Thursday, April 1, 2010
Why My Neighbors Hate Me
There are probably a number of reasons as to why my neighbors hate me, but time constraints prevent me from discussing more than two in this posting. Sorry.
THE FIRST: I live in a 124-unit coop building in Manhattan. About four years ago, I posted a phony memo, appearing to be from the building's management company, in both of our elevators. It was shortly after midnight on April 1st.
Full disclosure: I believe that April Fool's Day should be a national holiday, except it's generally more fun to prank people at work (bigger audience), so I wouldn't want anyone staying home.
The memo said that due to the inconvenience of residents having to walk their dogs in inclement weather, the building was setting aside 25% of each elevator's floor space as a "doggie bathroom." Dogs would be permitted to "do their business" in this area. "But don't worry," the memo said, "the elevators will be amply deodorized and cleaned hourly." It also mentioned that there would be a one-month trial period, during which residents could leave their comments about the new policy with the doorman -- provided they were typed using Times New Roman 14-point font. Comment sheets not conforming to these requirements could not, unfortunately, be accepted, the memo said.
I also went to the trouble of marking off approximately 25% of each elevator's floor space with masking tape.
That morning, as people were leaving the building for work and seeing these notices, they began accosting the building superintendent and doormen with their complaints about the new policy. Finally, the staff figured out what was going on and removed the notices. Later, when I admitted to being the culprit, they all had a good laugh.
THE SECOND: Having let my fellow residents enjoy four peaceful April 1sts in a row, I felt that it was time to fire up the prank machine.
No, I didn't do that (I just liked the picture.)
Shortly after midnight last night (April 1st), I planted this phony memo in both elevators:
Blue Woods Management Group, Inc.
TO: All COOP SHAREHOLDERS
FROM: A.J.R., Senior Account Executive
DATE: APRIL 1, 2010
RE: AMERICA'S BEST DOORMAN
Many of you have read in the New York Post, and elsewhere, that our building has been fortunate enough to have been chosen by Lion Television Productions as the site of the new Discovery Channel series "America's Best Doorman." To compensate us for any inconveniences associated with this honor, Lion Television is donating $35,000 to the general operating fund of the building. Obviously, this is a much-needed and welcome addition to the cooperative's financial resources!
However, as you might expect, there will be some inconveniences associated with this privilege. Film crews will be outside the building continually (and occasionally in the lobby) from the period of April 12th to May 21st.
We have been assured that the producers will tape down all wires and keep cameras, lighting and other equipment as far out of the way of residents as possible. Just look where you're walking and you'll be fine.
On certain days, our doormen will be required to be shirtless and wear Speedo bathing suits while on duty as part of the show's "Best Body" competition. This has been pre-approved by the building's Board of Directors. The doormen will also be required to wear tuxedos on four days and engage in a "hot-and-steamy dancing" competition in the lobby with select building residents. If you are interested in applying to be a part of this competition, please leave your name, unit number, a recent full-body photo and a brief description of your dancing qualifications at the front desk before April 10th. Please specify which doorman you'd like to dance with in the competition and name two alternates in order of preference. Sorry, but Miguel has already been booked solid.
Thanks for your indulgence in this fund-raising exercise, it's for the good of the building, and please remember to enjoy your April Fool's holiday!
By early afternoon, both notices had been removed from the elevators. They may have been removed early in the morning, I'm not sure. I wasn't monitoring the elevators (I was busy resting up from the exhausting activity of creating the prank. Whew!) Later, I learned that none of the doormen, nor the super, had removed the notices, thus telling me that vigilante justice was afoot. My best guess: a coop board member did the deed, not caring about spoiling a bit of April Fool's fun for others (and, more importantly, me!)
It just goes to show that there are some fun-squashing curmudgeons in this world. I hope they all step in a big, steamy pile of dog poo sometime soon. In fact, in the elevator would be nice...