Text pollution is a tragedy of the commonsOxford, along with a few other places such as, I dunno, Chester, maybe York I dunno, is one of those ones where the laws make it slightly harder to cover every single space with advertising and stuff. It's weird when you get a McDonalds or something in some building that has a listed facade and they're not allowed to do what they usually do and put their identikit bland signage on it. They have to kinda compromise and you get some strange olde worlde looking MaccyDs.
One thing that isn't much of a part of this symbolic world is cars. It's weird, in loads of America the appearance of your car seems to be central, and in enland its like that as well, my mate in Boston drives an enormous truck for no apparent reason except I guess to communicate something. But the cars in nyc are pretty low key, pretty small, practical. I hardly ever notice anyone's car yet the city is full of them. It's a strange exception.
it's a pain in the arse to have a car in NYC. when we lived there we only knew a few people who had one. if you park outside where you live, you have to move it to the other side of the street on designated days when the street sweepers come through. you have to get up at some ungodly hour, move it across, and then there's a mad scramble to get back to a good spot on the original side you were on.
come to think of it there's a whole episode of How To With John Wilson about securing a good parking spot
some NYC people never use the car except for trips out of town, so it just sits in the good spot - if they've got one - getting dirtier by the day
love me some rich storytellingWhen I lived in Hackney it was in a gated community. My flat had a parking space with it which added about 15k to the value of the house. I never used it.
One day I got a letter hand posted through the door. This guy had a flash car that he didn't want to park on the street and he was offering £300 per month to anyone who had a space and who would let him park there.
I was broke as always so - kerching! - I quickly emailed him saying something along the lines of "fuck yeah".
I was already spending the money in my head when I got this email from this woman who ran the residents committee. Her name was Tricia and she was an utter cunt. She sent round this group email to all the residents and the guy with the car (I dunno what type it was, a white one) saying something like "You may have received a letter through the door asking to rent your parking space. Giving out the combination to the gate represents a security threat so you are forbidden from doing this".
Fucking hell not this meddling bitch again. And I mean meddling, she didn't even live there, her son had a flat in the block and yet when they had created a residents committee she had somehow stood for a position, got on to it and then become the fucking boss! She'd already blocked me from doing AirBnB and she'd really lost her shit that time when I came home really drunk and kicked my way through this glass door into the foyer of my building. Although arguably I bore some of the responsibility for that one (that was terrible actually, it was about 1am I guess and my key wouldn't open the door - turned out there had been a power cut - and I fucking lost it, started kicking the shit out of the door and all the lights came on in all the buildings and everyone came out and started shouting at me and threatening to call the police and stuff but I'd gone too far to stop by that time so I just kept on kicking - it took fucking ages to get through, double glazing, I finally smashed through one and then it turned out I had to do it again, eventually I'd made a hole that a small dog could perhaps get through if it didn't mind getting its shoulders cut to ribbons as it entered, when someone came out of my block and let me in - to mitigate circumstances I had to invent a story about how I was in a vulnerable state cos one of my close friends had just died). Another time I had a guest who came back when I was out and couldn't get into flat so he crashed out in the stairway and she sent a group email to everyone entitled "Tramps in the lobby"...
Well I'm not gonna go into that, in fact I'm not even gonna scratch the surface, but suffice it to say that his vicious old witch had been making my life a misery for years. And she completely had the whip hand, what with controlling the committee and everything. Like when one of her spies realised that my flatmate had a cat and reported back to her she sent us an email ordering us to get rid of it. My girlfriend looked through the details of the contract and animals weren't forbidden, they could be allowed or otherwise depending on how the committee voted, so my gf queried this and she replied "I've just emailed right now and they unanimously voted for you to get rid of your cat" which was an obvious lie but we couldn't really do anything about it. In the end my flatmate whose cat it was had to move out - and it was run over and killed a few days later cos it was used to living in our lovely safe little area. I'd forgotten about that... oh god she was evil through and through... and the time when her son emailed me to say that my flatmate had had a party and woken him up and "I don't want to alarm you, but I think I smelled drugs". Oh that prick... when he started talking about how much he liked Apex Twin - yes, Apex Twin - I wanted to fucking kick him in his stupid fat face.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, she'd just scotched another of my money making schemes... or so I thought. I assumed that the matter was closed but to my surprise this guy replied to her (and with me copied in - which pissed me off at first, I just wanted to keep my head down and stay as far away as possible from the spiteful despotic old bag) saying something like "Idle Rich has already agreed to give me his space so tough titties" - and then what followed was this massive argument with me copied in.
It was brilliant cos she said that the committee had banned it, but it turned out he was some kind of property lawyer and he had checked in the land registry for the rules of the freehold and it was outsider the powers of a committee of that type (or something similar) to do that. And she kept making up new reasons why he couldn't do it but he had answers to all of them. Finally she just said something "You just can't do it so there".
Looking back on it I feel bad that I was so scared of her I let her intimidate me into backing out of the contract anyway. But they argument thing was fucking priceless. I wonder what she is doing now, I really hope she's dead, or in some kind of persistent vegetative state - ideally knocked down by a car that was swerving to avoid a mysterious cat that looked strangely similar to Mr Bear...
to mitigate circumstances I had to invent a story about how I was in a vulnerable state cos one of my close friends had just died
Well, if you read the second bit, it's worse than that, it actually had a manual key so I could have just opened it. But the buzzers weren't working cos it was a power cut. The main problem was that I was unbelievably drunk.you know so many mad people man, and i've only started reading your stories since you're using paragraphs, can't imagine all the crazy stuff i missed. one question about the glass door though, you said your key didn't work, but didn't it have a plate of doorbells you could ring and just ask someone to come down or buzz it open?
But the thing is. Well, I guess I do have the odd moment. But you know, my house is super tidy and clean. I like to get as much time to myself as possible, I like to cook and read and so on. Yeah these last few months have been a nightmare of vicious circles all impacting on each other, one of the main ones is that although i have been jabbed, the website says I haven't when i put my SNS number into it and this is a huge problem cos no-one seems able to solve it, i've phoned helplines, i've been to pharmacies, to my local health centre etc etcIf I had to live like Rich I would have a nervous breakdown within 24 hours I can't stand messy people and their dramas, I can't stand being embroiled in other people's lives. I need my own space.
Mad people though? I dunno, I reckon if you thought about it and put together some crazy moments from people you know you would probably find out it was the same.you know so many mad people man, and i've only started reading your stories since you're using paragraphs, can't imagine all the crazy stuff i missed. one question about the glass door though, you said your key didn't work, but didn't it have a plate of doorbells you could ring and just ask someone to come down or buzz it open?