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Title: Gooseberry Gumdrops Address: http://gooseberrygumdrops.blogspot.com Author: Michael Rheinbold From: Tierrasanta Blogging since: March 2007 Post Date: April 13, 2007 Post Title: Pistol Skittles

Things continue to go south for our fearless hero. My roommate, Vladimir, had a bitter conflict with the landlord and was evicted from the apartment last Wednesday. Subsequently, I was also kicked out. Apparently, Vladimir never entered a contractual agreement with the landlord so he was able to kick us out with less than 24 hours notice without infringing on our tenants' rights, which we would have been protected by if there had been a lease, contract, or some sort of Mayflower Compact. Not only did Vladimir neglect to do that, but he also never told the landlord that he was renting out one of the rooms to a third party (me), and that's why I had to go, too -- down the drain with the rest of the dirty dish water. I was furious with Vladimir for obvious reasons and even more upset at this faceless landlord (I had never met him at that point) for kicking us out with such little notice. I realized there was a recurring theme that resonated throughout my experiences here in Dublin, which included getting fucked over and ripped off. This time, I decided to make a stand. I was not able to collect my security deposit (which I struggled so hard to preserve by replacing that busted refrigerator) until I gave my set of keys to Vladibeer, so he could be sure that I was out of the apartment and rotting on the streets. In my boldest attempt at cleverness, I duplicated the keys before handing over the originals to Vladismirnoff, told him that I had moved out, and continued to live in the apartment in secret, with all parties involved being none the wiser.

I knew a bitter and unpleasant confrontation was pending between me and John (the faceless land-wizard), so I lived in discomfort and unease every day. I was sitting atop a powder keg, waiting anxiously for the matches. I slept in fear at night -- a frontline soldier in a foxhole, afraid to make any movement that would reveal my position to the enemy. I became a 21st-century Anne Frank, living in hiding...and this is my diary. The only difference is I was not hiding from the Gestapo, but from a crass Russian and a malicious Irish landlord with phenomenal asshole wattage. I believe my room will become an overpriced museum 50 years after my heroic death, open to students, historians, and tourists from all corners of the world who will at last be able to learn about the atrocious crimes landlords have perpetrated against tenants over history, and they will not forget. It will be called the Michael Rheinbold Museum of Tenant Tolerance, and it will be open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays with free admission upon presenting a student ID. They will learn to never hate a tenant for the rest of their lives, and they will understand the inhumanity of antitenantism. This will be my legacy.

Plus, I was simply too lazy to move out, because I had accrued an unnecessary surplus of crap in the past two months that would not be easy to schlep around on buses and through the streets. Moving house takes a good deal of initiative, which I do not possess.

On the third day, while I was enjoying an unusually sunny day in the city, the landlord became privy to my scheme. He had already placed an ad for the apartment, which he thought was vacant, and it was promptly answered by an Irish couple who was eager to move in. When he came over with the potential new tenants to view the digs, my stuff was still strewn about. He called Vladimir in a rage, who then gave him my mobile number. Once I confirmed to him that I was still living on site, he told me to "Get the fuck out of the apartment right now." He had plenty of other four letter words for me, and none of them were "take your time."

The City Manor Hostel located on Lower Gardiner Street is, by far, the most disgusting, dirty, dilapidated, worst-smelling hostel I've ever had the misfortune of being a guest in. And worst of all, it smells very bad. I know I said that twice, but it is worth reiterating.

Something is wrong here as I go back and read this. I feel I haven't accurately expressed how frustrated I am, which just lathers up a bit more frustration. In times like this, I turn to none other than Him, my Saviour, the son of God, the Saviour of mankind. I close my eyes and remember that He died on the cross to pay for my sins, and only in Him will I find love, virtue, and wisdom...and for that moment I am at peace with all and everything that has been the source of my despair. Then I open my eyes and realize I still don't have a fucking apartment.

I leave Dublin with one final thought, one concrete conclusion, one grand catharsis that should have revealed itself to me on the basketball courts in elementary school, but has now been broken over my head in one big, beautiful, cresting wave of clarity: I am not a winner.

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