~ “Shithole made for Hobbits” ~ (Brian’s words, not mine)
Our next stop was a “cottage” in what I like to call a “yuck” area of town. We’ve come to find that the word cottage is not only overused but misused on Craigslist. People toss in the term like they own it and therefore they define it. But really, a cottage is a cottage. A cottage is to be charming, modest, tidy, and simple yet full of character. Just because you want people to be interested in your house does not give you the right to throw in instant charm by dubbing it a cottage. The real problem behind my gripe: The target of their deceit is me. It gets me everytime. We arrived at the “cottage” only to find that there was no one there to meet us. A quick phone call to the owner had us concerned. She started asking Brian specific questions about his checking account and how he planned to pay. Recent news proves the importance of taking extreme caution when dealing with Craigslist and her questions left us very uneasy. Brian, being a bit freaked out did his best to end the conversation abruptly and the woman said, “Brian, what is wrong with you?!” (As if we were the crazy ones!) We jumped in the car and fled as fast as we could. Just a short distance down the road, Brian came to the realization that, in looking through his list of recent calls, he had accidentally dialed the wrong lady. The woman he’d just hung up on was the woman from House #5. This allowed us a chance to relax and catch our breath. Brian tried another number, this time connecting with the right person. She told us that she lived an hour away and wasn’t able to meet us. But there was someone who lived close by, a “handyman” she called him, that may be willing/available to do her a favor and show us the house. This handyman of whom she spoke was a college student living next door. He was a pile of a salesman, lacking any bit of motivation or discretion. He sloughed out of his house, pants below his bum (underwear more than exposed) and mumbled around a mouth bulging with sunflower seeds at all times. There were no introductions, no initial eye contact from him; not much oomph for life at all. He let us into the house through a side door leading into the kitchen.
First impression, the porch boards below my feet felt like sponges…never a good sign.
Second impression, the kitchen tiles didn’t match. It looked as if someone had a heyday rummaging through mismatched goods at The Restore and then decided it was a good idea to build a floor out of their findings. Don’t get me wrong I myself have a heyday every time I enter The Restore, but really?!
Third impression, the kitchen looked old. I love that but in this case it didn’t necessarily seem a good thing. Kitchen cupboards insisted on hanging partially open, [see pics] countertop doubled as backsplash up one wall and the other wall had a strange crack running through it. The sink and light fixtures seemed original but looked goofy next to a newer fridge. It didn’t flow; it lacked that extra something not to mention a whole lot of necessary maintenance.
From the kitchen we entered the living room with the front door. Directly off of this room was the only bathroom in the house which still seems to me an odd setup but we did as the lazy college student would do, [SHRUG] and move on. Mr. “handyman” proceeded to tell us that the bathroom “was probably the only safe room to set foot in…in the entire house.” OH_MY, there are no words. He claimed to have remodeled it “when he had nothing better to do.” There was another front room off of the living room which circled you back to the kitchen. The owner claimed this was a bedroom, I don’t think it was built with the intention of being a bedroom but, [SHRUG.] In between front room/bedroom and kitchen there was a stacked washer and dryer at the foot of a daunting staircase leading upward. For those of you have experienced the stairs leading to the loft in my parent’s shop, these stairs are comparable. Climbing the stairs goes like this: turn your feet sideways, slant body forward like you’re walking into the eye of a storm, and hang on to the banister for dear life because one wrong step and you’re a goner by the time you hit the cement at the bottom. In case you think I’m just being dramatic, here's a fact. Each step accommodated just the toes of Brian’s size 13 Romeos…and yes, if we were to live there I think I’d suffer nightmares of my poor little Finn crashing down those horrid steps and landing up in the washer with a load of soggy laundry. Upstairs housed two more supposed bedrooms. Our bed alone would have consumed one of them and our clothes (okay, my clothes) the other. I think you could stuff 3 standard pillows into each closet and it would be at capacity. We survived the descent back to spongy ground level, thanked Mr. Handyman, and never looked back as we drove away. What an experience.
Enjoy the pics, even the clothesline can't seem to stand up straight. Maybe you too, can get a kick out of how small the house is in comparison with Brian. You may think they’re taken from angles which make it appear smaller than reality, but don’t fool yourself; these pics don't lie like the side mirror on your car. After all, this is the house Brian dubbed, “Shithole made for Hobbits.”