Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dirty vs. Home Electronics

As usual, the geniuses that are the members of my condo's Home Owner's Association Board of Directors have scheduled outside window washing during the hottest month of the year. Here's who suffers, and why, in order of importance:

1) Me. This building has poor circulation and aluminum siding, so it's warm in here even in April. Thanks to this feature I rarely have to turn the heat on in the mild Seattle winter, but the only thing that allows me to maintain a little sanity the other three seasons is to have my window-inserted, portable air conditioner on day and night. In order to have any of my windows washed, I have to remove the special insert and close my window DURING THE HOTTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR. I love sweating in a 110 degree room with no circulation almost as much as I enjoy eating live spiders or having sex with molten glass.

2) Other people who live in my building. They think it's stupid, too. They keep allowing the Board to schedule this same activity at this same time, but they're all a bunch of pussies who are deathly afraid of the angry little bag of wind who elected himself Board President. I can't fight him alone, mostly because he knows I don't like him, whereas everyone else sticks to talking about him behind his back and agreeing with him to his face.

3) The window washers. Apart from the occasional glimpse at some of the better looking people in the building forgetting to wear clothing that day, window washers don't enjoy dangling off of a tin can heated to 1000 degrees. As stated above, this building has metal siding, and though most people who do such loathsome jobs are used to heat, they're not used to third degree burns.

4) My dog. I rescued a dog this past spring from a kind but neglectful home in a cool state, where he was living after having been rescued from an abusive home in a hot state. There's a fifty-fifty chance he's never experienced what to him will be a surprise external window washing. He will, no doubt, express his surprise at an hour when I am never awake unless forced out of bed at gunpoint. The window washing will continue on my side of the building for hours, which will allow my dog plenty of opportunities to bark with alarm. Oh, goody.

There are other things that need doing around here, and getting outside windows washed is a waste of money. It only lasts a week, it costs thousands of dollars and it doesn't keep us residents safe from the throngs of violent gang members and junkies in withdrawals desperately trying to get inside and steal something to pawn. Fixing the broken garage door, and putting a security system between the garage and the rest of the building, would. But that was shot down by the Board President.

Then again, what good is my stuff if I'm dead or in the hospital unable to enjoy it? The main problem with no security in a gritty, urban neighborhood is the potential for a mugging or a raping or whatever anyone feels like doing to a man or woman. What I find is that when you say "no security" to a man--or woman who grew up in a Martian suburb--he thinks "I don't want my electronics stolen because they were expensive." When you say it to your average, urban woman she thinks "Here's my wall-mount, flat-screen TV! It's HD ready and cost $3,000! Please don't rape me!"

What lesson have I learned? Next condo, make sure the security system could foil an MI-5 agent. Make sure to buy during the summer, because we bought in winter and had no idea what "this building retains heat nicely" meant. Make sure a woman who could care less if she can see outside or not, and who grew up nowhere near a farm, gets herself elected HOA Board President.

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