Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Good Children! Clean Carpet!

We moved a lot as I grew up. I mean a lot, more than a little, much, many many times. Seriously.

My parents have owned and sold several homes. They also rented a few. One such rental was a horrible cookie cutter monstrosity in Florida. I don't have many fond memories of Florida, but this is one that made me laugh...after the fact.

We had lived in this home for less than a year before we had to move again. My family likes to leave homes better than we found them, so my mom bought some paint and we started repairing and repainting.

Yes, the carpets were that color. I'm telling you, the place was hideous...but it was home for a while. Funny how you get nostalgic over things you cared little about at the time. I remember laying on the back lawn watching the thunderstorms roll in until my mom freaked out and called us in. There is nothing like a Florida thunderstorm, lightning flickering in and out of clouds like the angry tongues of gods. I don't remember many reaching the ground, choosing to flash out sideways, thunderous canons as each cloud fought for dominion of the sky.

But...this story isn't about that. We had moved most of our stuff out and painted when my sister and I managed to knock over a full can of paint on the aqua carpet. I can't remember how we did it. My sister probably did something annoying and I chased her. I love her, but she was super annoying in Florida. I have another story about that later.

My sister and I were alone and decided to clean it up. I was a smart kid. I knew latex could be cleaned up with water, so I grabbed a pitcher, filled it up, added a few drops of dish soap, and dumped it on the spill.

It worked to thin the paint, but now we had two gallons or so of milky liquid to get out of the carpet. We got some towels and started massaging, trying to get it all out.

That is when the landlord walked in. I looked up...oh this was not going to go well.

This wasn't what I'd expected. My parents wouldn't have walked in on this and had that reaction.

He repeated himself.

Seriously. Did he not see the cans of paint? Did he really think we were shampooing the entire carpet by hand? Yes, yes he did.

He then wandered off to find my parents, giving us time to finish the clean up. Like it never happened.

That is when the "two dolla" started.

I am not inclined to make fun of people with accents. I have learned another language and it is hard work. Accents are tough to get right. It takes time, practice, immersion in the language, and a good ear. I am not making fun of this person's accent or culture...this is just how he said it and his accent served to highlight the ridiculous situation.

After the paint can incident, I thought his final inspection would go smoothly. The man was oblivious, won't notice anything, right? Wrong.

He spent the next hour or so poking and prodding everything while shouting out his deductions from our deposit.

He noticed every little speck. How was this the same man who thought we were shampooing the carpet? He continued, room by room, shouting out his two dollar deductions. My favorite part is when he came to the dryer. Instead of pulling outward to let the mechanism disengage and release the door, he pulled to the side.

My family still randomly screams "two dolla" when we accidentally break something.

Even to my 12 year old brain, it seemed easier to take a cursory glance at the place and say, "Due to some light wear and tear, we will be keeping 50 dollars from the deposit." And, how is everything two dollars? But, I am not a landlord and do not know the ways of landlordia.


Tia Couture said...

I'm pretty sure this is the house mark broke the door and scared the poop out of you.. Oh was that a spoiler alert?

Chanel said...

I hope somebody corrected him on the fact that he was too stupid to know how to open a dryer door. Clearly this man wasn't one who did his own laundry.

And why did he charge for a LIGHT BULB being burnt out? I bet he didn't even change the bulb for the next tenants. He kept your two dollars!

Brent Wescott said...

my favorite is the dot of dirt on the floor. It's also funny to see him hold the dryer handle after he broke it off.

Emily White said...

That's hilarious! So what did he say when he finally realized you weren't spreading soap all over the carpet? :)

mark said...


Angela Ackerman said...

Bwahaha... Two dolla!

I can't believe you got that much paint out of the carpet!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

dbs said...

"Landlordia" = awesome.

Brent Wescott said...

Hey,you deserve an award in spite of your slacking off as a blogger. Come on over to to see.

Matthew MacNish said...

At least you do know the ways of hilarity, Charlie, you know them well.

Candice said...

Hooray for random family phrases that make sense to few people other than you! My family has a few of those. They make life interesting.

Either way, I think I need to start finding excuses to say "Two Dolla!" :)

Michael Offutt said...

In the movie "Better Off Dead", John Cusack is chased by a crazy paper boy that yells, "I want my two dollars!"

Mark said...

2 weeks ? ...really.

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