It is well established that the world is filled with idiots and assholes. They are everywhere. An idiot at work, an asshole at the store... well, you get the drift. Between these two types of people, there exists a smaller (though by no means rare) subset of the two: The Hybrid Idiot/Asshole. These people are extremely difficult to deal with, as logic is usually way down near the bottom on their list of values. While it is impossible to avoid this breed entirely (barring complete isolation), I have been developing my ability to quickly identify and cut off interaction with this type over the past several years. This is the story of one grand failure to do so on my part.
A Bit Of Background:
Now, I consider myself a generally good-natured, considerate chap most of the time. As a full time student, part time employee, and part time drunkard, there is simply no time for me to go around causing a ruckus these days. I mostly keep to myself and try to do as little damage to those around me as possible.
Flashback Three Months:
I'm splitting rent with a buddy near the local university when it comes about that my roommate is to be transferred by his employer to another state. This is cool with me, as I was interested in finding cheaper digs anyhow. After a bit of searching, I find a wonderfully inexpensive shithole in my birth-city, about twenty miles away from my previous flat. This place is creepy enough to be interesting, and cheap enough to keep me in the brew. Furnished with smoke/filth stained chairs and lamps, and decorated with paintings of anguished clowns and black men embracing, this place was looking good... a virtual manifestation of my self. Shit, it even came with a walk-in drainpipe closet where I could go to sob when things weren't going my way. Electricity and heat were included all for the low low lonely price of $350 per month. The only downside of the deal was that the bathroom was across the hall from the apartment, but hell, I wasn't afraid to make use of a pissbottle, so no big deal.
Meet Joe Stumpo:
After thinking to myself, "Hot damn! My dream slum!", I march into the landlord's office on the first floor of the building and tell him that I would like to rent. Mr. Stumpo sat behind a desk piled with stacks of yellowed papers and an old typewriter. He appeared to be in his early 70's and had bug eyes, perma-stubble, and smegma crust surrounding his mouth.
"What's your name young man?", the old coot queried.
"Jeremy. I am interested in apartment number two."
"Ok, Jerome... whaddya like to be called?"
"Well, my name is Jeremy, but I guess you can call me J-Duece Love."
"Ok, Jerry, the rent will be $350 per month with a $350 security deposit. Oh yeah, I need it in cash."
"Cash? That will be a pain in the ass. Why cash, Mistah Stumpo?"
"Well, I don't really want the government to know what I am doing here."
At this point, the idiot alarm in my head was buzzing as it does with far too many people. Ah, what the fuck, I thought. He hadn't shown much sign of being an asshole yet, so I agreed to rent from him, signed his fourteenth generation photocopy of the building rules, paid him my $350 deposit, and got the keys. I would move in on the weekend when I had time to transfer my bullshit excuses for possessions from there to here. He pulled his crooked, angiomatic hand out of his ass long enough to shake my hand and and clutch my shoulder in a way that any mildly senile, aging shyster faggot would do.
A few weeks go by without much incident, except a couple times where Old Stumps had entered my apartment while I was sleeping for no explicable reason. I also had gotten a bunch of these types of notes on my door:
What the shit? Typed out onto a cut up envelope complete with mistakes, corrections, greetings, and handwritten signatures were these helpful little messages keeping me up to date on my living situation.
Several weeks go by, and things are the way they should be. I be getting my Old Milwaukee on, my study on, and as surprising as it may seem, not getting my fuck on. Right on.
One fine evening, after a long day of doing a bunch of things and wondering why the fuck I was doing them, I run up the dingy, corrosive hallway to my apartment door to find this note taped up for my attention:
Hmmm... this must be urgent! Or maybe not. Maybe it's only urgent if I get home after five. Either way, the man was using red ink, and we all know what that means. I decided to call just after five to find out where the fire the was.
Me: What? Him: You use too much electricity. Me must raise rent on you! Me: No way, I move somewhere else. Me just need security deposit back. Him: No way fuck you I take it. You STEALING ELECTRICITY! Me: You crazy! Electric included in rent! Him: No, I see you 20 computers! Man across street with prostate problem watch you all nite. He piss all the time, and he see you up with lights and computers running! You run lights all night for YOUR BUSINESS!! Me: Me get home very late. Me use one computer to do homework. You crazy mang! Him: I sue you for stealing!
