Welcome to Advice 101, so called because it was ranked 101st best column in Canada by a team of Internet message board commentators who agree that there should a White Heterosexual Male Day.
Q. Hey, John! I hear you’re looking for an apartment. As a trained advice columnist, what tips would you give somebody looking for a new place?
A. Well, apartment hunting can be a slow and frustrating ordeal, or a rushed and unsatisfying one. The choice is yours.
The first thing to remember is that, no matter what apartment you choose, there’s a better apartment that you missed. The best way to deal with disappointment is to brace for it.
Q. What are some key signs that an apartment is not right for you?
A. One sure sign — and this really happened to me — is you discover the house number has been drawn onto the door with liquid paper and is still wet. While the extra effort was appreciated, it changed my prepared questions from concerns like “Is the water pressure strong?” to concerns like “Is there a toilet?”
I still took the tour to be polite, then declined. I like to think the light bulbs were freshly screwed in on my way over so that I didn’t have to fumble around in the dark. It’s the little things.
Q. And what ‘little things’ should one check for?
A. Take this checklist with you:
• Are the mice friendly?
• Is there police tape? How much?
• Does the landlord believe evolution happened in quick spurts? Or steadily over time? Judge him accordingly.
Q. What would you consider the ideal apartment?
A. I’m a respectful apartment dweller, but I’m a bit of a slob. And by “a bit,” I mean I once knocked over a coffee in my apartment and was delighted when it did not spill anywhere because it had hardened into a new invention I call Coffee Flakes. The patent is pending.
So, the ideal apartment would be covered in that non-stick coating they put on frying pans. There would be a drainage hole in one corner of the apartment and a jack in the other. Once a month I would jack up one side of the apartment and let slide out all of the items that wouldn’t come clean, such as the Barcalounger.
If you see anything like this on Craigslist and it’s within 500 metres of a bus station, let me know. I’m liquid paper-flexible.
John Mazerolle is a comic and writer in Toronto. Read more at www.beaverexaminer.ca