Monday morning, as I was heating up my coffee, I did my usual customary look across the street to see what doings were transpiring over at der Krakhaus. There were what have come to be the usual three cars over there, as well as one parked on the side of the house, one that didn’t have a license plate. I think: “That seems a mite suspicious.” I mean a car that hasn’t been there before, parked out of the way, with no plates? If anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it’s not this bunch. So I called it in to the cops.
Turns out I didn’t need to bother, because ten minutes earlier, someone else had called the cops: a pair of lawyers. It seems that J, the “owner” of the house, who we haven’t seen in quite some time, is in jail again. Quelle suprise. He’ll be staying at the crossbar hotel until June. This pair of lawyers now have custody of the property, I assume to settle J’s debts, and they had called the cops to accompany them on a walk-through of the place and get the current residents — also known as “squatters” — out of the place.
Cue a cop car arriving on the scene. Then another. Then another. Then a K-9 unit. Then another cop car. Then another. Then another K-9. By the time they were done, seven cops and two dogs had been through the house, yet when they all eventually left, only one person had come out of the house, and nobody in cuffs.
Around two o’clock, though, something amazing happened. The front door to the place opened up and vomited forth a legion of squatters. I kid you not, about six or seven adults and three kids all poured out of the place. They stuffed garbage bags into the various vehicles and split.
Two of the cars made regular trips back and forth all afternoon and evening, clearing the place out. They were still at it when I went to bed last night, but this morning all was quiet. No cars. No squatters. All was still.
The lawyers showed up again today and I went over and talked to them, which is how I got a lot of the scoop. They sealed up the house, changed the locks, and had some carpenters and plumbers looking over the place. I’m assuming they want to get the place fixed up for selling (they mentioned they have a realtor for the place) and get their cash, so it looks like the year-long nightmare of this place is finally over. No more car doors constantly slamming, no more people screaming out in the yard, throwing their litter everywhere, no more cops showing up and pulling people out of the place on felony warrants, no more having to worry about who’s going to show up there next and when they’re going to take an interest in the contents of the other houses on the street. We can go back to having a normal neighborhood again.
I walked over there to talk to Billy, the guy that lives next door to the place. He was at work and missed the excitement, so I was filling him in. We strolled out back and checked out the front porch. I wanted to take some pictures, but that seemed a little over the line. The back yard is piled in garbage. I can’t imagine what the interior of the place looks like.
And the thing is, I couldn’t care less about squatters. What the hell do I care who’s living in a house? If they had just been quiet, easygoing people, it would have made no difference to me what their legal claims on the property were. But they had to be as disruptive as possible, trashing the place and the space around it. And with kids, no less. In a house that, according to the lawyers, doesn’t even have a working furnace. My god, what was it like living in that?
Well, they don’t have it too bad, because like I said, they hauled stuff out of the house for hours and took it all somewhere, so they’ve relocated elsewhere. They’re someone else’s problem now, I fear.
What I’ve learned from this is: you can’t swap a snow shovel and a garden hose for crack. If you could, they would have taken them.