Thursday, January 19, 2023

I have a short, unpleasant one and I don’t mean my temper… yet

DISCLAIMER: There is nothing to be gained by reading this; I just needed to vent.

Earlier yesterday I was returning home from running errands up the street and was back in my apartment building, standing downstairs at the elevator, hoping to make it upstairs in time to watch Emergency! on Cozi TV.

So I’m just standing there, and this man sidles up beside me.  Do you remember Pat Paulsen from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour?  The salt & pepper haired comedian who ran for president? 

This guy is his clone.

Well, sort of.  According to Google, Pat Paulsen was 5’8” but the man beside me can’t be any taller than 5’4”—and he can’t weigh more than 95 lbs.

I consider myself a pretty average person, but compared to this fella I’m positively hulky.  Anyway, I don’t know his name so I’ll just call him Pat.  Pat is wearing baggy shorts, a t-shirt that must be sized 4XL as it hangs down to his hairy knees, white ankle socks and leather sandals.  He looks around 70 years old.

He says “Do you live here?” I say “Um… yes.”  There’s no hellos or good mornings or introductions or how are yous… just this.  We ride up in silence.

We both get off on the 4th floor, and he says “I am not happy here!  I had the nicest apartment in Maryland, with a den and access to the roof.  I gave it up to be closer to my daughter who lives up the street in Bellevue, and I’m not satisfied at all, and the landlord won’t let me move to the vacant apartment on the quiet side of the building because it’s the same rent and I’ve only been here 5 weeks and I have to be here six months to even request a change!”

I’m confused and look to the left & right of me.  No one else is around, is he wearing one of those Bluetooth phone gizmos in his ear?  Nope, he must be talking to me.

He says “I told them they must not care too much about their tenants and I told my daughter I’d be surprised if I met anyone here who’s lived at this address longer than 1-2 years.  How long have you lived here?” 

I tell him five years… cough.

He says “I’m on the other end, 412.  There’s a hundred things wrong with it and I won’t even get into the layout.  It has this… WINDOW in the livingroom that fills the room with so much sun I tan while watching my tv!  I’ve got this little kitchen that is no bigger than the walk-in closet I had in my apartment in Maryland.  And there are NO curtain rods in the dining room or bedroom windows—only mini blinds!  I’ll have to install them myself!”

He proceeds telling me a dozen other things wrong with his place. 

I don’t say a word, but 412 is an exact copy of my apartment—only his unit has brand new carpeting and a new glazed tub and mine doesn’t.    

He says “Does your shower have a window?  I asked them to install a privacy-shutter on mine and they never answered my request.  My daughter likes my shower because she only has a tub at her place, but she’s got a chest like her mother, and my ex is a Swede if you get my meaning.“

Anita Ekberg suddenly comes to mind.  There is NO WAY this man was married to a woman like Anita Ekberg!  I say “That window is pebbled glass, you can’t see thru it.” 

He says “She showers with it open!”  How does he know?  I don’t ask, but tell him his side of the building is next to the church, his bathroom faces a stone wall.  He doesn’t say anything.

I look at my watch.  I’ve now missed the first half of Emergency!

Just then I see my friend Opal (who lives down the hall) step out of her apartment.  She sees the two of us at the elevator and hurries the opposite way towards the stairwell. 

When has Opal ever hurried anywhere, or taken the stairs?  I have a feeling she’s met this man before.

Pat says “Our property manager, what’s his name?  Nick?  Takes forever to return my calls.  Have you ever met this clown?  He sounds like one of these macho types over the phone.  I’m up to HERE with those types!”  

I said “There’s no Nick.  You must mean Nicole.”  He says “I bet you’re sorry you asked me anything!”

I NEVER ASKED HIM A DAMN THING!!  I furrowed my brow and tried to look like I was coming down with rabies or something, but he didn’t even notice.  Pat was now spinning in place, once, twice.   He thumped his sides with his fists and said “This place is the pits!”

I said “Well, good luck finding something out there that suits you” and began walking as quickly as I could towards my apartment. 

He called out after me “Who said I was looking??” 

 

50 comments:

  1. Sorry you missed your show to spend it with that clown. I think it was a good post, I can relate. :-)

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    1. Thanks DJan, I suppose it's one of the many perks from apartment living!

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  2. Sounds like he needed to vent! Follow Opal’s lead and avoid this guy. I did laugh throughout the story, sorry! Joyce

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    1. Joyce, haha--that just occurred to me (about the venting). What comes around, goes around! You just made ME chuckle, so thank you :^)

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  3. I can understand your frustration but that was one hilarious story!

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    1. Haha--thank you Bobi! I guess when I put it down on paper (so to speak) I can see the humor in it too--but the man was too much! :^)

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  4. Dug, you could write a book (or a blog) called "Only Encounters in the Building". We watch the show "Only Murders in the Building". Those of us that don't live in apartments miss out on all those encounters. Pros and cons I imagine, but still good writing material.

