Heater, Mother of Lance

At Least Our Very Large, Very Threatening Dog Will Protect Us

So the landlord came by last week and suddenly realized that the secure building we’re all paying to live in isn’t necessarily a traditionally “secure” building. In fact, the secure building we’re all paying to live in happens to be the same secure building several homeless people are using as a home base of sorts, stashing mismatched Reebok tennis shoes, foam pads and over-sized panties in the corners of the secure roof space.

Why she suddenly realized just now that this secure building isn’t really a secure building is gobstopping, because I know of at least four tenants who have complained to her specifically that the secure building we’re all paying to live in lacks a certain sense of, I don’t know, security.

The problem is that certain people in the building who are too lazy to carry keys tie the doors open with rope installed near the doors by the landlord. So the landlord has installed this rope, both upstairs and downstairs next to the doors, tempting the lazier tenants to compromise the safety of us not lazy tenants — I mean not lazy when it comes to carrying keys, not when it comes to say, brushing our hair on a daily basis; but not brushing our hair on a daily basis has nothing to do with the safety of our building, although sometimes, especially with this new haircut, I wake up in the morning looking like an 8-year-old member of the Aryan Nation, and the dog fucking freaks — and then she gets mad that the lazy tenants have used the rope.

So last week she decided to install state of the art security devices certain to return this building to its once former, secure glory. These devices, held permanently to each door with self-adhesive, double-sided Velcro, say in very large, very threatening sans-serif font: keep this gate closed.

And as you can tell, it’s scaring the shit out of those lazy tenants.

  • darian

    2002/11/06 at 12:12 pm

    ha!ha!ha! that sounds like every apt building I’ve lived in since I’ve moved to LA!

  • angie

    2002/11/06 at 12:16 pm

    Man. That sign got me so scared I even closed the gate here. I wonder what sort of “smack-down” a gate sign can lay on you anyway.


  • dennis

    2002/11/06 at 12:20 pm

    Reminds me of the security cameras installed in my parking garage (directly over my car).

    Some kid spent over 45 minutes in my car stealing my stereo. Very polite, though — Took apart the dash properly, cut the wires, reassembled everything, and locked the door on his way out.

    I thought for sure the guy would get caught, except the landlord informed me that, “the cameras don’t actually record anything.”

    Thanks, pal.

  • Wayne

    2002/11/06 at 12:28 pm

    Dennis–Are you sure it wasn’t the landlord’s kid?

  • sx70

    2002/11/06 at 12:33 pm

    my apartment building can speak volumes about once-former glory.
    Starting from the sidewalk, we have the 3 foot wide sliver of what used to be grass but is now obviously the only place on the block that people will obviously not yell at you if you don’t pick up your dog poop, the thrice-times-ten painted over former door buzzers and the small and constantly overflowing mailboxes (of course, mine is the only one that doesn’t lock, which is basically an invitation for neighbors to steal my netflix-rented dvd copies of “home yoga for those too terrified to do it in front of other people”, “the demolitionist”, and “four weddings and a funeral” (like i’m going to walk into blockbuster and rent that?). This is to say nothing of the front and rear doors of the complex (not very complex, actually) that are propped open with cinder blocks, and the pilled indoor-outdoor carpet in the hallway (technically, since the doors are always open, the hallways are pretty much always exposed to the elements). They did of course fix our laundry room door because it wouldn’t close, but of course to offset that, raised our laundry to $1.25 a wash. I pay elevenhundredfuckingUSD because of what? The Grove? Canter’s? How much is laundry in Canada, anyway?

  • sx70

    2002/11/06 at 12:33 pm

    oops, i didn’t realize it was such a long post. i guess you struck a nerve.

  • Bastherself

    2002/11/06 at 12:36 pm

    I think Dooce needs her own castle. Perhaps with a moat and piranas. Maybe even a couple of war donkeys while you’re at it.

  • G.

    2002/11/06 at 12:48 pm

    Well there you go. Really, the world would be a much better place if everything was adorned by such things. “DO NOT ROB THIS HOUSE.” “DO NOT KILL THIS LADY.” “DO NOT PEE ON THE SEAT…” Everyone would surely listen to the signs, crime and herpes will certainly fall.

  • michael

    2002/11/06 at 1:06 pm

    Yet another reason to move to Utah, eh?

  • janex

    2002/11/06 at 1:13 pm

    …laundry in canada, at least on my campus, is $1.75. but we just hang our stuff up on clotheslines strung from the beams in the basement.

  • ryan

    2002/11/06 at 1:38 pm

    Perhaps a polaroid of that new hair style of yours firmly attached to the sign might help keep out intruders… several of the tenants even… =)

  • pixelkitty

    2002/11/06 at 2:03 pm

    mmmmmmmm War Donkeys

  • henry

    2002/11/06 at 2:18 pm

    The sign should read, “BEWARE OF WAR DONKEY.”

  • April

    2002/11/06 at 2:26 pm

    😀 I love how you turn something as simple as a gate sign into entertaining, humorous prose.

  • melanie

    2002/11/06 at 2:35 pm

    i was wondering where i left my panties…

  • the propagandist

    2002/11/06 at 2:40 pm

    velcro scares me.

