Friday, March 16, 2012

Burning Down the House

We finally got around to throwing a housewarming party last weekend, which was a roaring success. Our new place has been thoroughly warmed (without, thankfully, being burned to the ground). The evening was only slightly marred by two minor incidents, which I will recount to you now:

1. The neighbors called the cops on us. Now in fairness, the music was probably quite loud and we had the front door open so the sound undoubtedly carried. But it was 10pm on a Saturday night, and had anyone come up and asked us to turn it down, we would happily have complied. Instead, the as yet unidentified neighbor (we strongly suspect the assholes in #108) sent one of Santa Monica's finest to give us a talking to. Having established that we weren't a major threat to society, he asked us to keep the door closed and left. Has it really come to the point where we can no longer knock on a neighbor's door with a polite request? Do we really need to waste police time on the off-chance that our neighbors are psychotic axe murderers who might stab us to death for having the audacity to ask them to turn their music down? I suppose our neighbors might have been scared off by that vicious guard dog we have...

"Grrrr, I could kill you with one paw"

2. I rarely drink liquor, so I'd put all the bottles of scotch, vodka, rum etc. out for anyone to help themselves to. Now most of our liquor has been with us for a good couple of years. Like I said, I rarely drink the stuff. About halfway through the party, a couple of our guests reported that the bottle of vodka was not actually a bottle of vodka. It was a bottle of very expensively packaged water. Now I'm pretty cheap sometimes, but I'm not about to fob off my guests with watered-down alcohol. That's a surefire way to ruin a party. We immediately knew what had happened. Fern's thieving cousins, who used to walk Katie, had helped themselves to the vodka and replaced it with water. We'd ended up firing them because they'd pulled a similar stunt with the rum, but forgotten to top up the bottles. We have no idea whether they were taking a nip every time they walked the dog (indicating a serious alcohol problem) or decanting the booze into a container to take home with them (indicating a serious cheapskate problem). Either way, we are no longer on speaking terms with them and happy to be out of their neighborhood. 
Not to be confused with Evian

The moral of this story is that if you're going to steal someone's booze, it takes them a lot longer to notice if you actually bother to top the bottle up with water than if you drink all except the last inch in the bottom of the bottle and just leave it for them to find.

Epilogue: The housewarming party ended with a wet t-shirt contest, which was won by Adam. Coincidentally, he was the only participant:

"Turn up the air conditioning, we need more nipple"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Running the Charity Worker Gauntlet

Living in Santa Monica is fantastic - we're right by the beach, everything is within walking distance, the weather is gorgeous, and the people are great. With a few exceptions. The charity workers here are relentless. You can't walk down 3rd St. Promenade without a constant bombardment of monetary requests. Since we moved here, I've been asked to support everything from world peace to preserving the habitat of the Mexican Spotted Owl. After a few weeks of being aggressively pursued along the promenade, I started to fantasize about doing this:


Having sworn off violence for Lent, I am instead taking detours around the promenade. Meanwhile, my husband has adopted this tactic:

Greenpeace Worker: "Would you like to donate a few bucks to save the whales?"
Fern: "Absolutely not. Both my parents were eaten by whales. I fully support their extinction."

Anti-Bullying Campaigner: "Would you like to donate a few bucks to help stamp out bullying?"
Fern: "No, I'm pro-bullying. I paid my college tuition with the skinny kids' lunch money."

Homelessness Campaigner: "Would you like to donate a few bucks to help end poverty and homelessness?"
Fern: "Ending poverty and homelessness is a completely unachievable goal. There are many reasons why there will always be people in the lower echelons of society and if you have some time, I'd be happy to discuss them with you in depth..."

I give it three months before the charity workers on the promenade actually start walking in the opposite direction when they see us coming.