Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vacation Day #11: Where?

This week's column by Joe Veix in the NewYorker cracked me up.

But does this very New York joke survive the five boroughs? In other words, is this funny if you don't live in NYC?

Judgmental Towers Apartment Complex, Application to Rent

Thank you for your interest in the Judgmental Towers apartment complex. Please fill out and submit this form, along with your application fee, a copy of a recent credit report, and a DNA sample.

What is your full name?

What is your current occupation?

Is that what you dreamed of doing as a child?

What went wrong?

What is your current address?

Why are you moving?

What are you running from?

How did you find out about this apartment?
 Was it from those newspaper articles, after that “incident”?

Are you (circle one):
∙ Single
∙ Married
∙ In Short-Term Relationship Outlasting Expectations Due to Convenience

Do you own a waterbed?

You do realize it’s not 1973, right?

Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

Have you ever walked out of a store with a pear, after forgetting to pay, and decided it was too much trouble to go back?

And a week later, did the store go out of business?

Does the guilt keep you up at night?

Are you troubled by the brownish, man-shaped stain on the apartment’s floor?

What is your gross yearly income?

How much of that do you blow on greasy takeout food and bottom-shelf alcohol?

Are you aware that if you’d saved five years of that you could own a house by now?

Why are you willing to spend thousands of dollars per month on what is essentially a coffin-sized ghost slum?

Do you think that the lingering aura of hipness from the artistic subculture that formerly resided in this neighborhood might somehow rub off on you?

Despite the fact that everything is just a Walgreens now?

Please list three references:

Are you only now realizing that you don’t have any real friends, just casual work acquaintances?

Are any of the people listed above a barista that you bribed to pretend to know you?

Do you worry that if you don’t get your life together soon, you will wind up like that lonely brown floor stain?

Applicant attests that the above statements are only slightly embellished, and waives all responsibility to management in the event of another “incident.”

Signature: _____________________ Date: _____________________


Unknown said...

Yup, still funny. New York has enough of a reputation for the average reader to know to what the questions refer.

Whew. Just managed to avoid dangling.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I am not from New York and that's damn funny.

Donnaeve said...

Through this, the aspiring hopes and dreams of the artistic are struck down into reality. Who are we really kidding, he seems to ask, right?

Collectively, this smacks of New York City. Where else but NYC would one go to live out their dreams? Hollywood, yes, but in my mind, that's primarily if you want to be a movie star. In NYC, they go because it's the epicenter of the artistic, think the musically inclined, think talented dancers, or actors/actresses, or maybe you just have money and want to be where it seems everybody else is. Just over eight million people crammed onto a little over 300 square miles.

This is the city with the "it" factor. This is where so many believe by arriving they will be "discovered."

Somewhere I read over 800 languages are spoken here. If you can hang with it, it's the most densely populated city per square mile, and it's second in filming and television productions while it leads in independent films. All major publishing houses are here.

It's a wonderful thing to have a piece of mail arrive from New York City, NY.

Donnaeve said...

Oh and yes. It WAS still funny, even to this yahoo. :)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Page two of the application:

Do you have children?
Are they your children or the spawn of a previous relationship’s relationship?
Are you 55 and over?
If not, would consider sending the children to boarding school?
If you can afford boarding school why do you want to live here?
Have you ever used 409?
Would you consider removing the brown man sized stain on your floor?
Are you an online acquaintance of Capt. bs, the Julies, Donna, Colin, Hank, Kitty, AJ, muntain, Amanda, EM and all the rest?
Do you lurk?
Would you consider a position in building maintenance?
Coke or Pepsi?
Honda or Hyundai?

Okay Michael Seese and Craig I’m passing the baton over to you guys.

Jed Cullan said...

Indeed. I found it more than slightly humorous. In fact, I would go as far and say that I even found myself expelling a small titter whilst I was having some afternoon tea and crumpets as I perused this blog post.

Summers of Fire said...

Thank God I own my home on 3 acres...

french sojourn said...

And lastly...why would you want to join a club that would have YOU as a member? (Huge nod to Groucho Marx)

Timothy Lowe said...

Maybe it's just me, but sardonic is always funny.

Anonymous said...

I'm just here snickering into my patchwork quilt. And a nod to Hank for nodding at Groucho, cos Groucho is ALWAYS relevant :D

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Hank and Gingell, fake bird descends from the rafters on a string.
"So what's the secret woyd?"
It ain't ah.

He was the best.

Unknown said...

Hey! Don't knock the brown stain on the floor. I just got back from WPA and I'm using it for research.

Lance said...

Are you a writer?

Do you want to move into this building in order to pitch your book to literary agents who live here?

How many manuscripts to you have under the bed?

Which of the authors listed below best describes you?
1. Ernest Hemingway
2. Thomas Wolfe
3. Virginia Wolfe
4. Truman Capote
5. Ken Kesey

Donnaeve said...

