Cider House Rules

I got the keys to the apartment on Thursday.  I had them take out the water clause all together.  They said it was a standard HausOrdnung, but had no problem taking it out.  Everyone told me to talk to a lawyer, but what it came down to was just not wanting to have the potential for problems.  I didn’t care if it was illegal or unenforceable. As someone who has lived with passive aggressive notes from landlords to just aggressive behaviour from roommates, the idea of finding a little yellow post-it on my door puts me off even the cutest art deco building built in 1908 on a great street with lots of tree alleys and tons of windows and a balcony and a parking place.

The landlord himself told me it was ridiculous and I could shower anytime I wanted.  So I took it.

In San Francisco I lived in an in-law apartment for a while.  It was more of an out-law because it was not up to code and I was always sick from the slight gas leak in the kitchen. That gas leak didn’t prevent the onslaught of raccoons that would visit said kitchen in the middle of the night (beginning of raccoon phobia), but visitors always mentioned the slight odour as they walked in.  I just got used to it.  Anyway, because it was not up to code, all utilities were included in the rent.  Well, I was apparently using too much electricity and got a post-it to reduce my usage.

I came home from work a few days later and noticed that the lights seemed dimmer.  And it looked like my white kitchen had a purplish tinge.  I used 100 watt bulbs because I was blind, needed to see and I was in a freakin’ basement.  There was no natural light.

Having a different, but similar light bulb experience in college, I thought it was just me for a while.*

Checking all the bulbs I found that they had magically turned to 60 watts and had turned purplish.  I thought about it for a week, wondering if there had been a power surge that had turned all four of my light bulbs purple.  I figured I just thought I had 100 watt bulbs, that I was remembering wrong.  My first reaction is always to think I’m the crazy one.  When Markus starts to gas-light me, it’ll be a very easy job. When my step-dad told me that “No, Jennifer, light bulbs don’t change colours, they pop out” that it dawned on me that someone had actually changed my light bulbs. 

This went on for months.  Months.  I asked them to stop changing my light bulbs, especially with the free-with-every package-of-natural-white lifestyle colour bulbs because the purple was driving me nuts. You know, with a “Please” and “You can’t just go into my place without telling me and taking my light bulbs” kind of thing.  It didn’t stop and I moved, but it was a total pain in the ass. Anyway, did not want to deal with a “don’t shower” vibe.  Now I don’t have to worry and I’m out of the hotel and it all worked out.  The end. 

I’m back in Boweltown this weekend and next.  Next weekend the cats make their five and half hour drive to the northland.  That should be a barrel of laughs. 


*It was a dark and stormy night in the heart of December.  No really, it was dark and stormy and I was all alone in a house that was rumoured to be haunted.  I am primed to believe in haunting, so just by mentioning the word haunting leads me to see ghosts and weird things.

During this particular storm, the main power line to the house was cut, causing a huge explosion that woke me up at 3 am on the dot.  I know this because the clocks stopped at 3 am on the dot.  This explosion, which I didn’t know was an actual explosion, just a really loud noise left just enough power to the house to causing all the bulbs in the house to glow at a 5 watt intensity.  There was also enough power to shock the crap out of me when I tried to check the fuse box located on the outside corner of the house.  In the rain with a dimming flashlight  Did I mention it was storming?  And I was alone?  And in a white, short, empire cut lawn cotton nightie barefoot?   When I write about running out in the middle of a storm, I write from personal experience.  I might have read too many Gothic novels hence my accessories, but I have lived the terror!  I could never write an autobiography because my freakin’ life has been one bad cliché after another.  No one would believe it. Too contrived.


4 thoughts on “Cider House Rules

  1. Hooray for showering whenever you want! In Switzerland it was normal for leases to tell you when you weren’t allowed to shower, do laundry, vacuum, and pretty much anything else normal people in the free world are allowed to do whenever the hell they want. I can’t say I miss it…

  2. I think I must have missed part of the story. What the hell is the water clause?

    I once had a landlord in Frankfurt who called me everyday to tell me he thought I should rearrange my furniture. Fuck. That.

    I like your blog, lady. Keep it up. 🙂

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