Travis is our landlord. I've never had a landlord I liked, but I, we, rather (me and my roommate, who is also named Abby — that will be important later in this post), really like Travis.
1. He fixes things promptly.
2. He's never been rude or intimidating.
3. He told us we could paint a mural of a minotaur fighting a dragon on the wall of our living room (true story).
4. If that weren't enough, his correspondence is regular and hilarious.
Which brings me to the main point of this blog. His emails and notes on our door are too good not to share. So let me catch you up to speed.
My initial emails with Travis after we found the place on Craigslist:
Me: Hi Travis,
Tried calling the number you have listed on Craigslist, but the voicemail said "Bill."
Anyhow, I'd love to come by and look at your place if you can let me know what a good time is for you.
Travis: Hello Abby,
What ... you don't go by two different names? How very conventional of you. Actually it's my dad's (Bill, the owner of the place) message service, ergo the pesky name Bill popping up. Anywho, would you like to come by tomorrow?
Thank you for your interest Abby.
Me: Great! I can come by sometime after 4. How about 4:30?
Abby (just Abby : )
Travis: Actually 5:00 would be better. If that is acceptable nod three times ... then respond to the email with a yes. Thanks Abby.
Travis (just Travis)
When you (and your plus one) arrive you may call my cell to signify your arrival. Or just bring a marching band with you and
signify your arrival that way. Either way...
Abby and I decided that we wanted the place, and told Travis (which is a somewhat long, uninteresting email, which mine tend to be, and no matter what the content, Travis manages to twist his response into something highly entertaining), and this is what he said:
Our deals are done with one minute of uninterrupted eye contact between owner and tenant. Or more seriously, before move in you would need to fill out an application and requisite lease form. (Standard boiler plate stuff ... you sign the papers, we get your soul and yada yada) Just shoot me an email with your decision. I look forward to hearing back from you. Have a good day.
A couple days later...
My apologies for putting the following passive aggressive pressure on you, but someone came by today and really wanted the unit. (They even offered to bake me cookies. If they would have said brownies it would have been a done deal.) So I need to know by the end of today whether or not you and Abby want the place. Give me a holler when you can. Thanks Abby.
We never did give the poor man any brownies, but we did end up in this wonderful place.
But then we had a few problems shortly after moving in, like the sink wouldn't drain, and we could only wash 3 spoons and a plate at a time before our sink would be FULL of foul water. Gross. Also it smelled like cats and cigarettes. So I wrote Travis another long, boring email to let him know. And he responded promptly:
...As far as the smell, we actually intentionally stuff cats and cigarette smokers inside the walls to annoy new tenants. When I get back from France, I will remove the both. Later. Travis
And when he returned from France...
I'm back from Paris and may now tend to your issues. (Apartment, not personal of course.) Being back from Paris also means that I shall retire my vacant stare while someone instructs me on the right way to say, "Coke". It's "Coca" by the way. I shall also retire my move of scratching my chin in earnest while staring at "Italian Renaissance" paintings. I would occasionally follow this dramatic chin tickle with profound musings, like, "The art is hung really well in here."
To get back to your Apartment issues, ... I will come by and attempt to fix the drainage problem Wednesday, October 6th, or Thursday October 7th. This will all be done without a vacant stare and chin rub. (If you forgot already, I retired those moves in Paris.)
As far as the cat and smoke issue is concerned, I'm not sure if either of the tenant's smoke, or have any cats. To get to the truth I will inquire/interrogate. I may even slam my fist down on a table for emphasis.
Thanks for bringing these things to my attention Abby. Have a nice day.
Abby and I are very amused by your emails. And we don't mind your dramatic chin tickle and profound musings as long as we figure out whatever is wrong with the sink. And we are deeply grateful for your attention in this matter and if we were tenants in Paris I might accompany a show of gratitude with a curtsey. But since we are in Georgetown, I probably won't, apologies.
Either today or tomorrow is totally fine, merci beaucoup!
And when we came home that night, there was a note on our door that read,
Your sink is now draining. I used a very toxic chemical, so to be safe I would keep your door open tonight to air the place out. (I had it open for about an hour. A little more time couldn't hurt.) I also ate all your food and took a shower. Hope you don't mind.
PS: Your rent is to be sent to *Not actually putting it, but it contains the number 182* (My dad was a huge Blink 182 fan). Preferably before the 7th of each month. And preferably not in pennies.
PPS: Had to throw away your dust pan. Got the toxic chemical on it.
But a few days later, the sink still wasn't draining, so I said...
Bonjour again, Travis,
Thanks for working on the sink — we really appreciate it (and your note, and you eating all the food and taking a shower. no prob. anytime). We were super excited to start washing more than one fork at a time, however, when we tried to do this, it seems that the sink is indeed draining faster, but still clogging, and over time I fear that it will start clogging just as badly as it was before. Should we just try more toxic chemicals? Or could there possibly be a dead mouse or some other such obstruction in the pipes? Sorry to ask you again, but wanted to see if there was another fix we should try. The good news is that the sink and the water in it no longer smell like death — such an improvement. Thank you toxic chemicals (and Travis, of course).
Merci beaucoup, once again,
Are you sure the other Abby hasn't developed a taste for human flesh, and started disposing of said human flesh down the kitchen sink? I know that sounds like a bit of a stretch, but the last person that lived there turned into a full fledged cannibalistic zombie. It was all very Amityville Horror meets every zombie movie of the past ten years.
I'll try another round of toxic chemicals first, then we'll see where we're at. On your end, to be safe, I would definitely sleep with one eye open for awhile. Those cannibalistic zombies, if Abby has indeed become one, can be quite a handful.
If the sink is still a problem, I was going to try another round of toxic chemicals today at 4:30. Hopefully, I (well, actually the toxic chemicals) will be able to make your lifelong dream of washing more than one fork at a time a reality. Travis
Oh my goodness. Such laughs we've had (and I'm having again now, re-reading these). BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. The notes on our door are also pretty fun to come home to. Sadly, we've discovered that one of funniest recently went out with the recycling. Tragic. But here's on that came about a week ago:
This is notice that management plans to enter your apartment on February 15 of 2011 at around 1:30. Management and a team of actors will be reenacting scenes from the comedy classic Big Mommas House 2. We felt your unit was the right fit for such an undertaking. After that, (this is the factual part of the notice) a King County noise abatement team will enter the unit to check the sound levels of the house. (If the sound levels are too high, it could lead to new windows and more insulation... You can stop squealing in delight already! I know this is a big deal, but calm yourself please.) This process will most likely be very noisy. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you weren't going to be there during this time period anyway then I take away the preceding apology.
Travis C. (Human)
And that is all I have to share from Travis right now. As more becomes available, or as he takes more trips abroad and shares them, I will share them as well. Because they're too good to keep.
Travis, if you happen to find this, we think you're hilarious. This blog is an ode to you — thanks for being a great landlord. You and your Blink 182 fan dad.