Actually, I HAVE a brown stain on my floor upstairs in the spare room otherwise known as my office. Wait, it's a black'ish stain. At least it's not man shaped. I've been curious about it since moving into this 110 yr old home. We had all the floors redone several years ago. I.e. sanded, buffed and a coat of varnish. The stain is still there.

I never did ask the guy who re-did the floor if he had any ideas as to what it could be.

Anonymous said...

2NNs- the very best (though I did love Chico and Harpo just as much). He was in a class of his own.

Elissa M said...

It's funny.

My parents met in New York. My mom worked in the fashion industry (not a model, a buyer for stores) and my dad was a counter-intelligence agent. They couldn't afford to live in the City, so they had an apartment in New Jersey and commuted.

I spent three days in Manhattan once and had a blast. My friend was auditioning for the Manhattan School of Music (Master's program) and I was her support team. She made it. When I got home, I was sick for a week coughing black garbage out of my lungs.

To echo Linda Strader: Thank God I own my home on 20 acres (after a lifetime of living all over the country and world).

Unknown said...

Donnaeve, you have a floor stain that won't go away? Even after cleaning and sanding?

Wow. Sincerely jealous. It would drive me nuts not knowing how it got there. It might be a story!

Linda, I'm with you. Not quite 3 acres but enough room I don't have to have personal contact with anyone if I don't want to. I will get to New York, and I will love it, but I won't stay. It must be exhausting. Some say it's exhilarating. I can only take exhilaration in small doses, and then I need a couch.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Not a city mouse, and it made me snicker. I especially like "what are you running from?", perhaps due to my recent fictional proclivities (Shadowrun).

My coworker was recently looking through realty site, and told me "Oh, I'm going to look at this house in X town, it's really cheap, but I have a question for you."

I replied "Oh, is it the murder suicide house?"

She seemed both disappointed and relieved that she didn't need to explain, but was worried about getting stuck with a house that made her feel creepy at night or something. I told her that because she had her dog, it'd be okay. Which I firmly believe 'til proven otherwise.

(somebody else bought it by the time she called her realtor to have a showing)

Unknown said...

Well, I'm laughing pretty hard and I've only even BEEN to NYC three times!

Donnaeve said...

Amanda, I do. I do. Now I've got that phrase, "out, out damn spot!" stuck in my head. I should take a picture of it, maybe blog about it. Give The Spot a little fame and recognition for creating a lot of odd thoughts in my head.

I'm jealous now of Elissa, Linda, and you with your acreage. We love our house, but we definitely have become less enamored with the location.

Dena Pawling said...

I'm in CA and I thought several of those questions were funny. I might be missing some insider NY insight, but it's funny even without that insight.

It's not easy being a landlord today. You have to know and follow local, state, and federal rules and regulations. Some of them are conflicting and you have to know which ones supersede the others. I've represented landlords for more than ten years, and I still get questions from my clients that I have to look up all the intricate details.

Yes, I've represented slumlords, and yes, I've represented unscrupulous landlords who just want to evict tenants without regard to the legality of doing so. But in my experience, the vast majority of landlords just want to find normal tenants who pay the rent on time, get along with their neighbors, and don't destroy the property. Because of the nature of my job, most of the tenants I encounter do not qualify under one or more of those requirements.

Anonymous said...

I confess, the thought of going to NYC frightens me. My friend in Long Island assures me it's a great place to live and visit. The same day she was assuring me it was a great place to visit an older person got beat to a pulp in a McDonalds.

I said, "Yep, that would be me. Elderly Texas woman gets beaten to death in McDonalds for not speaking quickly enough when she ordered."

"Oh, you'd be fine, just walk quickly. Stay out of the way. Don't ask people for directions or if you have to, do it fast. Don't gawk at stuff."

"What did you do in New York?"

"Kept my head down and walked fast. I didn't see a thing, but I lost ten pounds."

Then I see these posts with ads for NY apartments and get all claustrophobic just looking at the pictures.

Even so, this post made me laugh. Especially this:

"Do you worry that if you don’t get your life together soon, you will wind up like that lonely brown floor stain?"

Unknown said...

Donnaeve, I wrote an article about bloodstain patterns a couple years ago and discovered that not even after 8 coats of paint (depending on the color & quality of the paint) will a bloodstain be permanently concealed. It just keeps seeping through. The old wood floors are as porous as the walls, so blood and other bodily fluids will seep into the grain. Sanding removes the first layer or so, but if there was a LOT of 'whatever it was' only removal of the boards would erase the evidence. That varnish? Seals and preserves it for all eternity. lolol

LynnRodz said...

You mean it's not 1973?

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Very funny. The brown stain. LOL.

Julie, There are mounted police in NYC who ride amazingly calm horses.

Anonymous said...

