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Presents Or Presence Of Mind?

Sep 4, 2007
When I asked Cousin Walter what he wanted for his birthday present, he calmly replied a pair of Star Wars suspenders. That's when I stopped asking people what they wanted and gave myself peace of mind instead.

Not long after that, however, I decided to rescue my aunt from another Massachusetts winter and invited her to spend those three months with me in Los Angeles. Right then I could have been voted niece of the month - maybe of the year; but one month later I wanted to cancel my nomination.

What was I thinking? Finding an apartment was like shopping for a very personal present and walking on water can't be much harder than finding an apartment in LA. Unfortunately, Auntie didn't understand that. Finding an apartment in Massachusetts in November would be easy - like walking on ice.

To make matters slipperier, Auntie had spent a few winters in Florida in a fully furnished, golf-course condo. What she'd paid for that wouldn't have rented a fixer-upper in LA unless it had to be fixed up to qualify as a fixer-upper. I felt like Goldilocks. Some apartments were too expensive, some were too shabby and some had to be rented for a minimum of six months.

As Auntie's arrival neared, panic set in. If I didn't find an apartment, Auntie would be staying with us, which meant the boys would have to share a bedroom - which meant world peace as I knew it was in danger. Needless to say, that motivated me to shop for her present even harder.

I scanned apartment listings in every newspaper and magazine I could find. I knocked on apartment managers' doors at all hours of the day and night. I became so desperate I paid sixty dollars to a rental service for one week of daily, computerized apartment listings. I would have gotten more for my money if I'd converted it to pennies, thrown the pennies into the fountain at the mall and made six thousand wishes for an apartment.

Finally, I thought I'd found one; but it turned out to be an FBI apartment - it was bugged - with creepy crawlies. Thankfully, however, the story has a happy ending. I found a one-room apartment - perfect for my "Onederfully" neat and organized aunt. In fact, Auntie liked the apartment so much, she considered coming out of retirement to pay for an additional three months.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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