Mike Brown: Love Thy Neighbor
Activism, Outreach and Education
Moving! What a goddamn chore. I seriously can’t understand people who like it. Sure, a change of scenery is nice from time to time, but let’s face it—moving sucks. It means a lot of cleaning, and chores suck. It means lifting furniture, and lifting things sucks. With all the forthcoming evictions this year, I thought I’d write a few words about moving and being a good neighbor.
Luckily, right now, being a good neighbor is easier than ever. We’re still supposed to stay away from each other anyway, so not introducing yourself to your new neighbors is actually polite (unless you live in Utah County). Not being able to knock on your new neighbors’ doors has got to be real hard on missionaries.
But for me, the isolation is awesome. Knock on my door these days? You’d better have a search warrant or my DoorDash McDonald’s order. There’s no in-between right now.
But I still want to be a good new neighbor. After assessing the tenants in my new apartment, I’ve decided to enter their good graces via what I call the Beer/Barter System. The Beer/Barter System is an economic structure I’m quite fond of; it’s basically buying people off with beer. It works almost anywhere I’ve used it but church. I’m convinced everyone likes free beer. Even if you don’t drink it or are taking a booze-break, this gesture of immense kindness is rarely frowned upon. Jesus turned water into wine, and I turn beer into friends. Actually, now that I’m writing this, I really hope none of my new neighbors read this article right away—I don’t wanna buy twelvers for the whole building all at once.
“Don’t be a wash hog—no one likes you, no matter how fresh and fabric-soft you smell.”
I moved into a super-rad apartment building that is directly above a taco restaurant, a French bakery and a bail-bondsman office, so I’ll rarely ever have to leave. If you have lived in Salt Lake City for a while, you realize how nice those amenities are, and yours truly won’t be taking them for granted.
I also have free laundry now! No more trips to a creepy COVID laundromat for this boy. I will be sure to follow the unwritten rules of being a good neighbor and not become a wash hog. Wash hogs are those assholes that tie up the laundry machines. Don’t be a wash hog—no one likes you, no matter how fresh and fabric-soft you smell.
This is not the first apartment building I’ve dwelled in. If there are two things I’ve learned in my years of eating, sleeping and pooping in such facilities that will keep your neighbors happy, they’re one, mind your fucking business, and two, nobody likes a narc. I couldn’t care less how loud my neighbors are. I consider that being courteous, as well as giving me a green light to throw a rager in the pad from time to time. I will not be narcing out my neighbors for breaking protocols anytime soon. I will, however, keep my distance. Besides, there’s enough drugs out there that one can consume to help hit the hay. Two beers and a half shot of NyQuil is a great combo, in my opinion. [Editor: Such a combination is known to cause severe liver damage, and SLUG does not endorse any such actions on the part of our writers or readers.]
“Knock on my door these days? You’d better have a search warrant or my DoorDash McDonald’s order.”
I’m on the top floor of this three-story building, which is nice. The stairs give me an excuse to put off buying a gym membership until my lease is up, and I don’t have to worry about flooding. I bring this up because the apartment I moved out of was on the ground level. My upstairs neighbor, who was a bit elderly but still a dipshit, would fall asleep with his water running and flood my apartment—a bad habit, and also, that’s the epitome of not being a good neighbor.
Obviously, my first concern while looking for a new place to live had to be if my kitty cat, Princess Ramona, would like it. She’s very particular. I threw out her favorite empty shoebox from our old place, so I bought her a new cat tree with my stimulus check. So far, she seems content and couldn’t care less about her surroundings as long as I’m there for her to fuck with.
“I hate yard work and trick-or-treaters.”
My mannequins seem happy here too and already scared one neighbor. Sometimes when people come over, they wonder why I have mannequins. Well, first off, I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not a famous fashion designer—yet. The mannequins are awesome roommates who don’t talk too much.
I also had been mostly living in a house in Rose Park the last few years. The switch back to an apartment is nice. I hate yard work and trick-or-treaters. Now I don’t have to worry about either. I understand I’m not building my personal equity by paying rent and not a mortgage, but fuck it, the world will most likely be destroyed in 30 years anyway, so I don’t really care for a 30-year loan of any sorts. And shoveling snow? Not my fucking problem anymore!