Yup. It's funny, even here. Even if you don't know anything about New York, it's easy to see what 'the incident' and the 'brown man-shaped stain' mean. Judgmental Towers says, "You have to be perfect to live here... but we expect you to be a poor, deluded soul, if you *want* to live here."

I know someone who lives in one of the "hipness from the artistic subculture that formerly resided in this neighborhood" neighbourhoods in NYC. It hasn't lost its art. But I don't think there's anywhere on her block that could be called 'Judgmental Towers'... though the Towers could be a couple blocks down.

Donnaeve said...

Patti Phillips - that is fascinating. I think?

It has always sort of creeped me out. Actually, after typing the above about the one in the office, I realized the house actually has two. One in the hallway too.

People always say if walls could talk, but stains, IMO, are the aftermath of an event and they say, something happened here. Don't you want to know what?

Why yes. Yes I do.

Kate Larkindale said...

Yes, definitely funny. Even for someone in New Zealand. When I went to NYC a few years back (quite a few) we stayed in the apartment of a friend's colleague and could not get over how tiny it was. Good location, but for the same monthly rent here you could have had a 4 bedroom house with a back yard, garage and shed!

Craig F said...

Pets over twenty pounds are PROHIBITED

Pets twenty pounds and under are not recommended, we hope it is the other vermin scaring them off

The steamer trunk under the stairs is not your property. It has been held in trust since 1913 and contains nothing to get you rich or famous.

If you are a WITSEC participant tell us now. If we find out later it will cost alot

Stalking is not allowed from either direction

Unknown said...

Lol...shakespearian even! Now I sound like Sylvester. No...wrong cat. Never mind.

Is the spot shaped like anything? Mexico? Jesus? Shark!

Unknown said...

I have a sudden urge to start a blog called 'the brown stain' and see how many people have them and have stories about them.

But then I realized I might get underpants stories.

nightsmusic said...

I'm on three acres now in the middle of other three acre and larger parcels so I'm happy, but my aunt and uncle lived a block from Lincoln Center and I'd spend summers there. I LOVED it! If I'd been able to do something that I could have made a living at (something I wouldn't get arrested for anyway) I'd have moved there after high school. They offered me a room. But I passed.

And that column is hysterical!

PS, I think the reCAPTCHA designer has a cabbage fixation...

Lisa Bodenheim said...

"Is that what you dreamed of doing as a child? What went wrong?"

Yes, thoroughly enjoyable.

Joseph S. said...

Let's party like it's 1973.

But can we start at 6:00 and be home by ten?

Anonymous said...

Yep. Pretty funny over here too.

Reminds me of a post I wrote a while back about my daughter filling out a medical questionnaire, while she was on the phone with me. Ridiculous. If anyone wants to read it, might be good for a chuckle:

Ask me no questions, I'll try not to make stuff up

It's a darn good thing I didn't have to answer any questions before buying my house. I'm almost incapable of taking that kind of thing seriously.

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

Not just funny, but damn funny, in that inimitable New Yorker voice.

If you get the chance, read the label on a bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale. Funniest bit of commercial writing since Kurt Vonnegut's mentor wrote a newspaper ad for a straw hat sale that advised, "At prices like these you can run them through your horse and put them on your roses!"

Anonymous said...

Patti- wait, what?? O_o

That's gotta be the start of a horror novel...

DeadSpiderEye said...

I've gotta be honest, it all went so far over my head it was like craning my neck to count the toes on a skein of geese. I'm in the middle of a mare at the moment though, so the ill matched mood is probably to blame. I did notice the sardonic tone and the impression of city life is conveyed with some skill, so effectively in fact, that it didn't push New York up, on my places to visit list.

Unknown said...

W.R. Gingell:
Agreed! and the fact that Donnaeve has two brown stains in two separate parts of the house? Wes Craven sound effects, please. ;-)

I'd want to find out what happened as well. Yes, I would.

As for that application... how about one for the landlord that includes:

How many bodies have the police had to remove?

PattiBuff said...

Munich, Germany has a similar form - except add:

Have you ever been fall-down drunk at Oktoberfest? If so, which brand of lederhosen or dirndl did you wear?

Panda in Chief said...

Yes, it's still hilarious, even though I don't live in NYC. I did grow up on the east coast of the US, so maybe my sense of humor is still a little New York-y. Seattle has gotten almost as bad, housing wise in the city, although in the provinces they might add a few other questions like, " how many farm animals do you have?" "Do they ever get to sleep in the house?"

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, yes, Patti. Now I'm beginning to wonder about Donnaeve....



Unknown said...

Hah! This is absolutely hilarious no matter where you live!

Unknown said...

W.R. Gingell & Donnaeve:

One spot is an oddity. Two? LOLOLOL The plots write themselves.

Another entry for the questionnaire:

What experience have you had in removing brown spots from floors and walls?

Anonymous said...

Perfectly funny and appropriate for Vancouver as well, with the possible addition of coffee or yoga-related questions.