinates that he hears the dog howling. At 3 a.m. When the dog is asleep. And I’m home. And the only creatures stirring are a bunch of rats.
3. One of the other renters here in Hell seems to function as a de facto maintenance man, but he is clearly terrified of the prospect of actually encountering one of these buggers. Not exactly confidence-boosting. He recommended I put out a bowl of Pine Sol.
4. My cat doesn’t give a sh*t. He was apparently sitting on the counter a few feet away from two of them (yes. They frequent my kitchen counter and knock stuff down. Which makes me want to firehose this place with bleach.) begging for his supper. Who can blame him? They’re practically his size. Or maybe he thinks I’ve added to the family. Welcome, Ratatouille, Squeaker, and Meningitis!
4. My dog wants to kill, but I don’t really want him developing a blood lust or have the experience of murdering smallish animals inside our 750-square foot house. See: 9-pound cat.
5. Same de facto maintenance guy “plugged all the holes” leading into this place and put some sticky traps under my stove. The rat(s) drug them both across the house, took some dumps on them, shook free (I found the traps face down in the middle of the room) and – presumably – are now trapped inside here somewhere.
6. Arson sounds nice.
Canned cat food.
It attracts ants, fruit flies and hobos.
It is a chore to dole out and keep fresh and makes my fridge reek in a “what’s gone bad?” kind of way.
Have I mentioned how much the fancy healthy stuff costs!?
I should eat so well.
In short, shit’s a thorn in my side.
Maybe not “#1″
And maybe not “in the history of time.”
That’s maybe my autocorrect and all this incorrect garbage it’s learned and how it continually changes correctly spelled words over to nonsense despite the fact that I’ve followed the instructions to clear its memory multiple times.
Forget that it’s learned curse words and foodie terms, I’m sick of the word “the” being changed to tW.
What the hell is that about anyway?
The “reply to all” email function is a pretty huge pain in the ass, come to think of it.
Especially if you’re prone to spouting off.
And especially espeically if you’re prone to spouting off behind (what you think are) other people’s backs.
So a couple nights ago I had a dream that I had a roommate. She was upset with me because the house isn’t exactly – okay, at all – clean.
At first I felt bad, but then I started to think about it. “When was the last time you cleaned the litter box?” I asked her.
“Never,” she admitted.
Then I woke up and realized that roommate is me.
Except sub “never” for “twice a month” (ish) and this probably explains why my cat has started peeing in the tub.
In my defense he has two boxes.
Anyway, take this level of sloth and imagine every other household task in combination with what you now know about the kitty litter and my place is making me loco.
^^^me circa five minutes ago and looking a bit loco, as it were.
Here’s the thing.
I don’t like to clean.
And it doesn’t help that my dog has been shedding like a mofo.
And Maui is insanely dirty. In addition to being where young people go to retire it is the dirtiest place on earth.
You into black soles of feet?
Calcutta’s got nothing on this little slice of paradise.
Anyway, it’s 2013.
Where’s my flying robot slave?
I neeeeeeeeeeed it.
Mostly to teach the cat to pee in the toilet, but cleaning the tub would be a nice touch while s/he is at it.
And hanging up the giant pile of clean laundry on my bed.
And giving me a haircut.
And dusting this black dust covered hovel.
And making me a grilled cheese sandwich stat.
That is all.
Thank you for listening.
So the other night my friend implored me to go along as her wing woman.
Well, that’s not how she pitched it, but that was the bottom line.
Seems some guy had approached her at a Starbucks earlier that day because of her beautiful eyes and then wanted to buy her a drink later that night for business reasons. She initially told me she thought I’d find him interesting, but once I heard the sentence I typed right before this one and she said she wasn’t interested in him and was sure it was “just business,” my Spidey sense was more of the “are you sure this is a good idea?” variety.
In other words, I felt obliged to go and make sure she survived.
So after about 15 minutes one thing was clear: there is nothing this guy hasn’t done… in his feverish imagination.
You couldn’t tell him anything – “I cooked professionally for a few years” – without him interrupting, insisting on a fist bump and screaming out, “No way! Me too!”
I should have mentioned carrying triplets as a surrogate and having an affair with Bill Clinton, but sadly such a great idea struck late.
Anywho, dude put the “noxious” back in obnoxious.
He created all by his lonesome a new pet peeve for me: do not exclaim “I like her already!” more than five times and over the span of nearly two hours. You can only say that once or twice before it loses its punch, son.
Meanwhile, if you care, among his seemingly endless list of achievements he (allegedly) has:
- Written for the New York Times as a journalist for 15 years.
- Hosted a show about the New York Yankees for 8 or 10 years (seems to be true).
- Have filmed a documentary about Afghanistan for the History Channel (seems to be true).
- Saved a local theater in New Jersey with the help of Stephen King.
- Received scads of national press for that ^^^ feat.
- Wrote a play based on that Stephen King dealio (the plot of which shifted drastically in each retelling – a mere five minutes apart and during which he seemed to have no idea he’d already told the story until I interrupted and told him so).
- If that’s not enough, said play was submitted to a playwright competition by friends behind his back which it – of course – won and then was performed at NYU and some other places. What are the odds!
