I Can’t Pay the Rent ‘Cause I’m Addicted to Codeine



In this, the final in the three part story of The Old Man’s business ventures and properties, I’m going to tell the glorious tale of 219. 219 is the number of the house down the street that The Old Man owned for many years.








(219 in the college days)




At some point in the mid ‘70s, The Old Man purchased a perfectly wretched two story house with the intent of making a fortune in rent. It stood ominously above the street just daring someone to tame it. The craggy old man who lived across the street from 219 always had an itch to buy it and live there with his equally craggy wife. He resented The Old Man for owning such a magnificent structure. He would call the police for any little incident that happened involving the renters.

219 was what you would call a “fixer upper” but what it lacked in elegance, it made up for it in filth. From what I can recall, 219 was a traditional turn of the century building. The house had a really bitchin’ extra stairwell in the back of the kitchen that led to the second floor. Its leaded stained glass windows in the attic had long since been filled with holes. Its front porch was sagging and paint was falling off of it everywhere. It had many decent sized rooms, I often thought The Old Man should actually pay a real contractor to gut and remodel it and we should move into it.

The Old Man soon went to work using his slave labor force to nail up plywood and paneling to cover the walls and block off the second floor to make additional apartments. The slave labor crew was also adept at painting. While painting the exterior one time, which was coming along swimmingly, a brutal swarm of Africanized bees that used 219 as their summer home attacked and seriously wounded one of the crew, let’s call him Al.

Right-quick, a bunch of college kids rented 219, and all was well. But college kids tend to mostly just get drunk and destroy things. So The Old Man thought maybe he should rent to a family instead of those crazy kids. The Old Man put his usual ever-present ad in the local paper for a nice family to rent the wreck.

After the college kids, 219 needed various updates and the kitchen was redone in a beautiful late ‘70s Alabama trailer park motif. And soon it was filled with the trailer park white trash to go along with it. Various ne’er-do-wells were living at 219 and each had their own rusted out car parked in the driveway. Somehow, all of these inhabitants were related, either by marriage or incest, we don’t know.

Luckily for me, my job at 219 was to cut the lawn every week. I use the term lawn loosely. It was mainly dirt and ground-level tree roots. My main implement of choice to cut the grass was a weed whacker. While I was there, I was usually pestered by a dirty-faced kid wearing just a diaper and nothing else. This would've been fine, but he was about 13 years old.

There were the few dreaded times that I would accompany The Old Man when something needed fixing in 219. This would really test your gag reflex. This especially was the case when there was a plumbing problem. As you can imagine, the dregs of society are not always the cleanest.

Unfortunately for The Old Man, the rabble of sloth that rented 219 had a hard time of paying rent every month due to vicious addictions to Tylenol with codeine. The Old Man had to kick them out.

Well, joyously, 219 was sold for a huge sum of money by a cunning realtor. The Old Man is now living the high-life, enjoying his golden retirement years with his beautiful and beloved wife. And their little dog too.

Thus ends the fabulous and excruciating recounting of The Old Man’s meteoric rise to power.

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