Springer Show Extras

January 03, 2006

Apartment living sucks. It’s like living on the back lot of the Jerry Springer Show during audition season.

The apartment we moved into in late June 2004 has three apartments sharing direct contact, one to the south, one to the west, and one upstairs.

South The neighbor to our south was a little old lady who’s only contribution to our lives was a false fire alarm. We were only aware of her being there on those rare occasions when we were coming or going at the same time. Otherwise her apartment was a black hole of silence. Perfect apartment neighbor. Then one day she came and knocked on the door saying her smoke detector was going off. When asked if there was smoke or fire she said no. I thought it was the intermittent beep that happens when the battery is running low. Grabbing the kitchen stool I followed her into her apartment. Sure enough there was a loud, repeating beeping coming from the bedroom. Once up on top of the stool I realized the sound was coming from the bed side table alarm clock and not the smoke detector. Turns out she had been out of town for a week and forget to reset the alarm before leaving.

West On the day we moved in we nearly put the bed in the west bedroom. However, as we were putting the frame together we could hear through the wall the television of the neighbors to the west. That was enough for us to move our bedroom to the east bedroom. Even today, whenever I go into the west room, or the west bathroom I can hear the constant dull murmur of television through the wall. I think they leave it on all the time, day and night.

Upstairs Our original upstairs neighbors were two twenty-something males who both worked for a local lawn care company. Their garage stall, which shared a common wall with our bedroom, was full of lawn supplies and two motorcycles. Their single allowed parking space was filled with three trucks. Two commercial pickups from the lawn care business, and a personal pickup. The eight apartments that shared the parking pad each were allowed one space in addition to their garage stall. And the lease quite clearly stated that the garage could not be used solely for storage. We complained early and often as having the lot full of their huge vehicles made getting into and out of our garage stall difficult. They were also noisy with their stereo from time to time. We were both pleased last spring when they moved out

The apartment sat empty for several months, and we enjoyed ever moment of silence knowing that the peace would not last for long. Every time we’d hear the place being shown I’d peer out the peep hole and try to get an idea of who was looking at it. One couple was pregnant and had a two-year-old sized crumb cruncher in tow. We were very relived when they didn’t rent.

The renters turned out to be a twenty-something couple. At first we were barely aware of them, but there were some early warning signs that Michele picked up on that have been born out by the soap opera like proceedings I live under now.

I really need a low-light video camera so I can capture these special moments forever. Maybe I could create one of those “digital camera, $500, apartment rent $1000, neighbors who want to be on the Springer Show, priceless” commercials and put it on the Internet.

P.S. Their miniature dachshund shits all over my concrete patio.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.