  • Deuce

    2002/11/06 at 2:45 pm

    actually, dooce, i claim responsibility for those oversized panties. i gotta stop drinking so much scotch at max’s. how dare these homeless people invade our roof space…where the hell else am i supposed to get my drug on, yo?

  • Jane Doe

    2002/11/06 at 2:51 pm

    Isn’t the landlord in violation of some kind of tenant/landlord agreement by putting the rope on the gate? Doesn’t the lease or agreement cover the security measures taken to maintain a secure complex? I’m sure something could be done if you all weren’t so lazy and subconsciously really wanted to keep the rope there…

    just a thought is all.

  • Paul Gutman

    2002/11/06 at 3:11 pm

    This just feeds into my personal theory that anything having to do with real estate–renting, landlords, delivery of anything like a bed, a dresser, etc–is inherently bad news and dishonest. Someone is always looking to do something you wouldn’t dare admit to your mother.

  • Paul Gutman

    2002/11/06 at 3:14 pm

    I also think that Chuckles atop a war donkey is a very good plan for keeping away your personal-space invaders.

  • Drunkn Otter

    2002/11/06 at 4:30 pm

    I hate lazy tenants. Someone once walked their bitch down the end of my hall on the 6th floor instead of taking it outside. Anyway… Does anyone know how much war donkeys are going for on ebay? Nevermind, I’m gonna email Santa.

  • yesno0001

    2002/11/06 at 6:01 pm

    Just add the word “Please” to the sign. Problem solved!

  • Naaman

    2002/11/06 at 6:58 pm

    Make a nice quality print of Chuckles in the devil costume and post it underneath the sign with a note that says, “…And if you don’t, this dog will eat you and then use your rope to go fishing in your goldfish bowl.”

  • Keith

    2002/11/06 at 8:27 pm

    So it looks like a bunch of us L.A.-area bloggers are getting together this Saturday evening at Gotham Hall in Santa Monica… Any chance you & DJ Blurb might be able to make an appearance before you take off for parts unknown?

  • moxie

    2002/11/06 at 10:26 pm

    I’m pretty sure I saw you at the Ralph’s last Thursday.

    Oh yeah, hi…Moxie here. Just another LA writer.

  • nita

    2002/11/06 at 10:55 pm

    I was one of those lazy tenants. Not the ones who tied the door open. No, one of those who in my tiny (6 unit) building sometimes left her laundry in the basement. Until the other, differently lazy tenant got in the habit of leaving the door unlocked and a homeless person set up housekeeping in one of the storage lockers and did so using a blanket I’d left down there.

  • Ex-liontamer

    2002/11/07 at 3:17 am

    Things like “Lazy Tenant Syndrome” (LTS) is one reason I haven’t lived in a multi-unit apartment for since freashman year. I decided to rely on my own stupidity. So far, so good.

  • Antonio Monkerro

    2002/11/07 at 5:14 am

    I have an anti-lazy-tenant device that works quite well. I blare my newest P. Diddy tacks at top volume all night long….now I don’t have any more neighbours. Problem solved!

  • Dave

    2002/11/07 at 5:38 am

    I have installed myself one of these high tech security devices. It says BEWARE OF DOG. I found out that it does not even scare the cats.

  • Beerzie Boy

    2002/11/07 at 5:45 am

    SANS-SERIF? Are you sure that doesn’t infringe on somebody’s rights? This IS California, you know.

  • Carrie

    2002/11/07 at 5:47 am

    I second April in praise of your ability to turn a nuisance into entertainment.

    If it were my building, I would cut the ropes, and just so no one would misinterpret it as random vandalism, leave a sign explaining WHY I cut them. Something subtle, like “Use your keys, you lazy muthas.” That has a nice, neighborly ring to it, right?

  • Cindi

    2002/11/07 at 5:53 am

    Come to SLC where we don’t even lock our front doors!

  • Aubs

    2002/11/07 at 5:59 am

    Can we heretofore ban the use of the word ‘panties’? (Which still makes me cringe even writing it…) Let’s say ‘underwear of the women’s variety’ from now on, k?

  • Clark

    2002/11/07 at 7:06 am

    Once someone in my building didn’t lock the door to our laundry room and when I went to check on my clothes there was a homeless guy sleeping in an area no bigger than a bathtub. I’m super manly but I think I squealed and ran away.

  • Kerry

    2002/11/07 at 7:25 am

    Really, the best security system is a few strategically placed piles of Chuckles poop.

  • deuce

    2002/11/07 at 8:08 am

    actually, it’s not the homeless people on the roof who i worry about. it’s the opossums in the laundry room.

  • Craniac

    2002/11/07 at 8:32 am

    Move to SLC. Home of an exploding Meth plague and gangs composed of transplanted Tongans and Samoans.

  • Mervis

    2002/11/07 at 8:58 am

    THe sign on my neighbor’s front lawn. “Leaving your dog’s mess is an indictment of your dirty character.” It is so difficult not to arrange little bits of dog poop in the shape of heart on the lawn.
    And the sign says long haired freaky people need not apply.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more