Ms. Wallaces’ Neighborhood

Or…Strange Tales Of Apartment Living

Today, I thought I’d give you something to chuckle about. There is a lot of serious, bad stuff going on in the world and sometimes you just need to laugh at the absurdity of life.

Remember Mr. Rogers Neighborhood? A neighborhood filled with puppets and a clanging trolley and a friendly man with a sweater and a soft voice?

My neighborhood has a cast of revolving neighbors. I live in an apartment in a big city. Unlike TV apartment complexes (like say…oh Melrose Place…) there is very little interaction between the people living in my complex. No Heather Locklear, no hook ups, no blowing people or stuff up (that I know of). I’m gone all day at work so frankly I don’t see any neighbors except on the stairs or in the parking lot or at the mailbox.

But occasionally some neighbors will make an impression….

I’m reading your mind…and it is a scary place

Like the guy several years ago who decided that my roommate and I had a device in a bedroom closet that was reading his mind. Yes…his mind. I do not know what sort of device reads minds. Alien probe? Vulcan Grip? Super-charged lie detector? A laser sent from the future by John Conner of The Terminator fame? We learned of this mind-melding when the landlady came to our apartment to warn us about his complaint. Yes…he complained to the landlady about this so-called mind-reader device. The landlady came, not to check the apartment for weapons of mind destruction, but to warn us that there was a guy downstairs running around with a metal colander and tinfoil on his head to prevent mind-tapping (But seriously, would I WANT to tap anything going on in that person’s mind?)

Dysfunction Junction…Parking Lot Wars

Then there was the Fight Club Couple. Every night this couple would have a fight in the parking lot. And when I say night, I really mean 2:00 am, which I think is when the guy (I’ll call him Wail-Baby, you’ll see why soon) came home from work. The reason I know he came home at 2:00 am is because every night at 2:00 am I would get woken up when the girl (let’s call her Flippin’ Crazy, you’ll see why in a sec) would ambush him in the parking lot and start accusing him of cheating on her. So at 2:00 am…I would hear “No…baby…no!” This plaintive wail did not come from Flippin’ Crazy Girl. No, this whiny, nails-on-chalkboard, groveling, wheezing, sobbing sound came from Wail-Baby Guy. Once the “No…baby…no!” started, the fight was on people and it was ugly and painful for my ears and my temper. There would be low-voiced rumbles from Flippin’ Crazy, continued sniveling from Wail-Baby. Then Wail-Baby would finally stop groveling and turn ugly-mean. Shouting would ensue on both sides. This went on for weeks. Every night, same fight, same pattern. I wanted to get up and shout down at Flippin’ Crazy and tell her that she had two choice.

1-He is cheating on you every night…and you need to get out

2-You’re Flippin’ Crazy and delusional…and you need to get out

Things finally came to a head when one of them – no one is really quite sure – threw a patio chair over the balcony. Police arrived for that one. Finally, I think the apartment folks made them leave because one day they were gone.

Mr. and Mrs. Sneezer

Things are quieter now…except for the couple next door. I have no idea who they are. Never actually seen them. The only thing I know about them is that they both sneeze…very loudly. I’m not talking dainty little squeaks. No…they are super-sonic, decibel-breaking, eardrum-splitting sneezes. I’ve never heard sneezes this loud in my life. They usually let loose late at night, in pairs or sometimes threes…and they scare the bejeezus outta’ me every time. And what’s weird is they both sneeze the exact same way. His is just an octave lower. The only other thing I hear from that apartment is what sounds like a very loud Skype conversation on the computer…in what may or may not be Chinese??? I’m not sure which, but it’s some sort of Asian language judging by the sing-songy tonal quality. So I wonder…is brain-blowing sneezes a cultural thing for them? Do they not bother to muffle their sneezes for health reasons? I guess if you TRIED to muffle something that powerful you really would blow a gasket in your brain or at the very least develop one of those unsightly blood-vessel burstings that people sometimes get so that their eyes turn Bloody Mary red. Or is it considered a show of strength to sneeze loudly enough to blow over one of the 3 Little Pigs’ houses? Do they do it to scare sleeping enemies into a heart attack? I also wonder…is it painful to sneeze that loudly? Does their face hurt from the impact? Do they ever fear they’ll actually break their nose? And finally…what kind of Kleenex is required after such an explosion? Industrial-strength? Quadruple-ply? Or do you just dispense with Kleenex altogether and opt for a shower instead?

Do you have any weird apartment stories? Any strange neighbors or strange sightings?

4 Comments

Filed under Let's Laugh

4 responses to “Ms. Wallaces’ Neighborhood

  1. Aryn

    Here is a top ten list of things that actually happened in our old building. We call it the Top Ten List of Reasons to Move Out of Your Apartment:
    10. You open your front door and discover a smashed watermelon.
    9. Cigarette butts rain from the sky.
    8. A band moves in upstairs and practices drums for 12 hours straight.
    7. Your upstairs neighbors jump on a trampoline at midnight.
    6. Your landlord issues a warning that anyone putting their dog in the pool will be evicted.
    5. There’s a couch in your neighbor’s parking space.
    4. Every time your landlord issues a written warning to all the tenants he makes a point to tell you it’s not about you.
    3. Your neighbor floods your bathroom by flushing baby wipes down their toilet. They don’t have a baby.
    2. Your neighbor uses the garden for storing holiday decorations and a large princess doll draped in Mardi Gras beads.
    1. You interrupt a burglary-in-progress while leaving early for work after your neighbor invites a gay prostitute into the building and then passes out while on meth.

  2. I lived in an apartment complex for three years, and like you, I met very few neighbors. I don’t have any stories as funny as yours. One night some very intoxicated guy knocked on my bedroom window and insisted I let him in. He didn’t want to believe he had the wrong apartment. Oh, and if the loud uncovered sneezing is a cultural thing, it sure wasn’t done in my family!

  3. Thanks! I needed this today. I got some great laughs from your article. Keep ‘em comin’.

  4. Marisol

    So funny Kristin! Pictured them all- Apartment living at it’s finest:)

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