Saturday, January 10, 2004

The Skids in the Hall

So I'm sitting here watching a nice Dr. Cheese type of movie, and I hear my white trash neighbors across from me sitting in the hall yukking it up, as they are wont to do. The hallway, you see, is apparently an extension of their living room. They put their trash out and leave it there for days, as if they expect that garbage men will enter the building and pick it up for them. They sit out with friends and chat loudly, usually blocking the stairway. For variety's sake, sometimes one of them will sit out alone instead, talking on a phone while blocking the stairway. And they not only like to smoke right outside my door, they leave cigarette butts all over the hall carpet along with a disgusting glass "ashtray" full of rancid water and ash. Oh yeah, they also have the additional charming habit of banging their door open and shut constantly and at all hours. I guess I can be thankful they don't blare rap, at least.

Anyway, I'm sitting here listening to them babble and guffaw so I pause the movie to hear what they're saying. It gradually becomes clear that I've left my keys in my door and they are discussing this apparently unheard-of (to them, I guess) phenomenon. One person suggests knocking on my door and telling me. But one or two others say, "We should take them." The original person says this isn't the first time he's seen my keys left in my door. (Sadly he's right, I left them in the door all night the other day -- I almost never do this, but I have twice now in the last week.) He concludes that this means I'm "drunk all the time." That leaving your keys in the door could be the absentminded result of entering your apartment with your arms full of groceries apparently doesn't occur to him.

Although I thought it a little awkward at this point to open the door and grab my keys, I did anyway, since I didn't trust that these obnoxious yahoos wouldn't take them. I just smiled at them sitting in their auxiliary living room, cigarettes in hand, gave my best "Thanks for confirming you are exactly the sort of white trash scum I thought you were" look, took the keys, and closed the door.

Moral of the story: If I'm dorky enough to forget my keys in the lock again and they disappear, I'll know exactly which dirtbags to confront about it. Meanwhile, I think I will act on my impulse to take their scummy ashtray and throw it out next time I see it sitting in the hall. Which will be next time I'm in the hall, since they leave it out 24/7.