Monday, August 24, 2009

The hobbit landlady

Last weekend I helped someone I know move into a temporary apartment. He's only here for a couple of months, so it's furnished.

The landlady was a little hobbit of a lady who wore a black skirt, blouse and sweater even though it was 80 degrees out.

I was there when she took him through the apartment, and it was excruciating.

She took the time to show him where every light switch was, and how to operate them.

She showed him where the phone was, how to pick up the receiver, and warned him not to trip over the lines (even though they were behind the desk).

She separated the dish rags into two stacks: "okay to use" and "not okay to use."

She even showed him how to use the key in the door and asked him to turn it himself just so he'd know how it would feel when she wasn't around to help.

If she would have been any taller, I'm sure she would have walking him through the mechanics of looking through the peephole when someone knocks.

This was part of their conversation:

RENTER: And there's a laundry room in the building, isn't there?

HOBBIT: Yes. But I would not use it.


HOBBIT: The concierge...He is not a good man. And if you use it, he may cause some problems for you. He may say you used the machines without permission.

RENTER: Can I get permission?

HOBBIT: Of course! But I would just dry your clothes on the balcony in the sun.

RENTER: But there's a washer and a dryer downstairs?

HOBBIT: Of course!

RENTER: Can I use them?

HOBBIT: Well, yes. But I really wouldn't. Just in case.

At this point I was kind of losing my mind, so I went to play video games on my phone in the car. He returned about 10 minutes later, having coaxed her into showing him the laundry room. I think he's the kind of guy who likes to live on the edge.

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