“Oui. Ziss space is a breezy $4500, monsieur.”
“Oh? Right on.”
“Oh. Oui. Owie.”
The trim French realtor hawkishly eyed his billboard-sized phone with a dozen or so millisecond, sidelong glances, as I grimly took in the bare brick walls of the coffin-sized hovel that he had emerged from the Men’s Wearhouse Fancy Collection™ to show me.
“Yes. Ziss space is incredible,” he cooed at me, as I followed the bare tangle of outlet wires back to the blackened breaker box. “It is over one hundred square feet! Can you believe it?”
Los Angeles is such a great city. For only all of your money, you too can lease a pile of dog turds on which to rest your weary, bankrupt head. I’m moving there in April, and have spent the last few days wiping looks of incredulity off of my face while being shown rentals that cost just above the average yearly income of the Saudi royal family.
“Can we look at the place that costs $8500 a day again, my man? I’m kidding. This place looks great. Here is all of the money I will ever have. Please let me kill rats in this shithole for at least a year.”
“Oui. Vee must first check your credit, call everyone you’ve ever made eye contact viss, exhume your grandparents corpses for inspection, ond drain all of zee blood from your body and run it sru ziss machine, vhich vill check your True Credit, and is not at all a scheme to steal your hemoglobin for the coven of vampires zat I am not now, nor have I ever admitted to being a member of.”
Ah, Alfonse. What a great guy. I would bet money, if I had any left, that his stiffly pressed suit was taken off of a live, breathing human, and not at all stolen off a rich corpse in a Hollywood mortuary.
“I’ll get the paperwork together. Thanks Alfonse. You’ve been grea-”, I started to say, until I realized that he had already clicked his bootheels together and was striding briskly off, toward a particularly vulnerable looking elderly woman emerging from the jewelers across the street.
Tumbleweeds rolled lazily across the ruined pile of rotted lumber from what appeared to have formerly been a hastily erected survivalist shack.
“There might be some spent ammo in there. If so, its gonna be an extra $200 a month. You won’t find amenities like that around here at this price. This space is amazing. Also, any old nails you find are going to be extra, especially if you find them by stepping on them,” Ozy—Death Valley’s premier realtor—informed me, his alligator skin boots glinting in the last rays of desert sunlight. “We’re only three and a half hours east of LA, too. This is prime. $3700 a month is a steal. You’re basically robbing me here. I should call the authorities, but there’s no way they’ll come out here, haw haw!” he guffawed. I crawled inside and pulled my coat tightly around me. “The coyotes are real friendly out here too. This is a real hotspot for coyote fuckin’. You’re gonna love it.”
“I already love it, Ozy. These empty shotgun shells are fantastic. I’ll take it.” I slipped on my shades and reclined in my new Rubble/Live/Work space .
Watch yourselves, L.A. There’s a new gun in town.