Now admittedly, I do have three computers. However, I only use one of them ever since my extra 29 fingers were lost in the Howie Mandell Incident of 2002. Apparently, he counted each keyboard, t-shirt, vcr, and aspirin as a computer when he tallied my inventory.
The next day (December 9), I get home and find this on my door:
Oh schnap! This was a LEGAL EVICTION notice (note the back-date)! I knew it was legal because it was typed on half-sheet of COLORED PAPER. And some of the words were CAPITALIZED!
Since then, I have gotten a couple more notes on my door, all of them in official blue half-sheet form:
note: Stumps must have taken a look at his paperwork and realized that my name was not, in fact, one of the several different names that he had assigned me. I can only imagine that since Jeremy did not exist in his realm of possible names, he just shortened it up to J.
Now, I'm thinking that I have a few options here:
1. Stay where I am, forcing him to try to legally evict me, then call the IRS. Pros: He doesn't have legal grounds to evict me. This will probably cost him more money than it's worth. More hilarious notes on my door. He gets busted for tax fraud. Cons: I don't really want to stay anymore. This still won't get me my deposit back.
2. Move out at the end of the month, take him to small claims court for my security deposit, then call the IRS. Pros: I won't have to smell Old Man Stumpo anymore. He gets busted for tax fraud. Cons: No more haha on my door. Need to find a place to live... quickly.
3. Set myself on fire, call IRS. Pros: Long overdue relief from this existence. He gets busted for tax fraud. Cons: I don't get to see how it turns out. Doesn't get me my deposit back.
So, I decided to leave Stump a nice christmas card. I was feeling festive.
Here's the front:
And the inside:
I also enclosed the following tribute image:
Score one for Stumpo:
This morning, I'm crawling out of bed, thirsty as hell and slightly hung over. I had to leave for work in about 30 minutes when I hear a pounding on my door. "Jerry?", I hear. "Yeah." "Niagara Falls Police Department. Can we talk?" "(Fuck.) Sure."
I throw on some clothes and open up for the law man. Old man Stumpo and a young cop are standing there. The cop is holding my Christmas card in his hand. Holy fuck. The guy called the police because of my loving gesture. "What's this all about?", the cop asked me as he opened up my artwork. "It's a joke, officer." "I don't think it's very funny, and neither does Mr. Stumpo here." That cop knew goddamn well that it was funny. Anyhow, I say: "Looks like it hasn't won Mr. Stumpo's heart, but I figured I should try to lighten the mood, with Christmas here and all." "Well, do something like this again, and you will be charged with harassment." Yeah, ok. "Alright, officer. Sincere apologies." "Do you mind if I take a look around the apartment?" "I'd rather you didn't. It's a mess in there and I have to get to work." I wasn't sure if I had anything lying around that might incriminate me, so there was no way I was letting them in. After a few minutes of back and forth between the cop and Stumpo trying to convince me to let them in, I says to them, I says, "Look, I gotta get to work. I'm sorry, but I can't let you in." This did the trick and they left after some talk between the man in blue and the man in pampers regarding a search warrant.
Cool. Time to shower and get to work. Now remember, my bathroom is across the hall from my apartment, so I have to keep a key inside the bathroom to let myself back in to the apartment after I do my washings. After showering, I dry off, throw my boxers and t-shirt on, and reach on top of the mirror for my key. Gone! Stumpo, that Magnicifent Son-of-a-Bitch, that Master of the Occult had taken my goddamned key! Fuck. It's about 4 degrees above zero outside, I am soaking wet with only a t-shirt and boxers on, I have to leave for work in about 5 minutes, and I'm locked out of my dismal sleep-hole.
At this point, I have no choice. I have to go walk outside in the snow to Stumpo's office and try to get him to let me back in. Failing that, I would have to walk to a payphone a few blocks away. Barefoot.
I get outside my door, and Booya! The cop is still there talking with Stumpo in the lobby to the office. They see me, come outside and Stumpo shouts: "See, He's drunk! He came outside and forgot his shoes."
I explained to the cop the situation, and the old man is ordered to let me back in my apartment. The three of us are standing in the hallway between my apartment and my bathroom when Stumpo pipes up: "Where was your key, Jerry?" "It was on the mirror, right where took it from."
