Oh my GOD I hated living above Mrs. Ralston. You know the Family Guy apartment sketch where the guy coughs and she threatens to call the cops? You’d think that’s funny, but that’s not even an exaggeration. She was really that terrible, and the worst part is she was a shut-in, so there was no break from her nagging. All day long she’d pound on our floor, threatening to call the landlord over a beer can opened too loudly, a TV on anything higher than ‘mute,’ she even threatened to kill our cat for the crime of scratching in the litter box. I think we only had sex, like, four times the whole time we lived there. When a rat moved into our walls it was almost a break from dealing with her, even though the landlord did fuck-all about that too.

I don’t know what kind of crazy grandfather clause she lived with, because whenever we complained to the landlord he’d just throw up his hands. Since the apartments lined up exactly, we couldn’t even commiserate with our neighbors. She was our own personal hell.

It got worse a year after we moved in. It got weird. She started yelling at us for really specific shit, like slurping soup or dumping dirty dishes in the washer without rinsing them off. She even yelled at my boyfriend for peeing with the toilet seat up. The old bitch must’ve had one hell of a hearing aid. The funny thing is she never complained about the rat, which made this godawful scraping noise all hours of the day. We could hear it shift in the walls; it must’ve been the size of a Doberman.

Well, unbelievably, we finally had enough one June when the AC went and new space opened up across town. It would be sweet to say goodbye to Mrs. Busybody, but another thing I wouldn’t miss was the godawful stench in our apartment. Apparently the rat died at some point and when our AC broke down it brewed a nasty funk that finally affected more than just us. By the time we took the last boxes to the U-haul, the super had cut a huge hole in the wall to pull it out. We didn’t stick around to see it, though. Sadly, I didn’t get one last confrontation with Mrs. Ralston either. I guess her joy in seeing us go outweighed the noise of packing, not a single peep from downstairs.


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