Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Contemplating the virtues of hit men

Those of Pretty Lady's readers who have been long-term friends will recall that it is nearly four months, now, since she and the other tenants in her building notified Phil the Neanderthal about the junkie-in-the-foyer problem. At the time it was suggested that this problem could be alleviated by the installation of a lock on the front door, with the concomittant moving of the doorbell to the outside of the front door, so that friends, clients, deliverymen, police officers, and Hector the Block President could notify us of their presence downstairs.

It took four months, a threat to evict Pretty Lady, the refusal to renew her lease, and the discovery of the body of one of the junkies in a ditch, two blocks away, together with full-fledged police investigation, for Phil to get around to installing the lock. He has not installed a doorbell, however, and has today announced his intention of never installing this doorbell, ever.

Which means that if Pretty Lady's clients arrive sans cell phone, they cannot enter, cannot obtain her services, and cannot pay her fees. If she forgets to un-double-park her car, Hector cannot inform her, and she receives a $150 ticket. If someone sends her a package, she will never receive it. If her friends happen to drop by, she will continue lone and ignorant of their presence. If the building catches on fire beneath her, nobody will be able to inform her of the problem until it is Too Late.

Pretty Lady is being very careful not to make any Sudden Moves, at the moment. Particularly she is avoiding dialling her landlord's phone number, or dropping by his office to pay the rent and engage in conversation, which, given her landlord's temperament, is certain to turn very ugly, very quickly. She finds herself fantasizing about Phil just happening to get run over by a bus. Or falling in the Gowanus Canal. Or running afoul of a drug dealer. Or forgetting to pay off the Mafia. Or getting cornered in a dark alley by adolescents wielding baseball bats. Or all of the above.

11 comments:

danonymous said...

Previously, in the wein of history repeating itself, the elimination of the Neanderthal was manifested by the introduction of the suave and debonair CroMagnon. Does that help?????....at all?

danonymous said...

Ok..Ok...That was jerky and of no help. Sincere apologies. I just don't know what something sounds like until it comes out. Then it's too late. Sigh!!!!!
So...on a serious note....and this may not be a good idea.... but....
it occured to me, as sort of following in your philosophies....
that maybe what was needed was the creation of an opening.... i.e. bake him a delicious apple pie.

And presenting the situation with no strings attached, not coming from weakness, not coming from strength...i.e. always thinking of him as a jerk makes him a jerk, just...openess of heart ( and chakras) and indicating that we both live in this building...together.
I know this is very difficult to do
without reserving the right to call him and think of him as jerk later. But ultimately it is doable.
Good luck, from the heart.

prettylady said...

No, Danny, Phil will NOT be getting an apple pie. What he will be getting, as soon as I have jollied myself into a balanced outlook, is a good-natured, businesslike, and only slightly condescending offer to: 1) call a slew of electricians myself and shop for the best estimate; 2) make the appointment, supervise the work, and pay the electrician, keeping the receipt; 3) deduct the cost of the work from my rent check, in monthly installments if necessary.

Because obviously the job of property management is too difficult for poor stressed-out litle Philly-poo, and obviously it is a higher priority for me to have a functional doorbell than it is for Phil.

Indeed, I have been doing my utmost to treat Phil like the sweetheart he obviously is not, for the last three and a half years. This has netted me a new dishwasher, a used refrigerator that whines like a mosquito, no security gates on my windows, no washer/dryer, poorly maintained hallways, junkies in the foyer for months on end, two eviction threats, and the suspension of my lease.

So success rate for feminine wiles is running about 30%. Not great odds.

thimscool said...

Surely there are some codes or regulations that the good Phil has overlooked?

Surely there are municipal entities that, if they were informed, would create a lot more problems for Phil than installing a buzzer system.

Surely an anonomous letter informing Phil of said violations, and the phone numbers of the municipal authorities that might be interested, would provoke some sort of self-preservation. Such a letter would inform Phil that even a threat of eviction would not save him from the retribution.

No? OK. I'll stop calling you Shirley.

prettylady said...

Thimscool, I am sure there are some such regulations; however, when I checked several NYC tenant's rights websites, the focus was mainly upon how to deal with the "No Heat Or Hot Water" type of landlord.

You see, although NYC has a labyrinthine and oppressive regulatory system, it also has a labyrinthine and oppressive bureaucracy and legal system attached, which means that any invoking thereof is a dangerous proposition. At the very least, any such procedure takes a bare minimum of 10 months and untold headaches, plus possible legal fees.

But I am happy to note that the sanitation department appears to have written dear Phil a citation of some sort, probably thanks to the person storing recyclables in our front yard. Such citations, I hear, cost roughly the amount of installing a doorbell. :-)

And you folks think there's no such thing as karma.

Crow Magnum Man said...

Word.

If that doesn't work, I have a friend, that has a friend, that knows someone in Staten Island who could solve your problem. Probably cheaper than a buzzer system.

Morris said...

I'm just going to state the obvious - that Phil is an arsehole who obviously is not going to do anything about your needs unless forced to.
I suppose in a place like NYC it's not very easy to get another passable apartment?

mitzibel said...

You could always find some tweekers to rig up a complex system of pulleys and rope so that those outside can raise a bright jingly flag to your window. Those morons will do it for about 20 bucks, and they'll stick with the job 'till it works, even if it takes days and days and days.

Or, what my old college roommate did, which was piss into a cup and then empty said cup through her landlord's mail slot. . .

Terrymum said...

Mitzi, you forgot your old standby. But it depends upon whether "dear" Phil has an email account/address that dear pretty lady know about? If so, dear one, go to a public library and use one of their computers to sign him up for NAMBLA and other such offensive mail and/or emails. Then wait a short while for them to start contacting him. Then report his offensive arse (anonymously) to one of the many law enforcement entities tracking those perverts. You can also sign him up for calls from all kinds of service providers, like funeral homes. Think outside the box. Give him some reason to WANT to do your bidding. Or, just take up a collection between the tenants and install the bell yourself! Is it possible to rig up a rope from the sidewalk, going to a bell (an old fashioned clanger/clapper type bell) near your apartment?

Morris said...

I like the way you think, Terrymum! LOL!

mitzibel said...

NAMBLA's newsletter costs 30 bucks per annum, plus you can't be busted just for being a member, whereas death-row inmate pen-pal programs are free. Nothing says "you've pissed someone off" like a ten-page declaration of butt-lust from a man about to be electrocuted for having sex with dead toddlers.