Archive for July, 2009

A series of unfortunate events

Thats a lie, it’s one unfortunate event really. Namely that there is piss in my kitchen.

Oh how I wish I was joking. And before anyone asks, no I did not have a late-night accident while sleep-walking. As people may or may not be aware, about 3 months ago I moved to Brooklyn to live with a friend of mine (E/the Cuban). The cuban owns a nice 2-bed in Park Slopes, and is a raving loony, so you can see how this was an ideal situation. My recent affection for the US and NY in particular are, I must admit, largely due to a combination of Brooklyn and my roommate.

The apartment is about half a storey above street level, and has the awesome feature of an outside deck at the back overlooking a garden. I have a big room, the living area is spacious, and the whole apartment is filled with natural light. In other words, its great. With one minor issue, namely that due to the way the building was originally designed its not the same layout as the other apartments. So our kitchen, instead of being below a kitchen, is in fact below a bathroom.

This should, in theory, not really pose a problem. However it transpires that the apartment above us has some bathroom plumbing issues. A year ago E was nearly deluged with a pile of bath water when the kitchen light fixture basically burst from the soggy plaster revealing some rather substantial leak problems from above, and the aforementioned light was only replaced a few weeks ago when we had a handyman round to do a variety of small jobs.

The new kitchen light fixture basically resembles a large glass bowl which is stuck to the ceiling. On monday night we were sitting in the living room when we suddenly heard the sound of water gurgling loudly. With a soon to be justified sense of foreboding we inspected the kitchen and saw the steady stream of liquid falling from above and gradually both filling the ceiling bowl that is our fucking light and trickling happily onto the floor. E sprinted up the stairs to yell at our rather slow upstairs neighbours and I started damage control using a trash can and some paper towels.

When E reappeared we inspected the situation and at about the time I was noticing the rather odd hue of the “water” that had almost completely filled the bubble that is our kitchen light he remarked that the idiots upstairs were trying to reduce the overflow from their toilet using a saucepan.

Yes, a fucking saucepan. More to the point yes, the overflow from their bloody toilet. So yes, our kitchen was, as we stood there, gradually filling with urine. When we got up the next morning, we had a trash can full of piss, a floor spattered with piss and a kitchen light fixture still half filled with piss. If anyone doubts the veracity of this I have photographic evidence, which I may edit this post to add later.

Even better than this, for our threat to sue the landlord of the upstairs flat to be at all potent, E has decided that he has to see the fucking piss. And he comes round either today or tomorrow. So right at this moment I can say with a reasonably high degree of certainty that at the very least our kitchen light fixture is still filled with fucking piss.

I have always been against living with a landlord. Not that I think of E as a landlord, more like an eccentric older brother with a life like something out of a soap opera and the attention span of an epileptic goldfish. But one of the most crucial benefits to living with the owner of your dwelling is one that had not previously occurred to me:

It’s his job to empty the bin full of wee.