“That Got Me To Thinkin’…?” Chapter 16 “In Defense of My 3 Evictions”
By Bruce Williams
You may not know this, but in my 20’s I was a bit of a drinker. Seventeen years sober now, I’m able to look back at some of the inebriated inanities caused by my misuse of that old, wrecking-ball devil alcohol. Amongst the debris of that wonton era there lied three evictions from the humble abodes that I was renting at the time. Here, I would like to take a look at each eviction individually and state my case on each, and leave it to the reader to decide whether or not they were justified.
In the late ‘80’s, my buddy Pat and I rented an apartment directly across I-5 from Northgate Mall—and we generally had a great time there, working and entertaining friends. After I had attended a wedding on a second date (her sister’s even—I know, kind of weird), we returned to my place in that big Ram van I’ve mentioned previously. Instead of parking up the street that night as I usually did, in my post-wedding enthusiasm I jammed that big Bertha into my previously unused, designated parking slip—forgetting entirely the little domed vent on the top of the van (it was a camper-converter of sorts). The dome’s hard plastic cover was summarily torn off, leaving just three metal prongs pointed upward that proceeded to carve three thick grooves into the popcorn ceiling of the low covered parking leading directly to my space. We left it as is, and headed upstairs to my unit. I woke up with a headached start at 5:00 a.m., and hurriedly went down and moved it back out to street parking, leaving a trail of fiberglass and sheet rock like a dimwitted Hansel. Surprisingly in the days to come, no mention was ever made by management of this unfortunate incident, but several months later they came to us with eviction paperwork citing the spewed aftermath of a party in the hallway upstairs that they were blaming us for (miraculously not ours this time—there was a reason why those apartments were so cheap). Well, standing wrongly accused and forced to move, we decided to take a slightly old pound of hamburger left over while cleaning out the fridge and place it gently behind the mid-hallway fire door that always remained pinned open. Three days later while dropping off the keys for the final time, the suspicious manager demanded to know what that horrific smell was we’d left behind—it was like the angry wrath of a hundred dirty diapers. I offered a sympathetic shrug and suggested that she check with the folks upstairs.
Plea: Not guilty of the actual offense charged.
A few years passed and Pat was moving to Florida, so we were having a blowout at the studio I’d claimed for myself on First Hill (the fussily monikered Chassleton Apartments). We were playing quarters with three nice gals we’d met earlier that evening and our buddy Buffrone (self-dubbed, and assuredly the independent subject of a future column). Well the girls were camped out at length in the bathroom doing what girls do in there, when Pat and I noticed that Buffrone had also gone missing. I checked out in the hallway, and espied his silhouette out on the fire escape—smoking harmlessly, I figured. Suddenly I heard raised voices, so I went to join him on the fourth-floor platform, just in time to see the hair-lipped assistant manager bounding up the metal stairs from his first floor unit directly below. Shaking with fury, he described how my friend’s ropy urination stream had coiled down inside his open, steel-barred window and had splashed all over the sill as well as his potted ferns. “You’re outta here!” he bellowed, crooked finger pointing directly under my chin before he determinedly stomped back downstairs. “Sorry Willie,” was all Buffrone could offer with a toothy smile. Within a week I was, indeed, out of there.
Plea: Willing to plead “guilty by association” to a lesser offense.
The final eviction came at the home I held directly after that incident. Now with a few black marks on my rental resume, I found a “wanted to share” in a brand new house on Sandpoint Way. The owner was a 40-ish woman who resided downstairs with her own separate kitchen and bathroom. The main floor was left for myself and the current resident—Keith—whom she described as a Boeing worker, quiet and generally keeping to himself. “Perfect,” I thought—that is until he showed me some of his strange pornography involving cartoon aliens (just what role did he play in this fantasy scenario?—Either way, it was troubling), and his collection of guns that he would brandish in his full-length mirror B-movie style, punctuating poses with surprisingly limber high kicks. Some relatively peaceful time went by with only a few other odd occurrences with stringy-haired Keith (his strange dietary habits duly noted), until one day I came home and asked him where all my disinfecting products had gone—I’d left them on the counter after I’d cleaned the bathroom. “I threw them out!” he erupted out of nowhere with a bony finger in my face (I must have a mug that attracts erect fingers). Instinctively I slapped the offending digit out of my purview, infuriating him and causing him to rush me head on. In the ensuing ruckus I was able to pin him on the couch— “Are you going to calm down now?” I questioned him twice, the homeowner Linda now appearing nervously upstairs as I let him up. Scurrying to his room to get God knows what, she pled with me to leave for the night so I did, but as I was walking down the driveway to my van (isn’t that the saddest phrase?), Keith appeared in the upper window threatening to kill me if I ever came back. My response was to look up and counter, “Shuttup, you 30-year old virgin!” Down the stairs he tore (armed, I figured) so into Old Blue I jumped, peeling away as I heard a large thunk! strike its considerable side. The end result of the set to was that I did indeed move out and Keith had to pay me $300 for the rock dent he caused on the vehicle’s port side.
Plea: Not guilty, Keith was a weird asshole and in retrospect he might’ve been sploinking Linda.
Well, I hope you haven’t formed too poor of an opinion of me, though in those old drinkin’ days it might’ve been somewhat deserved. I leave you with my pleas and the verdicts open to your own interpretations. Please mete out justice with compassion and consideration of the years flown right since these souring transgressions. Submitted here for your perusal…