- Had someone in L.A. randomly find that play years later and now he has a series on USA Network in the work. He may also have a Lifetime movie based on his play “Stephen King’s Red Tape” but I kept spacing out and considering running for the door, so I’m not certain whether I heard that or imagined it.
- Be working on an explosive documentary about Hawaii, which he also promised to give me all the details of so I could write about it (and I think I was offered a role in it at some point as well) because if HE wrote about this explosive government traitorous behavior stuff, that would bring a lot of attention him being a former NYT journalist and all. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
- Has a book coming out soon about some nurse in the room when Kennedy died. I’m assuming it’s fiction. Clearly he’s a natural-born storyteller.
- Been recruited for some kind of journalism career in Hawaii
- Been recruited as a television writer in Hollywood, but turned it down to…
- Produce a show for his dear friend Katie Couric. He was her right hand and maybe wrote the show and acted as her therapist and picked out her wardrobe and who even knows how pivotal he probably was. Why would he make something like that up?
- Written (produced) film screenplays.
- Started and runs a business making medical videos (this also seems to be true and the “business” he had with my friend, who is a nurse.)
- Beaten the shit out of several Taliban – he was a former professional wrestler or boxer or something… allegedly – with his bare hands to the degree that they staged a series of drive-by shootings to kill him in retaliation. What can he say? He’s Bruce Banner and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
- Been arrested and done time upon landing back at JFK for said beating up of Taliban activities: 15 armed marshals were waiting and all cocked their guns as he came down the escalator with his movie-making posse. Imagine that.
How unfair that life has bestowed upon one man such talent! And endless amounts of time to get all this done considering he was probably in his early 50′s.
Oops. Can’t forget my favorite…
- He (allegedly) went to a reading by Mary Higgins Clark and waited in line for her to sign a book for him. She asked what he wanted her to write and he (allegedly) said, “Something good. PLEASE something good.”
She (allegedly) asked what he meant and he (allegedly) claimed to have said, “Well, you’re an okay writer and all, but your stuff could be soooooooo much better with a good editor.”
Apparently no one loves to be insulted by a delusional asshole quite like Mary Higgins Clark, so she naturally hired him to write a series of sex scenes in a book with “Halo” in the title (he couldn’t quite remember the name) and edited a couple others for her to the tune of $137,000… and then told me I’m wasting my time and that’s what I should be doing.
I mentioned that would be lovely, but I don’t know Mary Higgins Clark, which is how I got the “go to a book reading and humiliate the person” advice.
I’m not sure I’m ready.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that he felt I was wasting my time with a lot of things.
I should be writing screenplays (that’s where the money is! Do it! Now! You’ll be rich!) and for TV (that’s also where the money is! It’s easy! Get out of print and journalism! It’s all about TV!) and maybe even plays. I definitely should have my completed books all over bestseller lists. I should quit any and all other writing I’m doing (that at least keeps me alive and my pets in kibble) because it’s all about my vanity of seeing my name/byline (I snorted out loud at that one. Puh-leaze) and how it’s not even my style (not true in the least, at least not with my restaurant reviews which I care terribly about and pour tremendous love, energy and effort into and are every square inch “me”) and I need to believe in myself and it’s that easy and if I write a screenplay I just need to believe and do what I love and the money will come and I need to BELIEVE and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks as long as I BELIEVE and blah blah blah cocaine is awesome.
Did I mention he’s married and here on Maui to renew his vows after 10 years?
And it was going on 11 p.m. on a school night at this point and his wife was nowhere in sight?
So why am I telling you about this boob?
Well, first off, because he thought I was 26 and when I balked, he assumed that meant I was 30 and kept saying I “didn’t look a day over 22.” (Note to self: park self in that restaurant when feeling low.)
Also, because he inspired me to get up this morning and commence rewriting a book I’d made a new year’s resolution to redo but hadn’t yet started.
How did he manage that?
Well, because one thing is clear: if a psychopath like that can make a documentary about Afghanistan and be a on-air broadcaster and somehow run even a marginally successful medical video production company and be married for ten years and somehow even get that person to want to renew their vows to his egomaniacal ass, then I’m crazy to think I don’t have a really great chance of either pulling this off with my own work/novels and finding a good relationship or at least lambasting an elderly but successful writer into letting me write sex scenes for her for outrageous sums of money.
Hell, it’s a no-brainer.
Sure, I kind of want my hour and a half back, but at least it has got some other wheels turning in my head.
I do not believe for one instant he has the millions of connections at Harper Collins (Esther! You gotta talk to Esther!) and whatever he claimed – next to nothing he asserted can be substantiated via the Interweb - and I would never give any of my work to him out of fear he’d plagiarize it, but I am in some weird way provoked to try a little harder.
Clearly this guy has made *some* traction with his life and he’s balls-out crazy and possibly a pathological liar. I have no excuse not to at least get a documentary and Katie Couric under my belt.
So there you go.
Lemonade From Lemons 101.
Despite bragging for an hour and a half about his wealth, mansion, Mercedes so rare there are no others on earth, he didn’t pay for my friend’s drink…let alone mine.
But you probably saw that coming.
Gah. Some people.