Over the weekend I attended a real estate seminar and learned just how financially retarded I've been all these years. (O stabilized rent! Such a wicked temptress thou art!) I remember when you could get a townhouse in Park Effing Slope for $200 grand, and we all scoffed at how ridiculous a price that was. Rent was easier; you write one check a month to the landlord (in my case, a tubby guy with pockmarked jowls and excessive dandruff), and live a care-free, maintenance-free life.
Problem is, when something really needs repairing, you have to argue with Crater Face until you're blue in the mouth before you can get the proper work done. For example: When the exterminator gave our apartment the once-over, he found three places that need extensive carpentry work in order to keep the mice out.
That's carpentry. As in wood.
But when I got home today, I found that the landlord's inept handyman (who is probably as old as the building, and almost as smart) had stopped by unannounced just to smear around a few half-hearted globs of spackle. Spackle is truly this man's best friend. He says he has a full kit of tools in his van, but I bet they're all trowels. And when he passes on to the next life (which could be any minute now), his body will undoubtedly be interred in a large, plastic bucket.
While Tubby and I have been haggling over when a someone younger than Moses will replace my floorboards, I've bought enough steel wool to knit a battleship and spent hours cramming it into any crevice wider than a paper clip. These little buggers are all cartilage, after all, so they can compress themselves down into little skittering pancakes if they smell food on the other side. And since the glue traps have been laughably ineffective, it's time for the next step.
That's right. Operation Snap-Dragon begins tonight.
I know unleashing swift, spring-loaded hell on these vermin rubs some people the wrong way. (Is it an escalation, or a surge?) And I respect that, because it's not my favorite choice, either. But something needs to be done soon, and we're unfortunately not in the best place to get a cat right now. Besides, if I wandered into a bear's cave, I doubt it would show me any mercy -- especially if I left thousands of little poops under its TV cabinet.