Stumpo goes into the bathroom for a few seconds and comes out with my key in his hand. "It was there all along. I told you he was drunk!"
At this point, I'm pretty sure the cop realizes what a clown this guy is, and starts writing a bunch of stuff on his report. Flustered, I tried to explain to the cop that Stumpo was a nutcase. "Forget about it. Just get yourself to work, Jerry.", the cop says. Stumpo let me in and then I left for work.
You win this round, Stumpmaster.
Well, there have been no new personal encounters with the old man-hag, but I was lucky enough to wake up yesterday to another one of his clever typewritten notes:
Apparently, this one was some kind of self-affirmation which somehow accidentley landed on my door.
"I want him out by the last day of the month, and no longer. I will sue for money if he doesn't do as I wish. I want him out by the last day of the month, and no longer." Clarence Darrow-Stumpo then goes on to use a straight edge to underline in red ink the most important words. Even I, Stumpo's mortal enemy cannot argue with the fact that just about all of the words are the important ones.
So I moved the last of my shit out last night after finding temporary shelter with a family friend. Stumpo has been on the down low for the past several days, not answering phones or returning messages in an attempt to dodge paying back my security deposit. This morning, I decided to pay the man a visit at his office to find out what the problem with his phone is. I pull up to the building to find Stumpo's purple luxury sports car parked in the back. I pull up next to his whip, grab my disposable Kodak and head to his door. Loud knock on the door. Nothing. Louder knock on the blinded office window. Still nothing. He has to come out sometime, so I decide to wait it out. About ten minutes later, he comes out into his lobby, but does not open the glass door to let us share a few memories and laughs. He yells to me through the glass: "COME BACK IN 20 MINUTES!" "WHAAAAT?" I pretend not to hear. "COME BACK IN 20 MINUTES!" "WHAAAAT?" I lean my ear close to the glass "COME BACK IN 20 MINUTES!" "WWWHHHHHYYYYY?" "YOU NEVERMIND WHY" I pull out my ninja-cam at this point, and furiously click away. Fuck! The damn camera has one of those wheels that you need to roll to pull the film to the proper position. I quickly spin the wheel and aim for another shot. Scared and confused, Stumpo hides his face behind a decorative circle on the door. I lean to the side to get a better vantage point, and he adjusts. We dance like this for a few seconds before it dawns on the handsome devil that he could simply walk back into his office and shut the door. On his way, I snapped a piece of art:
Ok, I thought. The small time crook is probably busy conducting official business on his typewriter. I oblige the sentiment and give him his time.
Eventually, I get anxious and knock again. "WAIT A FEW MORE MINUTES. THE COPS ARE ON THEIR WAY." Fair enough. I nod and tap my forehead with my index finger to let him know that we have just connected. I move my car across the street, crack open a bag of pistachio nuts and a pack of smokes and wait. About 1/2 hour later, I see the good fella open up his door and wave me over to him. I jump out my ride and head over, leaving my camera behind in case da po-po show up and try to take my thunder. As I head over, I see another of his official blue half-sheets in his hand. This can't not be good, I say out loud to myself. When I arrive at his door, he unlocks his door and tells me that the coppers will be a while (refused to respond to his larks). He presents me with some sort of release form. I didn't get to keep it, but it went something like this:
When I tell him that I'm going to need my entire deposit back, he becomes visibly irritated and tries to shut the door. I grabbed the door and hold it open. We can't end things like this. "I need my whole deposit back, Mr. Stumpo." "If you refuse to sign this, you will get nothing. Let go of the door!" "Gimme a break. This ain't right." "If you don't let go of the door, I'm gonna kick you in the fucking head!" He puts both hands on the door and tries to force it shut with all the pathetic might that any overdue gentile would be able to gather. I give a little slack on the door and hold it about two inches ajar. Stumpo's synapses catch fire, he cups his hands to his mouth and cries: "HEEEELLLLP!" "HEEEELLLLP!" I realize that I'm being a jerk and let go of the door. From behind the door, Joe gets a well deserved last word with: "Go stick your head... IN A TOILET!"
That evening, I come to find out that Stumpo had called my mother (I must have put her down as a reference), and told her that her son is drunk and driving around on public roads. She tells him that she will make sure I stay on private roads while drinking and hangs up the phone.