Tag Archives: renting

Harm Aid

farmvilleOut looking for a place to live, my wife and I happened upon a quaint little house in the city that we liked. There was a cyclone fence that wrapped around the backyard with an old-fashioned and weathered “beware of dog” sign on the gate. The front yard was grass.

We thought the yard and the fence would come in handy for those times when family stopped by with their dogs. In anticipation of the fun we’d have we even picked up a Chuckit and ball.

At no time were we advised there were plans to change anything about the house. The property management people treated us throughout the entire process like the rental scum that we were.

Finally it was moving day. We rolled into town in our U-haul and arrived at the property. It was so exciting. We hadn’t seen the house in two months.

Surprise. The fence was gone although the gate remained. It was no longer a place for dogs. The lawn had been replaced with raw dirt that would soon be the uber cool and trendy urban front-yard farm.

Sorry, dog. We’ve been victimized by bait-and-switch. There’s no place for a game of catch around here. But I do see a nice place where you can bury your bones. Please, feel free.

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Boogers and DVDs oh my!

This is a post about BTUs, or what I have dubbed Booger Transportation Units.

As well all know, there are two basic forms of BTUs: Compact Discs and DVDs. Of course there are others, like the 12″ LaserDisc dinosaurs of the past, CD-ROMS, and the BlueRay thingies of today. However, these are all variations on a theme: a disc-shaped platter that is magically “rainbow shiny” on one or both sides. The purpose of these BTUs is obvious: a convenient location for storing boogers and fingerprints for later. But did you know they can also contain information like music, pictures, data and even movies? Yes, it’s true!

When it comes to compact discs of music, most people generally reap what they sow. If carefully handled and protected, most compact discs can last years and even decades. I have some in my collection that date back to the 1980’s. If abused, however, they can be somewhat finicky. Scratches, dust, fingerprints, bodily fluids and even being broken in half can have a detrimental effect on playability. When you only handle your own property, that’s basically your problem.

Many places have made the rental of BTUs their business model. Unfortunately they failed to consider that while most human beings will take pretty good care of their own property, when the BTU belongs to someone else, those BTUs suddenly become suitable for duty as coasters, Frisbees, humping, licking, serving hors d’oeuvres and yes, even pulling duty as hankies.

I guess it’s not too surprising that most BTU rental businesses don’t expend the time or effort to make sure their BTUs are still serviceable after every use. If they did, I imagine there would be two basic benefits. First, they’d know the identity of the person who splooged on the BTU. Second, the sorry son of a bitch (aka customer aka sucker) who rents it next wouldn’t be the one to make that same discovery. They might, for example, actually be able to enjoy all the content for which they paid and not just some.

On the original Star Trek they had little yellow plastic chits that were seemingly impervious to the effects of humans. Unfortunately at our current state of technology we just aren’t there yet. We still have to physically fuck with shit that is fragile as hell. And that is where it all breaks down.