Just when we thought racial profiling was limited to Black guys in White neighborhoods at obscure hours of the night and names on job applications, we realized how wrong we were. Forget trying to buy a house. How about trying to find an apartment? You’d think that would be a simple process. Show proof you got a job, have good credit, a good personality, and good references. That should make it easier right? Nope. We’re still Doo-Rag All-Stars.
Y’know Slim, Mos Def’s song Mr. Nigga pretty much rings true right now. I’m going to turn that up while we write.
For more than a week, Seattle and myself have been looking for an apartment. It’s nice to walk around in boxers and a beater in the 1 bedrooom bachelor pad, but we both realized there was a lot of money to be saved (Note: We did not walk around in boxers in the same apartment. We each had our own place. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a pause.) It’s also easier to build our blogging empire if we live in the same place. Again, we do it for the people.
Pause again for the full effect. I said it once and I’ll say it again. I don’t like this guy. I live with him for financial reasons. Period. I don’t want to hear anything about, “Aww that’s cute.” Efff all that. Sacrifices needed to be made for my bank account. Yeah I liked standing in front of my AC with just boxers on sipping on a glass of the finest bougie juice that Whole Foods offers on a hot summer day, but hey, sometimes you can’t have everything. The sexcapades will now be relegated to my room, but… my bad Slim, I digress.
We looked at roughly 15 apartments. Some were too pricey. Some were terrifically priced, but too far away from public transit. Some were bombdiggity, but located above Thai or pizza spots. Can we say roaches, rats, other bugs, and cats? Definitely ain’t tryna call the Orkin Man.
A Russian pizza spot too. Y’all know how I feel about that ish. Plus, the whole spot reeked of chicken pad thai and mystery meat calzones. Hey, don’t forget about the spot that had the “patio”. Y’know the one that was pretty much just an extended step, attached to the backdoor (über pause) that was just two feet off the ground. In other words, easy access for would be hooligans to hop up in our crib and steal what little expensive items we have. Now that I think about it, that was the same spot that had broken glass all on the street. I’m no CSI agent, but where I’m from that means someone either had their iPod on the driver’s seat or a young lady was filled with seed, of any variety, and in turn felt scorned. All it needed were a few broken vials and a condom wrapper to complete the décor.
Anyways, we saw 3 apartments that we really liked. In Boston, it’s easier to work with an apartment broker than conduct an independent campaign for tenancy. First spot we saw with the broker was ideal. Good location, manageable price, and a triple jump away from the subway. We bumped into the landlord on the way out. We made a verbal offer on the unit through the agent. The landlord needed to think about it…for a week. We knew what the deal was. Though we were clean and fresh dressed, he probably figured my beard was too scruffy and I had just lost my job. He may have even thought we were too good for the spot…Riiight. He saw 2 black dudes with 40s, hoez, gold chains, reefer and delinquent payments.
If he were Caucasian, I probably wouldn’t have been surprised. I mean hey, it’s Boston. I know the deal. But dude was Indian. There was no minority alliance here. It didn’t matter that we hit him with our brilliant eloquence and Crest Whitestrip smiles. I could’ve had my Bachelors Degree hanging from my neck and he just would’ve thought I was Flavor Flav. Dude was caught up in the melanin factor. Well the fact that we had more than him. We might as well have been rocking tims, wife beaters and baggy jeans with knots in them.
Our friends tried to be nice and make us feel better, “Well, maybe he wanted to get a better offer?”
Of course we’re angry and assholes, so Slim said…
If you’re a landlord and your apartment doesn’t rent for 2 months and you have good people ready to write a check, what the f*ck are you delaying for?
Yeah. Thought so.
Plus we have good credit! I know, I know. I was as surprised as you are.
We eventually found another spot with everything at an even better price. We submitted applications and a deposit. Unfortunately, we met the landlord and his wife while viewing the apartment. 24 hours went by and he “needed more time to review our application” according to the broker. Come to find out he had rejected our applications because we were “fresh out of school”. Fresh out of school? Mofo, I been working for over three years and I speak better English than you do. Seattle’s equally (ahem, if not more) articulate and has worked just as long as I have. Eff you. Eff your wife (twice). Eff your little pet cat that drinks out the toilet. I will sell that sh*t to the General himself.
Wow. Ok Slim. Well, the fresh out of school reason didn’t work for me. Besides the fact that we’ve both been out of school for a little while now, didn’t the landlord’s wife hesitate to shake your hand? Yeah… Also, I probably should’ve told you earlier but I saw the landlord’s face as he was walking out of the apartment. He looked highly surprised and then immediately upset once he saw us. His eyes widened and then quickly tightened up like a, well; you see where I’m going with this. Nonetheless dude, it was for the better. Carrying that monstrosity that you call a couch up those stairs would’ve killed you and I. They would’ve ended up with chalk lines in their apartment without all the accompanying bullet holes. Oh, don’t forget to tell them how the real estate company attempted to steal your money. Yeah, check fraud is not just a Nigerian scam anymore.
Right, Yeah. I almost forgot. When we put the deposit down on the apartment and the people took more than 24 hours to respond, I called the broker and told them to cancel the deal. I left a voicemail and sent an email. I get to work the next day and dude’s boss is on the phone. The conversation went a little something like this:
Slim: Hi, this is Slim.
Boss Broker: Hey Slim. I got a message from my agent that you are bailing out on the deal.
Slim: Yeah, it’s been more than 24 hours and the landlord hasn’t responded to our applications, good credit, and deposit check. We no longer want to live there.
Boss Broker: That’s not how it works buddy. You can’t just break the deal. We ran background checks and everything. Who do you think you are!?!?
Slim: I’m Slim Jackson b*tch. Gimme my money.
Aight, so I didn’t say that. I figured it would be funny though.
Slim: I looked up the laws and spoke to a lawyer about this. The deal isn’t valid until the landlord signs, which he hasn’t.
Boss Broker: You don’t know what the &%% you’re talking about. You are not breaking out of this deal. We’re keeping your deposit as our fee. I’ll see you in small claims court a$$hole.
Slim: Why are you yelling?
Boss Broker: &%% You! *click*
Needless to say, the jr. broker called me apologizing when I threatened legal action via a facsimile. I told him I’d be in that afternoon to pick up my check and that the boss better not be there or he’ll get strangled with my tie. But yeah, I got the money back and the boss wasn’t there when Angry Black Slim showed up during his lunch break.
After this whole story, some of you might still be thinking that we’ve blown this out of proportion. That we’re just crying racism. That the real reason these landlords were apprehensive to house us is that we’re just two young guys. Well, after all the bull—- that we went through with all those other spots, we found an apartment. In the burbs. A place where trees grow freely, there aren’t trash cans on every corner and folks ride bikes with their children in tow. Where we say hello to our neighbors in the morning from the porch, while we sip on some bougie brand OJ. Funny thing was, it went amazingly smooth. Y’know why? We never met the landlord face to face. Everything was done over the phone. And with the names, jobs and business phone voices that we have, there was no reason for him to think anything out of the norm. But boy will he be surprised when he comes up to check on the place!
Happily Depreciating the Property Value With Every Breath We Take,
Seattle – I Probably Won’t Let Any Black Folk Move Into My Neighborhood Either – Washington
Slim “I’ll Slip Your Wife More Than Mail” Jackson
Oh yeah, please contact us for an address to send all those lovely housewarming gifts. L’Chaim!