Today’s downsizing, again relatively modest, saw the disposal of an empty box of “Sugar in the Raw” and a ziploc bag containing the remains of a decimated doorknob.

I kept the empty sugar box because I liked the copy on the back. Good copy is hard to create, but whatever was on that box passed my tests for excellence and engagement. It is also a formidable package in and of itself, suitable for retail or in-home use as a bountiful dispenser of 200 sugar packets.

Except for occasional candies (rare) I believe that sygar to be the only sugar I consume on a refular basis. I use one packet for my coffee, which I pour into a glass mug from which I sip in the tub.

Sugar in the Raw became another annoyance from the world of subscription products. It’s nothing to do with the sugar. But by virtue of forgetting that I set this product to arrive every 3 or 4 months, I now have quantities of Sugar in the Raw that should last well into 2025, if not 2026.

Fortunately, it is sugar and likely to retain its usefulness over that period of time as it sits in my cabinet. I had a similar subscription overload experience with the Dollar Shave Club (I think that’s what it was called). They would not let me alter or pause the rate at which blades kept arriving. The year was 2016. I believe I let the subscription continue for about a year. I don’t remember if the deal was that I could not cancel until I’d subscribed for a certain length of time, or if I just couldn’t figure out or find the time to turn it off. Whatever the case, when I finally did cancel, I was left with enough blades to last to this day and well beyond. I have not paid for a razor blade in something like 7 years, and the remaining quantity should set me up for as much as the next 2 years. That, I believe, is a subscription product that needed some massaging.   

As for the doorknob, it was part of an interesting experience I had reporting apartment maintenance issues to the City. My landlord was ignoring all requests to fix damage from a collapsed ceiling. I contacted him at least 4 times, but probably more. It was strange because over the years, however angry and cranky he gets when I make requests of this type, he usually addressed the problem. These encounters were typically peppered with him demanding that I move out, demanding that I leave him alone, then a repeat demand that I move out. HIs shit doesn’t stick to me like it used to, but his vitriol made these seemingly routine requests very unpleasant. I really don’t think he even knows or realizes what he is saying at times like these.

But back to the doorknob, which presently slumbers at the bottom of a garbage bin outside the apartment building. The doorknob was probably 30+ years old when it snapped, coming within centimeters of locking me inside the bathroom, naked after a shower with no obvious tool or blunt object to smash the doorknob. I was very lucky to get out of that bathroom without being locked in.

I asked the owner to replace it. He just kinda smirked. This time, he did not tell me to move out, but his initial reaction and the fact that he ignored the request for 2 years was certainly in the same spirit.

When I filed a report to the City about the ceiling collapse I also included the doorknob. It was amazing to see how effective this process was. I filed the report through the 311 website, including pictures of the ceiling damage, at about 8pm on a weekday. By 8am the next morning the landlord had already received the notice that a complaint had been filed. Landlord called me, acting confused but doing so as a lie. He is a full-bore compulsive liar. It’s the language he speaks. Every conversation I’ve had with him contained some kind of lie.

But I’ll leave that alone. Long story short the ceiling was at least painted over and the fallen paint and plaster taken away. This will not stop the problem from happening again (it is a leaky radiator pipe that causes this), but it’s the best you can expect from this landlord. 

Oh, and he replaced the doorknob. It was on the bathroom door. That lack of doorknob had been a slight source of discomfort for visitors, especially women, who I had to assure I was not listening to them pee or spying on them through the opening where the doorknob used to be. I mostly made a joke of it and I think all were fine with assuming that while we were carnally entangled during their stayovers I was not that kind of perv.

But the interesting upshot to all this, besides the landlord berating me later for bringing the City into things, is that I received a couple of letters from a lawyer who said I may be entitled to a financial settlement on account of the complaints I had filed. These complaints are all public record. Details of the complaints, inluding  everything but my full name, were included on a City website for all the world to contemplate. 

This was not news to me. I’ve dabbled with 311 for many years and know how it works. But what I did not expect was that there would be follow up from skeavy lawyers looking to make a buck some how or other.

I’m outta time but that’s the backstory behind today’s modest but significant downsizings. The empty sugar box took up a lot of airspace. Now I can see to the wall again. The doorknob was just an annoyance. I had saved the decimated doorknob in case the landlord wanted to use it as a model for its replacement. That never happened the doorknob I did get looks completely out of place but I don’t care. It lets people pee in peace.