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Things Our Tenant Left Behind*

28 August 2008

When we arrived at the house on the afternoon of the 15th, the interior looked like our tenant was still in the middle of moving out. So I called her cell to see how long we should make ourselves scarce—we were planning to go out to dinner, would she be done by evening or should we expect to move in on Saturday instead?

She was done, she said. The only thing she had left in the house was her (super-fancy racing) bike. Would we mind terribly if she came over on the following Monday to pick that up? She had to go out of town for business this weekend, so …

Of course. No problem.

As we walked through the house, we found some more items of hers. I put them by the bike, and on Monday when she came over to get the bike, I showed her the small pile. “Oh my! I can’t believe I almost forgot those!” she said. She brought the bike out to the car came back to the door to say goodbye, and left.

I’ve called her once more during the week of Internet reconnection hell, because the phone company hadn’t removed her name from the account and that was causing all sorts of trouble. I reminded her about the items at the house, and she said she’d come in the next few days to pick them up.

Not yet, though.

I have a feeling she doesn’t really want these items back. Let me show you:

Item 1: Wood-burned wedding picture.
Item left by our tenant

What a unique wedding gift, right? But, after meeting her last week, I don’t think it looks very much like her. I’m thinking that he doesn’t really look like that, either (that’s quite a 5-o’clock shadow and sunburned nose he’s got there). Although the piece implies her hair has some curl to it, it’s naturally very straight, and her face isn’t that round, and I’m pretty sure when she unwrapped this gift she thought, “OMG, my butt isn’t really that big, is it????!”

It looks like a first try was done on the back side of the piece of wood, but it didn’t suit, so the artist just flipped it over and started over. (To me, it implies this was made by someone the couple knew—a professional wouldn’t begrudge another piece of pine board, would they?)

Item 2: Pencil sketch of the couple.
Item left by our tenant

The signature on this one (which I have fuzzed out, don’t go looking for it!) has the same last name as the husband, so here I don’t even have to guess that it was a family member’s (in-law’s, to be exact) gift to the couple.

The Consort thought it was a picture of her and her mother. (“No way,” I said. “Look at those sideburns—that has got to be him!”) And that’s why I think she doesn’t want it back: The nose on her in the picture looks much more pointy and, well, large, than her actual nose, it’s from an in-law, and she just does not like it. Like the previous piece, I think that if it depicted anonymous strangers, it would be fine. But neither piece quite succeeds, representationally.

Item 3: Paint ball airgun.
(no photo – it’s just an airgun)

What do conservative** law clerks do in their spare time? Participate in paint-ball, obviously. Enjoy the pretend game of hunt and kill so much that it is worth it to purchase your very own weapon, rather than use the one you could get for free at the games park. Airguns go for anywhere between $200 and $500. That must be a lot of hunting and killing they do. Hmmmm.

Her position here ends on Monday, and then she’s off back to her home state. I’m willing to bet $20 that these items get left behind.

*Besides the mouse colony and the mouse turds I’ve found in every room downstairs (even the living room!)
**Her clerkship was with a notoriously conservative judge. One who usually doesn’t have female clerks because, as he told a friend of mine who was a colleague of his, “it’s hard to find women who are conservative enough”!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 28 August 2008 4:42 pm

    Gad. Did she not notice the mice?!

    My son was into paintball for a while. But paintball is out and airsoft is in. Didn’t she know that?

    Now I’m worried about what Crazy McActress might leave in our house in Stepford.

  2. 28 August 2008 5:38 pm

    Rather a sweet pencil sketch, but I can’t say I care for the droopy-sports-bra look in the woodburning.

    I hope the mice moved out when they did.

  3. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    29 August 2008 9:38 am

    Kathy: I’m thinking she probably assumed we had rented her a vermin-infested house. It’s an old house, so in the winter, we usually have one mouse think this would be a good place to spend the cold months, but we nip that in the bud. When we got back, behind the fridge, behind the stove, in the kitchen closet, in the downstairs bathroom, and in the living room, the hidden floors were covered in mouse poops. Once I thought I saw a brown smudge race across the bathroom floor, and Trixie saw a mouse run from behind the fridge to under the dishwasher. Things are under control now, I think.

    I suppose I didn’t mention everything she left: we also found a fish tank with all sorts of tubing and heaters, etc., and an empty box from a tropical fish supplier in Florida. Just this morning I dropped the whole thing off for Trixie’s science teacher. They’re doing ecosystem studies, and the teacher hope to get guppies and stuff breeding in the classroom. Score! (So Crazy McActress might leave some pretty cool stuff, you never know.)

    Z: Well, we’re catching one every day. One evening, the Consort and I were in the living room and we heard SNAP!! That was the trap going off. I let the Consort wait until the next morning to “take care” of it. (I’m so sweet.)

  4. 30 August 2008 6:37 pm

    You’re scaring me. Our house in Albuquerque is rented, to a doctor whose name is Jehad, which leads me to wonder why he needed the oven fixed.

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