Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The special "Clean House -- Home Makeover" issue of my housing co-op newsletter

Someone just told me about that TV reality show called "Clean House". What a great idea. On this show, its hosts Niecy Nash and Mark Brunetz bring a clean-up and renovation crew into people's homes and help them get their junk under control. I want someone to come in and get my junk under control too! Niecy! Where are you? I NEED you!

"Okay, Jane," I bet that Niecy would say if I called her up. "Just exactly why should we clean up your mess instead of helping other, more deserving people who really need it? Spill."

"Waaaa!" I would cry. "Because I'm desperate? PLEEZE?" After 15 years of fighting my housing co-op's Board of Directors' alliance with no results, the worst has finally happened. ALLEGEDLY (that's a legal word that one needs to throw in every once in a while so that one won't get sued for slander -- even though everything I've whined about regarding these Board members for the last 15 years has been absolutely true), this do-nothing Board alliance has totally let Savo Island Cooperative Homes fall into wrack and ruin in order to (allegedly) keep their market-rate rents as low as possible at the expense of the rest of us. But I've warned residents about this constantly ad nausea and still no one here has done anything to get rid of this (allegedly) self-interested Board.

And now HUD has finally stepped in and is threatening to shut us down if the Board alliance doesn't comply to their requests. "But Jane," stated Niecy, "that's really sad and all that, but does being threatened by HUD entitle you to a Clean House makeover? I think not."

But wait. It gets worse. "Not only has this Board alliance refused to raise the rents and schedule an annual election as required by the State of California, but they have (allegedly) done everything in their power to keep me from moving into a downstairs unit -- including (allegedly) lying to HUD -- after I have told them again and again that my poor pitiful knees don't take kindly to stairs. So I hit them with a HUD Fair Housing descrimination suit and now I'm finally getting to move even despite the alliance!"

"That's nice," stated Niecy. "then you got a happy ending here, right? So you don't need us."

Oh but I do.

"Please! Wait! Don't hang up!" I shamelessly begged. "I NEED you! Now more than ever! My current place is a mess. I have enough junk to stock a Salvation Army store. But it's MY junk and I love it. I love it ALL. I love my doll collection. I love my boxes of documents. I love my...."

"Jane! Focus!" Niecy snapped back. "Enough is enough. You gotta man up here. Just throw the freaking junk all out by yourself. You got brains. You got a dumptster. Just do it." But I can't. I just can't. I really tried. I'd rather go get shot at in Iraq or lobby Congress to impeach George W. Bush than deal with all this junk. Cleaning house to me is like waterboarding -- pure torture. I must have been terrified by a vacuum cleaner when I was a tot.

"Sorry, Jane," said Niecy. "We gotta turn you down here." Sigh. But I still need some help. What about you? Are YOU doing anything this Saturday? Wanna come over and help me sort things out? We can use my old coin-tossing trick? Wherein you flip a coin over each thing in your home? Then if it lands on heads, you toss it. And if it lands on tails, you keep it. You can exchange things of equal size from each pile but that's that. Unless you would have to immediately go out and buy something else to replace it, everything that lands on heads goes.

Does anybody want to come to my coin-tossing party? Saturday, June 7, 2008, from 2 pm to 5 pm? I live right behind the community room at Savo Island in Berkeley. And Niecy and Mark, you can come too.