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    1. Thanks Rian, you make a good point. At least this joker gave me something to write about on my blog! πŸ™‚

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  5. Hi Doug, wow, you ran into an interesting character! Great story but not very pleasant for you. We haven’t lived in an apartment for 37 years and I certainly don’t miss the awkward rides in elevators. I love Opal’s reaction. That would definitely be me.πŸ˜†
    Have a good weekend.❤️

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    1. Hi Robin! I know I share a lot of neighbor stories (probably too many) but with 100 apts here and new tenants always moving in... sometimes it's too hard to resist. :^) Well, if I had a lovely home like yours I'd trade this place in for sure. Thanks for your (always) kind feedback my friend. :^)

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  6. Well Mr. Dug, you handled that well. At least I didn't see any national news about apartment murders in Philly. I feel sorry for the daughter. He must've caused trouble where he used to live if he needed "to move closer to his daughter." Each apartment complex must have their token jerk. The guy will never be happy. He's spoiled, and probably doesn't have to pay for his apartment. I sense he may be a peeping Tom too. Maybe he'll be gone in a few months. If he insists on interacting, you could treat him like a child, and tell him if he isn't going to talk like a nice grown-up, that you're not interested. Your bloggers love being your sounding board. Hang in there! Linda in Kansas

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    1. Thank you Linda, I always enjoy your feedback--but for the record, I live in Pittsburgh, not Philadelphia! I have no idea why he moved here all the way from Maryland to be closer to his daughter, but I must admit I am very curious to know what she looks like. Dressed, of course. :^)

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    2. Oops, sorry. My memory is slothy in the morning, and from out here on the plains of Kansas, stuff in Pennsylvania just seems like one big spot. Pittsburgh with an "h" at the end. Kansas has a tiny town called Pittsburg, without the fancy "h" at the end. Please let us know if you see the daughter but be prepared that she may not look like a movie star. Cheers, Linda in Kansas

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    3. Haha! Linda no problem and to be honest, I get confused myself when it comes to Kansas City being in Missouri :^) And if I ever see this man's offspring, I'll let everyone know. I have no big expectations. :^)

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    4. To confuse you further: Most of Kansas City IS on the Missouri side. We have a north/south road called "State Line Road." The budgets are so different, you'll see the Kansas side of that street plowed of snow long before Missouri plows get around to it. We have a squiggly part of the east/west Missouri and Kaw River that further divides the Kansas side, so we really DO have a Kansas City, KANSAS that's on the northwest part of our metro. But it's pretty small. South of that river division on the Kansas side is an assortment of suburbs that make up the snooty, richer part of the metro. I live in one of the poor parts of the Kansas suburbs. You've probably heard of Overland Park, KS and Olathe, KS. Both sides share sports and theatre, but most are within Missouri. Missouri RNs aren't required to attend any continuing education EVER; Kansas RNs are required to get 30 CEUs every 2 years. And the metro does have a lot of trees and hills, along with many Civil War and Native American Indian sites. Cheers, Linda in Kansas

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    5. Thanks for sharing all that, Linda! I'm only vaguely familiar with it as my (estranged) brother attended law school and met his fiance (who grew up) there in the early 80s. I was surprised he returned to Pennsylvania, as he was very fond of KC.

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  7. I wrote a comment, I swear. Perhaps I didn't press publish. Anyway, to recap, I love venting posts and your stories are amazing, Doug! I think he sounds lonely and unhappy but listening to a constant barrage of unsolicited negativity is TOUGH. Glad you finally escaped!

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    1. Thanks Margaret! I'm sorry about your first comment not getting published, I'll have to check my blogger spam folder. But thank you for this my friend very nicely said. By the way, when I told you yesterday I was cranky, this was why. πŸ™‚

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  8. I think Rian is on to something there! "Only Encounters in the Building" would be a best seller!!! Poor Pat -- he has a serious attitude handicap. Also, poor Pat's daughter. She's likely already regretting her Dad's move. You must be a magnet for folks needing to get things off their chest. Very entertaining, Doug. I love these shares.

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    1. Florence, you always make me feel better when I share these neighbor stories. As for Pat's daughter, I'm sorry but you just paid me laugh out loud. I hope she's okay! Thanks as always, Florence. πŸ™‚

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  9. This is why God made DVRs, Doug. :) After living in single-family homes all my life I don't think I could handle that kind of communal living. I need some space between me and even the neighbors I like.

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    1. Anon, this is the first time since 1983 I don't have a video recorder of some sort, there's only a couple shows I still watch on regular tv :^) As for communal living. people are pretty good at respecting each other's space here. I just like apt living I guess :)

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  10. This guy sounds very depressed and unhappy. I sense he would be unhappy wherever he lived. He chose you for his sounding board. Opal must know him given that she disappeared quickly. Opal will have something to say the next time she sees you.

