Sunday, October 5, 2008

Welfare and Silver Linings


Phillips St. Fire
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

I've had a cold for the past few days, and have generally felt like warm crap. I went to bed early last night, in hopes of slipping into a light coma and getting some peace and quiet, but was awoken at around 2AM or so by my wife when she arrived home from work. Upon my wakening, she told me that the rental house adjacent to us was ablaze, and that I might what to get out of bed and watch the spectacle.

Now, I'm not normally one for goose-necking, but I just had to watch the fiasco unfold. This house has a long history you see, one that has led to nothing for us (and most of the neighbors) other than pain and frustration.

The house has been a rental unit for some time now, and is owned by a pretty fair character. I've only met him a couple of times, but he's been very personable and friendly enough to allow us to park on his property and use it for access to ours. Unfortunately, he lives out of the Charleston area, and doesn't get to see the day to day welfare madness that we have to put up with.

We've lived here on Byng for about five years now, and have seen at least a half dozen different idiots (everything from goofy teenage skateboarder punks to full blown Chicago drug dealers) roll in and out of the blue rental hut like a strong breeze. They've all left nothing but a wake of unpaid bills and pissed off neighbors in their wake - the typical migratory hillbilly family.

I could tell from day one that this last family that moved into the house was going to be a real pack of winners. During my first conversation with them, they proceeded to tell me of their last living situation in St. Albans and how horrible everybody had treated them, looking for my sympathy and understanding. Having seen this act of paranoia and desperation before, I assured them that I really didn't care, but expected that if they were good to me, they'd see kindness in return.

It didn't take more than a couple of weeks for all the hillbilly fun to begin. Lot's of fighting and slammed doors at the wee hours of the morning, spinning tires and sundry of other redneck annoyances. At least there didn't seem any drug trafficking this time around, which was about the only silver lining in regards to this most recent pack of mouth breathers.

Within the first month all communication ties were severed, and we generally tried to not even look in a northerly direction at the blue rental hut that has caused us such grief. I've dealt with idiots like this before, and knew the best course of action is no action at all - just leave them the hell alone to wallow in misery and debt. To intervene or take action would only lead to slashed tires or missing property.

But, one thing that we have grown accustomed to is the waxing and waning phases of renters. We knew that they too would one day move under a cloud of disgust, and yesterday was that day.

Sadly though, a fire mysteriously broke out in the house just after they left. I'm by no means casting blame - only pointing out convenient timing - and the fact that it looked like somebody set a sofa in the basement on fire.

Anyhow, I wish the property owner the best. I hope that he fixes it up as he's often mentioned, and maybe, just maybe.... actually gets some half way decent renter this time around - one that pays on time and leaves us the hell alone.

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