Words and Thoughts — July 27, 2023

Hello again, alleged readers! I hope that when someone inquires about your condition, that you are able to respond, “well.” I, unfortunately, cannot honestly answer “well.” I am sub-well. I’ve been apartment hunting for what seems like years at this point. Since March of 2017, I have been calling prospective lords and ladies of the land, to rent or lease an apartment. The apartment, though, is not for me. You see, on that fateful day in March, I was paper-macheing a balloon with old newspaper to serve as a piñata, to celebrate Northwest Missouri State’s Men’s Division II Basketball National Championship. As I was laying one of the strips of newspaper, I read a classified ad from August 2014 indicating that an individual named Matt was seeking an apartment. Ever since reading that, I have tirelessly been on the search for an apartment for Matt, hoping every day that today is the day I get to call Matt with the good news.  

No luck yet, and it’s really starting to impede my ability to enjoy the simple things in life, like watching reruns of Zoloft commercials.  

I consider myself a moderately skilled negotiator. As such, when the prospective landlord answers the phone, I try to show them how sincerely I wish to secure their apartment. I cut them right off, before they even finish saying “Hello”. Why make them waste their words and time? I shout (to give them some extra razzle dazzle), “DO YOU ALLOW RACCOONS??” I’d be severely remiss not to first establish all possible parameters governing Matt’s new home prior to securing the place for him! Obviously, my immediate follow ups would be to work my way through the Procyon genus: “Do you allow northern raccoons? Do you allow Cozumel raccoons? Do you allow Crab-eating raccoons?” It would be at this point, based on the rapport built with the prospective landlord heretofore, and the general tenor of the conversation, that I’d make a critical judgement call: Do I then ask if they allow crab-eating raccoons that eat crab-Rangoon, followed up by all the other foods I can think of, one at a time? Or do I save the food-based questions for later, and work my way up the animal classification into the broader Procyonidae Family: Coatis, olingos, kinkajous, and what have you and such, and then onward to all other orders of animalia? Naturally, this would go on until I could complete this cartesian product of a checklist over the next several weeks or months to then have satisfactorily completed my due diligence for Matt before advising future land-person, “we’ll get back to you”. Like I said: moderately skilled negotiator.  

Alas, I never once have gotten to a single follow up question after the initial raccoon inquiry. Nine out of ten times their first response is, “what?” or “huh?”; and I simply can’t allow Matt to rent from someone who is so clearly pre-disposed to precipitating these sorts of communication breakdowns. It’s just not healthy, and certainly not someone to enter into a six-month lease agreement with!  

Matt, hang in there, buddy. In the meantime, if any of you have any Zoloft commercials on tape that you’re not using anymore, please send them my way!