This post is directed toward Mr. Hartley, who is visiting the forums this week.
Dear Mr. Hartley and anyone else who can get a good laugh out of this story,
I rent a small apartment in the Midwest, actually on Lake Michigan. For reasons I couldn't understand, my landlord seemed to be very distant and not altogether openly friendly. On an unusual day, he spent some time telling me about his two previous dogs, both of whom had died from the blasto fungus that plagues Lake michigan. He explained that the blasto fungus is caused in part by the human feces that are dumped into the Lake. (This does routinely happen.) He said he moved to the Lake so he could swim every day, but after having two dogs die, he feels he can no longer go near even the water's edge. I sympathized with him.
One day, the toilet was running, and just as I was about to contact the landlord (especially as he pays for the water), he knocked urgently on my door, telling me the water sensor had gone off. I explained what was happening, and HE yelled as he said "none of this shit started happening until you came!!" I began renting the apartment in February of this year, and nothing of serious consequence has malfunctioned during that time, except for the faucet being sticky, which I did ask him to take a look at. I asked him if he was implying that I had caused the toilet to malfunction. He replied passive aggressively/yelling: "well, it never had a problem before with the previous tenants."
he proceeded to storm out of the front door of my apartment, and then whirled around and yelled: "and what IS THIS?!?!?!" - pointing to the beautifully shiny 40-gallon steel garbage can on my porch, complete with animal-proof tight fitting metal lid. I replied that I was happy to tell him what it was for, and that the only reason I did not tell him previously is because he had never asked. I explained that I sprinkle the bottom of my garbage can (I use a 5- gallon bucket) with the wood shavings stored in the 40-gallon garbage can, so that my kitchen scraps do not become stinky during the week. I then said that at the end of the week, I take the kitchen scraps to an official composting site licensed by the City of Milwaukee.
I explained that putting our food waste into the landfill causes problem, just as putting human waste into the Lake causes problems, such as the blasto fungus that killed his dogs. Thus, we should rather take our food waste to the official composting site, and that we should also compost our human waste. He stormed off yelling, and drove away in anger. I was completely taken aback and cried several times that afternoon and evening. He was abusing his power, by implying that I had caused the toilet to malfunction, which is classic abuser behavior. They blame others for the things that they are actually responsible for. As this wasn't the first time he had implied that I had caused an appliance to malfunction, I felt his behavior, combined with the yelling inside of my home, blaming, and swearing constituted abuse. He was abusing his assumed powerful position over me as a landlord, and he was also abusing his position as a man, using his voice and taller body to intimidate me while yelling in my front hallway.
The toilet continued running, getting worse by the day, but he didn't fix it, which was confusing as he pays the water bill. I felt obligated to try once more to inform him of the issue, which I did via email, and he came over to fix it while I was gone. I came back while he was still fixing it, and he left immediately. He did not return until I ran to the beach to use the beach house bathroom, as I had to go! lol! and I didn't want to go pee while he was still in the process of working on my toilet. I guess he just couldn't face me. lol! after that, I told him that I was happy i could fulfill my obligation and avoid him needless water expense, also adding that "I did not cause this issue, nor the issue with the faucet, regardless of whether you acknowledge this, or whether you acknowledge the abusive way you spoke to me. I don't accept any form of abuse from men without labeling it."
That got him going! wooeeee! he then revealed his true character, slinging a large mountain of poopy manipulative assaults via email, including "it must be awful to always be the victim."
I then asked him several times to treat me with respect, which includes, at minimum, speaking to me calmly without raising his voice, without swearing at me, and without accusing me of causing things to malfunction which are clearly malfunctioning due to normal wear, as is the case with a toilet seal, or whatever the problem was. he continued the assaults and taunts, and then proceeded to ACCUSE ME OF COMPOSTING MY FECES ON HIS PROPERTY.
every time i think of this i just start laughing. laughing, because it is so ludicrous that he came to this conclusion from our conversation about wood shavings. It was easy to reply that I was not composting anything on his property, including feces, and that my feces go directly from my butt into the toilet bowl. LOL!! He then proceeded to accuse me of "attempting to bring in a 40-gallon garbage can of sawdust into the apartment, which would be a fire hazard." i told him he was mistaken, and that there would be no purpose in taking up space in my small apartment with a 40-gallon garbage can of shavings. I again asked him to treat me with respect in the future, and that I found it interesting but not surprising that he would not acknowledge that he did not treat me with respect, nor could make a simple commitment to do so going forward. I added that abusive men don't acknowledge nor apologize for their tactics or behavior as a rule.
he then threatened to vacate me and sic his attorney on me. As he has no grounds to vacate me I didn't address that, but I told him to please involve his attorney if he feels it is necessary, as I welcome an investigation in to my conduct, as it would only prove I've done nothing wrong. He then turned his attention to my renter's insurance policy, saying he requires all of his tenants to have $500,000 worth of liability instead of the standard $100K, in case the tenants burn down the mother-in-law suite (which I'm renting). Although this was not in the rental agreement, I decided it wasn't worth fighting. I'll pay the extra $27 per year.
I wanted to share all of this because I think it is hugely entertaining, but also, when I do leave this apartment, which I probably will this fall, I want to give my landlord several parting gifts. I thought that one special gift would be to provide with examples of "first-world" governments that encourage their citizens to compost their manure, regardless of the method....reed bed, humanure lovable loo style, or whatever. I'm wondering if Mr. Hartley might have any resources which might be perfect to use as this gift? I've also considered giving my landlord a copy of the "Humanure" book.
Any other suggestions?
Moral of the story: if you're going to put wood shavings at the bottom of your garbage can to absorb moisture and odors from kitchen food waste, make sure your landlord knows you'r putting your feces in the toilet. LOL.