12:00 p.m. Girlfriend makes demands: home improvement or move. Terms: non-negotiable.
2:00 p.m. Buy paint. Work tirelessly to apply “golden cricket” hue to walls.
5:00 p.m. Girlfriend gives, O.K. Move avoided. Phew. Apartment thick with toxins. Leave to walk restless dog.
7:00 p.m. Notice homeless crack addicts squatting in apartment next door.
7:01 p.m. Hide girlfriend and dog. Call 911, but first confirm with landlord that next-door apartment has not been rented to face-tattooed crack-cocaine users.
7:02 p.m. Landlord confirms men with face tattoos are, in fact, new neighbors. Keep an open mind, he says.
7:03 p.m. Per suggestion, keep open mind about recently paroled neighbors.
7:04 p.m. Decide against open mind.
7:05 p.m. Pack girlfriend, dog, toothbrush. Flee.
8:00 p.m. Bask in suburban refuge. Feel lucky to be alive.
9:00 a.m. Apartment hunt.
10:00 a.m. Meet gypsy landlords. Despite Snatch, gypsy landlords do not allow dogs.
11:00 a.m. Regret painting apartment. Inspect various available apartments. Chat up gypsies, but to no avail.
12:00 p.m. Nod head at upset girlfriend. Eat Vietnamese food. Watch dog scratch ear.
1:00 p.m. Give up apartment hunt. Concede to massacring by crack addicted neighbors. Imagine Lifetime movie.
2:00 p.m. Stumble upon open house. Eureka! But open house is packed.
2:01 p.m. Point out flaws to other potential renters e.g., lack of parking, freeway noise, stairs. Grab folder of applications, flush down toilet. Toilet floods. Shake head and mutter about shoddy craftsmanship. Potential renters leave.
2:10 p.m. Fill out application. Corner landlord: praise ample parking, lack of freeway noise, joy of stairs, expert craftsmanship. Shake hands.
4:00 p.m. Go back to crackden apartment. Hammer windows shut. Hide under bed. Add 911 to “favorites.”
5:00 p.m. Good news! Eureka is available, pending credit check. Who says a jump shot is the only way out of the hood!
5:01 p.m. Dog scratches ear. Girlfriend shakes head. Make plans to buy primer, paint wall back to original color.