About a month ago, I came home to find a note taped to my apartment door.  The city was coming in two days to inspect my unit to make sure everything was up to code.

I thought, “eh, everything’s cool.  No sweat.”

Two days after the inspection, I came home to another note.  My fire alarm was disconnected (I got tired of it going off every time I cooked something) and the batteries were not in my carbon monoxide detector (annoying beeping).  Both of those are no-nos, so I reconnected and re-batteried.

But the kicker was the dig on my messy pad.  To paraphrase, it was “unkempt and unsanitary, and in our assessment, the entire apartment needs cleaned.  If you can’t clean it yourself, get someone else to clean it.” They were coming back in three weeks to verify compliance.

I knew the place was pretty bad, but I lived for years in the dirtiest frat house in history, so it didn’t seem THAT bad.  I mean, it’s not like I had rats and cockroaches running around.  Still, it was a kick in the pants.

So I vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed, dusted, wiped, polished, straightened up and tossed junk out for – no lie – about 10 hours.  And I live in a not-real-big one-bedroom.  The place was the cleanest it’s been in years (did I mention I REALLY hate cleaning?).

They came for the re-inspection last week.  I was expecting a follow-up note saying “you’re satisfactory” or “Dude, you passed.”  But no note.  No “attaboy.”  Nothing.

Since scrubbing the place down was such an effort for me, here’s the life-affirming note I would have liked to have gotten:


Dear Mr. Webel,

Thank you thank you THANK YOU for reconnecting your fire alarm, and putting the batteries back in your carbon monoxide detector.  We feel at great ease knowing the safety of a truly great person such as yourself is secure.  Really, we sleep much better at night now.  Kiss kiss, hug hug.

And OMG is your unit clean. Seriously, it’s cleaner than a sedan that just came out of a Super-Duper-Deluxe Car Wash.  It’s even cleaner than Jerry Seinfeld performing for a group of nuns.  We inspect tons of places, and the sight of your impeccably-cleansed apartment nearly brought us to tears (full disclosure: inspector #32 did weep with joy). How in the world did you do it?  You amaze all of us, you mighty stud.

Keep up the good work, you saint among men.  Please find attached a coupon booklet that will save you approximately $2,000 on cleaning products and booze.  We here at the City love you and wish you a joyful and prosperous life.


God Bless (you Adonis),


The City (text if you want to go out for a drink)