Yesterday, I met my nemesis. The Propper.
Incidentally, thanks to those of you who contributed ideas (genius, all of them) for me to print off and post on the door of my building. I should have just directly requested limericks from Flood and Jen, and a letter-to-a-stranger from Kelsey, because I had a pretty good idea of who would be most likely to contribute and, let me tell ya, ladies, you did not disappoint. Clever as can be, every one of you. I wish any or all of you lived near me. We could have limerick and letter-to-a-stranger writing parties. As it is, I just have these parties by myself, which is nowhere near as fun.
As it turned out, your masterpieces would have been wasted on The Propper who, as I discovered yesterday, is none other than the rotund, middle-aged Latina lady who cleans the building. Given her difficulty communicating in spoken English, I doubt your subtle wit would have packed the punch with her that it did with me.
As I departed the building for the first of many times yesterday, I discovered her standing outside, chatting with a groundskeeper, just a few steps from the PROPPED OPEN DOOR. I approached her, friendly at first, to tell her my plight and request her aid.
Me: "You see, ma'am, someone keeps propping the door open, even though it is hot as Satan's kingdom outside, and it is heating up the whole building! If you see the door open, would you mind shutting it? I try, but I can't keep up with whoever is propping it open."
Rotund Cleaning Lady: "They don't air condition the hallways."
Me: "No...they don't... Surely you understand that when the hallways are ninety degrees it is harder to keep the apartments cool than when the whole building is relatively cool? Right? Right?"
Rotund Cleaning Lady: [looking stumped] "I open the door so the floors will dry after I mop them."
Oh, great plan, rotundarino. In our desert clime it could take as many as twenty three seconds for the nine-foot-square section of tile (which is largely covered by a non-skid rug, might I add) to dry. Wouldn't want to pose a hazard to the tenants. Much better idea to ensure they die of heat stroke in the privacy of their homes.
Me: "Well, I think the floor would dry pretty quick, since it's so hot. So very,very hot. So spanking, blazing, unrelentingly hot. And it is expensive to run the air conditioning. So if you could help me out by keeping the door closed as much as humanly possible, I'd sure appreciate it."
And then, thirteen seconds later, with great relish, I reported her to the management.
Today when I headed out to the grocery store, the doors were all closed. Praise Allah.