Insomniaville: The Journal

6/19-- Joyful Suburban Vandalism.

On Monday night, Bill and I cut loose and relived the carefree destructiveness of our college years. We pitched a couch over our balcony railing into our neighbor's yard.

Of course, it was our couch. And our neighbors weren't home, having fled the area a couple of weeks ago. But it was still coooool.

We got home from work that night to find notices from our apartment management, informing us that on Tuesday they were planning to power-wash our balconies in preparation for repainting them. We needed to have all our possessions off the balconies.

Most of the stuff we had out on our balcony was crap, including a filthy, ratty wicker couch. Bill bought this couch off a friend well before I met him. When I moved in, the wicker couch moved out to our balcony, deposed by my two sofabeds and my desk. After two years of sitting out there in rain and humidity and storms and snow, the poor wicker thing really wasn't fit for human use anymore. Bill and I agreed that we had no problems with throwing it out. But we didn't want to schlep the filthy thing through our apartment to take it down to the dumpster.

"The neighbors aren't home, right?" Bill asked.

"Nope!" I said --

-- what's that? Didn't I tell you before? The horrible scumbag neighbors from Hell are gone! Yes! Gone, baby, gone! O frabjous day, calloo, callay, and all that good stuff.

Two weeks ago we were watching TV late at night when the Family Scumbag started making all sorts of ruckus downstairs. We heard WHUMPs and BOOMs and CLUNKs and THUDs and CRASHes. The racket sounded for all the world like people moving out under cover of night to avoid detection by the proper authorities. But I didn't dare hope.

The next morning when we went down to the car, I snuck a glance in their sliding-glass door. And the most beautiful sight of all greeted me -- their apartment, completely empty. I started doing a little happy dance right there on the sidewalk.

No more grubbies loitering on the front lawn and staring holes at us when we come home! No more Mr. Floppy Man-Boobs with his shirt hauled up underneath his chin to display his bountiful 46DDs to the world! No more Hawking Phlegm Serenades when we open our balcony door on a nice day! No more being jarred out of sleep by boomthumpaboomthumpaBOOM music at 7 am on Saturday! C'mon, get outta that chair and dance with me. You know you want to.

This week I saw an official-looking notice taped to their door, threatening them with a lawsuit over their unpaid June rent. Unpaid rent that the apartment management will never see, of course.

But who gives a shit? They're GONE.

And so Bill decided there was no particular reason why he couldn't just heave the wicker couch over our balcony, grab it outside, and haul it to the dumpster. That sounded like a fun plan to me. Very fun.

"Need some help?" I asked as I stepped onto the balcony.

"Nah. I got it," he said as he got the couch ready to drop. It wasn't until I whined and stamped my feet a little that Bill realized I wanted to help.

So we eased it over the balcony and it landed in the Family Scumbag's yard with a satisfying ... crunch. Wicker hitting grass doesn't make a terribly impressive sound, I suppose. And the legs of the couch collapsed upon landing, which convinced both of us that the thing hadn't been usable even if we'd wanted to salvage it.

But we peered over the balcony at our handiwork and giggled anyhow. "It's like being in college again!" I said.

Actually, I never threw furniture out the window in college. I'm not counting the time I threw my roommate's massive beer bottle collection out the window one by one in a drunken rage over a guy.

But I lived around tons of furniture throwers. One night during my junior year, I was sitting in our lounge watching TV. Outside, a chair fell by the window. Then another chair. And another. I went back to my room. I didn't want to be around if the security staff showed up and started asking questions.

The next morning, all the furniture that had been in the upstairs lounge was scattered on the ground outside the window. My prissy and proper RA was absolutely incensed. And I couldn't blame her, really. There's no arguing that this was a dumb, wasteful, dangerous, immature stunt to pull.

But I couldn't help myself. I took one look out the window at the pathetic-looking furniture smashed on the lawn. And I collapsed on our ugly plaid sofa (which could have used a trip out the window itself) and laughed myself delirious.

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