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Horror Stories: Gathering Storm in Picturesque Lincoln Park

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This next horror story was submitted in bullet-point letter format, and we've left it as the writer intended. Despite the 20-some-odd complaints, there's not a single throwaway. You'll find it works quite well as a rant:

Dear Future Renter of My Apartment,

Congratulations on renting this large two bedroom, two bathroom Lincoln Park gem. I'm sure you are excited about the in-unit washer/dryer, dishwasher, and central heat and AC. I just wanted to help you out with the little tricks you may find as a surprise:

· Five years ago, when I moved in, I handed my landlord the broken part to the dishwasher that made it fully work. Today, it has still yet to be put back in.
· The fourth burner on the stove does not work, so cook in shifts.
· The oven burns about 100° hotter than what you set it at, so your cake will be done in half of the time (score!)
· The dryer burns clothes on the highest heat setting. You WILL get holes in all of your expensive apparel.
· The washer somehow tie-dyes your clothing, even when you do not use bleach. It must be a secret that the underpants gnomes keep.
· The second bathroom toilet does not flush. Do not poop in it.

· However, the first bathroom exhaust fan has not worked for years (despite requests to fix it), so don't poop in that bathroom either.
· Many of the electrical outlets are stripped, so they just plain do not work. If they do, it's when you jiggle things around until it sparks. Then it will work.
· That crack in the wall in the second bedroom has black stuff behind it. It's mold. Just let your immune system get used to it.
· The furnace and thermostat has not worked over the past five years. It has broken 10 times! Mostly in the freezing cold. In fact, once, it started burning, and a bunch of hot fireman came to put it out. The blower was only replaced, not the whole unit, so if you like hot firemen, they will surely be over again soon!
· If you light a fire in the fireplace, it will kick back black smoke into all three units.
· We had 12 pets at one time in the apartment! Only one, the dog was welcome. Yeah, it might be hoarding, but the two litters of rats born in the walls and cabinets seemed to sneak in. If you have a panic attack, St. Joseph Hospital is a great place to go for exhaustion to get out of your home.
· All of the windows leak air. Don't try to wash them outside either. They will also leak water.
· The first time that I steamed cleaned the carpets, it took 8 buckets of black water before the water started coming up just brown-ish. You are welcome. I gave you semi-clean floors.
· Your key will not work in the front door, as the lock has corroded and will not fit a key. This is also good because it is harder for people to break in. But you really just can't use the front door unless you need to get out. You must come in through the back door.
· The refrigerator was new three years ago after it broke. It only cost about $300, so the lining is pulling off the door. Don't worry. I fixed it with nail glue.
· The sink has leaked for all five years despite the attempts to have it fixed. Mold comes quickly underneath it.
· There are no vents in the kitchen, which actually helps your bread stay fresh!
· Sometimes you will find drunks passed out in your yard, or just trying to get into your apartment because the locks on the gates somehow refuse to be fixed. They like being broken. Give these people a cupcake...or call the police. That works better than asking them to leave with cupcakes. They might just keep coming back.
· There are always things that you can find behind the walls. Like the valve to shut the water off in the back coach house when there is a problem. You can just punch a hole in the wall to get to it. The workers did!
· The carpet...well, I hope you have a crappy vacuum. I have gone through three since the carpet just pretty much breaks off into your vacuum.
· If it rains, your yard will be flooded.
· If it snows, you will have to shovel.
· The neighboring pizza place will find someway to piss you off. Bring them wine and cheese plates to get on their good side.
· You will oftentimes wake up to random construction projects right outside your window, or your water shut off with no warning. Smile and make cupcakes!
· Unless you really like cigarette smoke, never open the windows for "fresh air." Ahhh...carcinogens galore!
· From 12:30am-2am every night, the restaurant next door goes in and out, slamming their doors, to put their kitchen mats out for the night. They serve as a great rat condo. I see them there weekly!
· Finally, it is always cold. When the foundation started separating from the walls, I discovered that there is no insulation. Don't worry. The baseboards were lowered to cover the wall separation from the floor.

Other than that, the neighbors upstairs are great! They are nice, and don't smoke so much weed that it comes through the walls and ceiling into your unit like the last guys. But the landlord said that whatever the last guys did was their business. So it doesn't matter if you graduate as the valedictorian from DePaul and have all of your interview clothes smell like weed. It is okay...by the landlord's standards. For your $1400 a month, you got a gem! Enjoy your neighborhood, and the awesome party in your front and back yards everyday from the severely intoxicated patrons of the business next door. Cigarette butts on your window ledges are just good incense.

Best regards and wishes to your new, happy life,

— Jen