My first tale of toil and trouble takes place in San Francisco, where the eviction laws are tight and landlord rights effectively nonexistent. San Francisco is also the birth place of Craig's List, that wonderful medium that has connected countless total psychopaths with sweet, unsuspecting young virgins like myself.
Christmas was coming and fat geese were all over the place, honking, eating bread and doing whatever else geese do. Having lost my previous roommate to a horrific car accident (not kidding, but that's a story for another day), I was in the market for a replacement, hopefully one willing to pay $400 more a month so that I could buy Christmas presents and pay off my school loans. I put a hopeful ad up on Craig's List and waited with naive optimism for a responsible, respectful adult with a reliable paycheck to respond to my offer.
Enter the man I will call Harmonic Disconvergence*. After a brief email exchange and tour of the apartment, he accepted my asking price. He seemed normal enough despite bearing a strange resemblance to Billy Idol and, being desperate for cash, I figured that if the check cleared, that was good enough. Background check, shmackground check, people should trust each other, and besides, those things cost like twenty bucks. So we signed the sublease. I regretted it before he even moved in.
The next day, I received from my new roommate Harm the following text message, which I believe he sent to his entire address book. I am not making this up.
--Txt from XXX-XXX-XXXX sent 8:52pm 12/21/2008--
HULK FIND NEW HULK APARTMENT WITH NEW HULK ROOMMATE. NEW HULK ROOMMATE VERY NICE. HULK APARTMENT HAS NICE HULK KITCHEN AND HULK DINING ROOM FOR THROWING HULK DINNER PARTIES WITH HULK FRIENDS. HULK APARTMENT ALSO HAS GREAT HULK VIEWS. HULK HAS BIG HULK BEDROOM WITH PRIVATE HULK BATHROOM FOR ALL HULK THINGS. HULK VERY HAPPY TO HAVE NEW HULK HOME!
Yup, this was definitely going to be an adventure.
*This is the name I got by plugging this jerk's real name into the Goth Name Generator. The shortened name "Harm" is particularly apt for this individual, though perhaps he would have preferred another 4-letter "H" name.