Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In Which I'd Have To Move

Something occurred to me the other day, something that I can't believe didn't come to mind when The Boss and I first moved into our apartment. This is something so huge that when the light bulb finally came on, I got goosebumps. What could be so big, you ask?

I think my downstairs neighbor is a hoarder.

Most of us have seen the TV show on A&E, or at least heard of it. The show documents people all over the United States who have the mental compulsion to “collect” or hoard things. They fill their houses with everything conceivable until their houses are unlivable. In a majority of the episodes, the children of these hoarders are in danger of being removed by CPS, or already have been. Another common theme is that the houses these people live in are often borderline condemnable.

I don't think my neighbor is at a level of hoarding that would qualify her for the show, but I've learned enough from watching the show to recognize a couple of the warning signs:

  1. She has multiple cats,
  2. She keeps her shades drawn at all times,
  3. She has an adult son that lives with her,
  4. They produce very little trash for weekly pick-up,
  5. Whenever I've seen her leave her apartment, she opens the door only enough so she can squeeze through, and then quickly closes it,
  6. She has teeth that look like a can-opener,
  7. I've only seen her wear Crocs,
  8. We can't ever hear her walking, which could mean that she's carefully picking her way through narrow walkways among canyons of boxes and bags and refuse.

While it might be cool to have the camera crews and all these people around to clean up her house like we see in the show on TV, I actually hope that she is not. I wouldn't be cool with all the vermin and the smell and all the city health officials and such.

Especially since we just moved in, I would hate to have to consider moving again.


Ed said...

I have a 89 year old great uncle that could easily be on that show. We moved him from his home a few months ago into assisted living and have been working to clean up the house. We have hauled unbelievable amounts of refuse from the house and thrown into those huge dumpsters delivered by a straight truck and a winch... several of them. When I visited him last a few years ago, the only place to stand was in the arc that the door made when it was open. Other than that, every available space was three to four feet deep. I often wonder what is different about his brain that allows him to find living like that acceptable.

Kelly said...

I know of a few people who are most likely hoarders. Another sure fire way to know is by the state of their car. Is it full of junk? Like full, full? We had a woman, who had a car loaded up like this, who asked one of my employees through the drive up window if she knew "who this dead kitten belongs, too?" And showed her a dead kitten that she had picked up on the side of the road. My employee mortified.

Pulp Bettie said...

I watch those shows as motivation to clean my house. It works...

kristina said...

Just remember, if you don't see her for a while and you start to smell a bad odour, it is time to call the police...

Erica said...

#6 & #7 made me laugh out loud..

Jennifer said...

Ick! I know someone in my friend's neighborhood who is a major hoarder...

Hopefully you are wrong so you won't have to deal with that with the baby and all...

Good luck on that...

Chuck said...

With Baby Badass as such a young age I believe this bears more investigation...and I know you are good at that. Report back soon.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

Okay, wait, as a confirmed cat lady and non-hoarder, I feel compelled to explain:

The slipping out of the house and quickly closing the door? She's trying to keep the cats from getting out.

The tiptoeing carefully around the rooms? That's because at least one cat thinks it's funny to dash right in front of her as she's walking. The little bastards make it necessary to be centered at all times.

The living with her son? Sorry, can't help you on that one.

Also, the Crocs are just a sign of poor taste.

Maggie said...

Sounds like the Crazy cat lady from The Simpsons but for real watch out that she doesn't hurl any cats at you!

Badass Geek said...

Ed: Seriously.

Kelly: That is awful.

Pulp Bettie: It really does.


Erica: I had been waiting to use the term "can-opener teeth" for a while now.

Jennifer: Thanks!

Chuck: Will do, Sir.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy): This post was meant truly as a joke. No offense, I hope.

Maggie: I'll be on the look out.

Arizona Fire Systems: Uh... Thanks?

Just Call Me Lynn said...

That show makes me weep. WEEP! All the signs are there, friend.

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