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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Minimum Wage and the Meth Heads in my Bath Tub

So last night as I was cleaning out the pubic hair that was stuck in the dirt film left in the tub by the meth heads, it hit me, what other options did they really have?

Oh wait-- I should back up a bit.

You're probably wondering why I had meth heads in the bath tub.

I wondered that as well.

We recently sold our home.  We moved out about a week before closing due to schedules and such.  We spent the past week going back and forth getting all the crap that you leave behind thinking "it's not much" but it really is more than a trunk full.

On Saturday night, we had a cleaning crew come through and clean the cabinets, the refrigerator, the baseboards- just a nice courtesy clean for the new owners.  The cleaning crew was there until 7 pm.

The new owners, a super nice family from Wisconsin, had their walk through at 12:30 on Sunday morning.

We have an alarm but we didn't set it up because we weren't sure, with the phone disconnected, if it would work or not.  We also thought it was more of an inconvenience to the cleaning crew and the realtor to do it.

It was one night.

At no point did we expect what happened next.

We decided after our quick move and all the stress that comes with selling a house, to kick back on Sunday.  We went to this awesome used book store and then took the kiddos to see "How to Train Your Dragon 2" at this fantastic luxury theater.  It had been crazy the past few weeks and we just wanted some family time.  We were going to go by the house that Sunday night, say goodbye to the neighbors, take some pictures and go out to dinner.

After the movie, however, my husband and I both noticed that we had numerous texts and messages.  What the heck?

When I came out of the restroom, his face was white as a ghost.  Normally, he's a pretty white guy to start with, but this was his "someone is dead" face.

Luckily, no one was dead- we hoped- but apparently squatters had moved into our beautiful home.

In the 12 hours it was vacant.

Squatters, if you are not family with the term, are people-- usually meth heads- that break into foreclosed and vacant homes and live.  It has been a HUGE problem in my neighborhood.  My neighborhood of very nice homes.  In fact, it's one of the reasons we are leaving our neighborhood.

So imagine the nice surprise the new owners got when they walked in and heard the showers running.  They knew we had planned on stopping by, so they assumed, as a normal person would, that it was us.  To be honest, they thought we might be having a quickie in the shower.  They were a little curious though, because the house reaked of cigarette smoke.  No one has ever smoked in my home.  Ever.  I would kill them.  I hate the smell.  Take your death sticks down the street and puff until your heart is content, but not in my home.

Much to their surprise, a man came out.  In his boxers.  Followed by a woman and another man.  They were in such shock, they didn't know what to do.  Which is a good thing.  Had we been there, my husband would have gone nuts.  I would have chased them down the street.  You should have seen me when someone threw a beer can on Halloween...

We pulled up about 20 minutes later and there were police helicopters overhead.  Their realtor said the cops were down the street.  They thought we had called the police.  We hadn't.

Apparently, they caught the well cleaned trio going into the "main" house- a house that has been vacant for more than 5 years and has become a regular squatters paradise.  They were taking a hose from the house next door into the squatter house.

They probably needed to rinse since their baths were ended quite abruptly.

So when I showed up with the stuff they had left, the police looked a little surprised.  How often do you have a soccer mom approach a meth head saying "Is this your bag with your Ragu and panties in it?"

I could understand his surprise.  I wasn't very nice. I can be viciously sarcastic when I am pissed.  And. I. Was. Pissed.

I was pissed because they had broken in.  I was pissed because the left a mess.  I was pissed because they had smoked. I was pissed that because of them my house value SUCKS.

Pissed.  Pissed.  Pissed.  The last few weeks have been insane and this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I said "Well at least you got cleaned up before going to jail!"

But after I got my pissy out, it really started to hit me that it was kinda funny.  Especially when the new owner was able to identify the one bather by his boxers.

And if you think about it, it IS a little hilarious.   There was minimal damage.  It could have been far worse.  The house could have burned to the ground.

The squatter house was full of all kinds of things.  Largely the things that they had been stealing with the rash of break ins we've had in our neighborhood.  Another reason we wanted to move.

I told the new owners that they are the neighborhood heroes-- they were able to solve the burglaries!!

Various police agencies arrived to fight over who got to take them to which jail-- would it be North Las Vegas?  County?  City?  So many warrants, so many choices!

But last night as I very seriously tried not to vomit as I made my best effort to clean up-- and wow- they really NEEDED to bathe- I started to think about what kinds of options were really available to them.  They were felons.  That limits your future career options.  And even if they could get a job, how on earth could anyone survive on $8.35/hour?  $17,000 a year?  For real?

And even without the felonies, based on the fact that they couldn't figure out how the security bar worked on the back door once they were inside, they weren't the sharpest knives to begin with.  They had some skills- they knew how to disable the garage door and remove my under counter radio without stripping the cabinets.  But what types of jobs were available to them that could actually allow them to have a decent life? A life in their own home.  Not mine.

And as I gagged, I felt a little compassion.

Not that I was happy that they had bathed in my house.

But what options are available to those people who maybe don't have basic life skills?  The bagger at the grocery store used to be able to have a car and a small apartment.  There's no way that's even a viable lifestyle any longer.  When I waited tables, every other waitress had a family to support and could do it somewhat.  Not extravagantly, but decently.

Maybe that's what happened to these folks.  They tried and couldn't do it and a life living in my house certainly seemed a lot better than what they faced.

Now they are in jail.

And they should be- without a doubt- but what's next for them?  There's nothing out there. Their lives won't ever be more than this.

And it made me kinda sad.

I just really wished they hadn't shaved.


Denise Hill said...

Hahahaha and Oh No! You have such a way with words. Perhaps in your new house you should put up a "Squatters Not Welcome" sign.

Joy H. said...

Hey-at least now they'll get three hots and a cot...and a daily shower! :-)