Friday, December 02, 2005

Sometimes It Just Doesn’t Pay To Live Next Door To A Crack House

You know, this whole apartment ownership thing would be just fine if I hadn’t had the misfortune to buy a place beside the worst triplex in Vanier.

I suppose I don’t any actual proof that they’re selling crack next door, though I have overheard drunk or stoned or perhaps just plain angry/desperate/insane people banging at the door and screaming loudly “Give me my drugs!”

What provokes this outburst, you ask? Especially now that you have such splendidly fine windows and doors that you barely hear anything at all, even when people are standing and yelling in the alley between the two buildings?

My evening was hijacked yesterday, by the following unfortunate circumstance:

I had to drive my downstairs tenant to a car impound place (I’m sure those have a name, but it eludes me at the moment), because a couple of the scary 16-year-olds stole his van and took it for a joy ride. He actually knows who it was because they were dumb enough to run into a lamp-post while a police officer was in the vicinity. The damage from the lamp post was practically non-existent (lost a piece of plastic that looks like it should cover a light bulb, but which actually covers a piece of mirrored steel and seems to serve no purpose). Unfortunately, they were amateurs, so they’ve buggered up the door a bit, and they completely took the entire ignition piece out.

However, as my tenant was sorting through his car retrieving his belongings, we found the screw driver they’d used to accomplish the deed, and he was able to insert it into the hole in the steering wheel and get the car started. They did enough damage to the steering column that we didn’t even have to worry about the steering wheel locking; the pin that would normally accomplish that if your key isn’t in the ignition was also on the floor of the van.

I think he’s even planning to drive it for a few days until he can get rid of it and buy some other old car.

So he’s out 100 bucks for having the car impounded, and who knows how much to get another vehicle. It was a 94 Caravan, so he didn’t have comprehensive insurance. Who would? I certainly didn’t on my old car, figuring, hey, what are the odds anyone would try to steal my 93 Swift? Course, I regretted that one a little bit when my car burnt to a cinder a couple of years ago, but that’s a story for another day. (Besides the fact that anybody who is likely to be reading this has already heard that story).

And it’s not like there’s any hope of getting money out of the dumbass 16 year olds. If they’re hanging around the building next door, they’re either on crack, or their parents are. Well, I suppose their parents might be dealing, but anyway.


And no, I still don’t think it was a bad idea buying the property I did. The cops are around all the time, and I’m sure one day they’ll put away the bad people in the house next door. Or some body will buy the place (it is for sale), evict all the tenants, and do something nice with the place. Demolition, gutting it with renovations, you know, anything like that would do.

It’s gonna happen eventually: they aren’t making any more reasonably nice sized lots within walking distance of downtown, and I can already see the effects of gentrification in the number of new houses that are going up on the quieter streets.

And in the meantime, I have great tenants, who I know would come running to protect me if I ever started screaming.

So don’t you worry, I’ll be fine.


Blogger JennyDR said...

Well T, you know we are in the market for another place. After all, we got to find something to do with our eventual retirement money – besides retiring that is. (Poverty beckons as they say!) Should we spring to “buy the boy next door” and eventually hope to get the whole block? Hey, maybe we can sell the crack? Where to get it though? Think of this as a “family venture”. Is there a move for us that makes sense that doesn’t have Joan and I living in a bread line some where? LOL B

5:35 p.m.  

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