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Subtitle: Everything Stinks
Is the world SO screwed up that we've finally decided to abandon ALL vestiges of logic and common sense in the never-ending quest to make everything suck as much as absolutely possible?
The answer: YES!
When I first rented the apartment I live in now, the lease had what I consider to be a very reasonable clause: "No pets, and no children." No persons under the age of 18 were allowed to occupy, live in, or loiter around the apartment complex. No children allowed, period. Residents who acquired children during their term of residence (usually through the process of "birth") were given a grace period before getting kicked to the curb.
I liked this rule. I was sad to discover that "pets" included goldfish, but I was glad that I wouldn't have to wade through hoards of Ritalin-addicted drooling 6-year-olds and their Pokeman cards to get to and from my apartment. I was glad I wouldn't have to dodge projectile-vomit from babies who were completely unskilled at any tasks other than emitting bodily waste and crying all day and all night long. I was glad my life wouldn't be in danger from teenagers so hopped up on "goofballs" and other sorts of illegal narcotics that their lives were mere blurs of lights, colors, and violence. I was glad skinhead neo-Nazi "gangstas" wearing skullcaps and blasting "White Power" music at 150dBa and other so-called "children" were banned from living in the apartment complex.
Yes, the "you may not own children under any circumstances" rule was GOOD. I realize it also prevented people from owning the 1% of children who AREN'T either asthmatic snot-nosed cartoon-obsessed brats or purple-haired "cop killa" thugs with gold chains hanging out the pockets of their baggy "gangsta pants", but even that 1% is still pretty annoying. I guess I'm not terribly fond of children. The more children I'm around (especially teenagers), the more I think it should be illegal for anyone to reproduce, for any reason, period.
Now, the lease also forbade me from having a goldfish. I really would have liked to have a small acquarium, but I thought it was a fair trade-off: I promise not to have any fish if my neighbors promise not to have any children. Of course, children are far more dangerous and destructive than fish, but sometimes compromises aren't entirely equal. The rules are the rules.
"No Pets, No Children" was fine with me.
Then, the apartment complex got bought out by a giant real-estate mega-conglomerate. As is generally the case, the giant mega-corp oozed around like a fettid amoeba, sucking up any smaller companies it encountered. The human-owned apartment complex got bought out by the mega-corp.
Durn. I predict another five years until the major real estate companies own every square inch of property on the globe, at which point they'll immediately merge with each other and then be subsequently bought out by AOL-Time Warner-Microsoft-Disney-AT&T-General Motors-Wal-Mart-Pepsi-Coca-Cola-Internet.Com-Budweiser-Exxon-Triangle Computers resulting in the ultimate Capitalist dream of one company that controls every service, industry, and person in the world.
But that's in the future. I'm more concerned with NOW.
In addition to the inevitable 50% rent increase the new owner imposed, there came a new lease to sign.
And with this new lease came -- children.
Now, just like I feared, I DO have to kick aside bratty kids and their Pokeman cards to get up the stairs to my apartment, I DO have to dodge projectile vomit from ugly babies being breastfed by their ugly welfare mothers to get back down the stairs, and I often can't leave the complex because there are scary-looking teenagers standing in the parking lot near my vehicle playing "jump rope," "basket ball," "hackey sack," and whatever other forms of entertainment are popular with crack-smoking high-school dropouts these days.
Yes, that's right: the new lease allows residents of the apartment complex to own children. As far as I know, there's no limit to the number of children a resident can own: Welfare Queens are allowed to spawn and subsequently neglect and abuse seventeen children to get more money from the government. I know that Welfare Queens were doing that BEFORE my apartment got bought out and the new lease went into service, but at least they were doing it somewhere else where I didn't have to listen through the walls to "Cletus" and "Jethro" and "Billy-Bob" and "Billy-Joe" and "Billy-Sue" debating about whether Pikachu could beat up Vulvasaur or whatever the names of those homosexual little monsters are.
The teenagers are definitely the worst. Their owners let them hang out in the parking lot with no adult supervision. I often have to park far away and walk up the back stairs because I'm afraid of getting mugged, gang-raped, vandalized, or otherwise subjected to the whims of America's newest and dumbest generation, which grew up on a steady diet of Ritalin, MTV, and the Fox News Network.
The police tell me that since the teenagers' parents are legal residents of the apartment complex, they can't arrest them just for being "scary-looking," but that I should call them back if I ever see the teenagers with drugs or weapons. I tell the police of COURSE I don't see the teenagers with drugs or weapons: they've already injected the drugs into every open orifice of their bodies, and they keep the weapons concealed in their baggy "gangsta pants" ready to murder the first person who looks at them funny or who they perceive as being a representative of "da establishment."
Now, if some of these teenagers were female, then the situation would be tolerable. I could at least look at them out the window and think happy thoughts about their supple buttocks. But no -- nothing but male street punks with bizarre hair colours and multiple body piercings flashing gang signs at each other. Where are all the teenage girls?
What's almost as bad as the teenagers are the little kids who take the bus to school each morning. They congregate at the bus stop and start yelling at each other about who their favorite Pokeman is and what drugs the school councilor has put them on. This happens at about 8AM, right when I'm trying to go to sleep! I'll lie down in bed and prepare for a blistful day of slumber, only to be shaken out of bed by shouts of "VULVASAUR IS SO MUCH STRONGER THAN PICKACHU!"
It's very hard to resist the temptation to run outside, punt them 70 yards, and shout "MY FOOT IS SO MUCH STRONGER THAN YOUR BUTT!"
Now, this wouldn't be so bad if I could at least relieve my stress by looking at ONE bloody freaking goldfish! But therein lies the problem...
My Neighbor Is Allowed To Own A Pot-Head Neo-Nazi Juvenile-Delinquent Street Punk With Purple Hair, But I'm Not Allowed To Own A Goldfish
That's right. "No pets, no children" has become "We'll cops on you for harboring a goldfish, but feel free to spawn as many uncontrollable, sex-crazed, drugged-up HUMAN animals as you see fit."
There is NO logical reason to allow people to own children (who I think should be locked up until they turn 18 or learn some manners, whichever comes first) but not to allow me to own a flipping GOLDFISH.
Or to put it another way, Everything Stinks.
Well, I'm not standing for it. Some real estate company five hundred miles away is NOT going to tell me I can't have a fish. I can't do anything (legal) to get rid of the children, but DARN it, I will have my fish! In fact, I do. I passed on the goldfish this time, but I have a nice tropical tank containing a beautiful red male Betta, along with a Platty, a Molly, a Swordtail, a Cory, and an Apple Snail. I also have a second, blue, male Betta in a Betta-Hex tank.
If I get evicted for making a stand for decency, so be it. My fish and I will find a new home, free of brats and scary-looking teenagers. We will not be defeated. Our spirits will not be broken. We will find a new home, and we will be free. Someday. Someday. We will be free.
(DISCLAIMER: This account may or may not have been partly fictional and I hereby disclaim all liability for the accuracy thereof.)