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    1. Thanks Susan--I do think the man is a chronic complainer, he just has that vibe about him. This just happened yesterday, so I'm anxious to know what Opal knows :^)

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  11. I started chuckling pretty good as soon as I got to " She sees the two of us at the elevator and hurries the opposite way towards the stairwell."

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    1. Haha--thanks Shawn! Well, it's true and the minute I saw her scoot the other direction everything clicked :^)

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  12. My goodness, your encounters with the various residents in your apartment building sounds like a sit com. You should write it all down.
    Oh hang on, you are doing that.

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  13. I don’t know why my comment got published as anonymous. I haven’t been tinkering or anything.
    Peter T

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    1. Peter it's not your fault--I've been showing up as Anonymous on a couple Blogger sites this week too. No idea why, I wasn't tinkering either. But thanks for comment just the same :^)

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  14. You know, you could have been hurrying for the bathroom!

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    1. Haha! Joanne, I told myself that (and 10 other things) a couple hours later!

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  15. Oy! What a complainer! Next time you see him, do as Opal did and walk the other way very quickly. Some people are never happy, you just can't please them.

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    1. Good advice, River--I'm not going thru that again.

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  16. Pat Paulson! Hadn't thought of him in ages! Yikes, nothing like feeling trapped when someone hijacks your personal space and rambles on, complains and doesn't shut up. Makes you wonder if he has been this way his entire life. If so, how did he ever find a partner????πŸ™„ Sounds like this guy needs an audience, and you were unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Love your blog Doug. Always gives me a smile.

    Carole

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    1. Carole, I was honestly asking myself these same things! Also, he really was a dead ringer for Pat Paulsen, but it took me an hour of trying to remember where I've seen that face before. πŸ™„. Thank you so much for your kind words here, you really made ME smile. πŸ™‚

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  17. What a strange little person! I am sure that he's been this way his whole life. Unpleasant, unhappy, determined to find the gray cloud in the blue sky. I feel sorry for people like that, but really, I don't waste a lot of time with them. They suck the very soul from my body. I would have probably said, "Change is difficult, isn't it? I'm sorry to hear that you're not happy here. OMG. Would you look at the time? My show is on." And then I would have dashed off after Opal just as quickly as my dead man's sneakers would have carried me.

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    1. Thanks Debby, I have a feeling his smallness has hardened him and made him extra sensitive about getting stepped on, no pun intended. But he is definitely not making any friends here, that's for sure. I do know that next time, I'm not going to just stand there like a deer caught in someone's headlights! πŸ™„

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  18. He needs a friend ... presumably not you!

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  19. Some people are so unhappy and grouchy. Pity them.

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  20. So... 3 things... 1. You are hilarious. 2. Random people talk to me all of the time. Seriously, Joel says that I have a sign on me that says, "Talk to me." It's true. It happened this morning. We were at brunch with my parents and I'm looking over the menu. I ask Joel what he is getting and the girl at the neighboring table adds, "You should get the corned beef hash. It's delicious." She went on to say that she'd already eaten her eggs. I said thank you and in my head, I was thinking, I hate corned beef hash. There's no way that I'm getting that nasty dish, but I smile just the same. 3. Next time you see Pat, walk up and let him know that Nick called you and offered to install curtain rods and a privacy shutter ;)

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    1. Thank you Emily, for the hilarious comp and making me laugh too--I loved the sign on your neck, haha! And too funny about the corned beef hash, I can just see your face πŸ˜„! As for Pat, I suppose he does deserve some torture...πŸ˜‰

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  21. OMG Doug, you can make an annoying event absolutely hilarious. Perhaps not for you but for your readers!
    It seems to me, Pat might have a bit of dementia, since he can't recall what he's just told you. If that's the case, perhaps he'll be moving elsewhere sooner than later. :)

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    1. Thank you Maebeme, you're very kind--I was just thinking about you! (I was reading comments in some older blogs and wondering how you were, maybe I'm psychic and got you to come here) πŸ˜‰. As for Pat, I do think he's a bit clueless but I just think he's not good at reading people. Next time I'll have to be more direct. πŸ€”

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  22. Oh No, but you did make this unfortunate encounter humorous, I remember Pat Paulson... and now I'm envisioning a Love Child spawned from Pat and Anika Ekberg, of what this Guy's Daughter might have turned out like? *LMAO*

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    1. Bohemian, thanks for the Sunday chuckle--to be honest, I am very curious to see this man's daughter! (I don't know if his wife resembled Anita, but he really is a dead ringer for Pat Paulsen) Trust me, if I ever learn more I'll be sure to share it :^)

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  23. I remember Pat too. Uuummm.... I guess you can see why he's divorced. I have a feeling this guy is uuuummm... emotionally challenged and maybe somewhat unstable. I feel sorry for your property manager. You were kind to listen to him rant... but gee... I'd take a cue from Opal and keep your distance. You really are an amazing writer, Doug.

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    1. Thank you Kay--well, he's a character alright, I have a couple new stories since posting this but I feel guilty for using gossip to blog. As for being a good writer, you are too kind (but thank you)! :^)

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