I’m in a fight with the apartment management company about plants.
Well, right now it’s sort of a polite quibble. It could escalate to a bit of a pissing match, after which it might become a fight.
In May, I went out and dropped $90 on some lovely flowering, cascading plants for my balcony. I have managed to
keep them alive regularly salvage them from death thus far in the season, despite numerous days in the 100-degree range. I feel I should be commended for this. In the spirit of the current sporting events, a medal of some kind might be appropriate.
Setting that aside, a few weeks ago my neighbors found flyers in front of their doors asking them to please take their beautiful flowering plants off the balcony railings for fear that they might fall off and hit someone. Seriously, that’s what they said.
I didn’t get a notice.
Neener, neener, neener.
Eventually, though, I did, and I promptly ignored it, and so did my neighbors, because it’s dumb. But as “it’s dumb” is not a strong legal argument, I do have several others: there is nothing in the lease conditions or terms that says I can’t have the plants; I had them last year without a complaint from the managers; I have quintuple the liability coverage of the amount recently required for renter’s insurance; the likelihood that the damned 10-lb. plants are going to fall off the 5″ wide railing and hit David or Phyllis below as they just happen to walk out to attend shul on a Friday night are tremendously long; as is happenstance, this is exactly the sort of thing liability insurance is for; I paid $90 for the plants and the company is not willing to compensate me, nor is the company willing to compensate me for the tables or stands they’ve suggested I purchase in order not to put the plants to waste.
Also? It’s dumb.
I admit that some of the above arguments are stronger than others, and I admit that I’m being a bit cantankerous about the whole thing, really just for my personal amusement. I’ll probably comply eventually. But taken as a whole, it’s difficult to argue against me. I mean what exactly is the purpose of having a suddenly-required minimum of $100,000 in renter’s liability insurance (I have $500K) if you’re not allowed to do anything that might one day freakishly result in someone getting a bump on the noggin?
You know where this all comes from, don’t you?
A storm so freakish that no one had ever heard of it before came plowing through nine states at the end of June and, if we follow the apparently immutable logic of apartment rental companies, somebody somewhere got hit by a falling plant, and therefore everyone must immediately surrender their lovely foliage in favor of stark, barren surfaces.
What is this, Russia?
No! This is America! And in this country, we have plants, dammit! We have plants and we have insurance, and we pay for both, and you can’t take them away! Not from our cold, dead hands!
Interestingly, do you know what derecho means in Spanish?
It means right. As in, it is my derecho to have plants on my balcony railing since you people just made up this new policy like five minutes ago because you’re a bunch of scaredy-cats.
But seriously, I ask you: what’s next? If you want to come around after a freak windstorm and say nobody can have plants on their balcony railings anymore, what comes next? Somebody fell asleep and now nobody can have candles? Somebody’s lights went haywire and now nobody can have Christmas trees anymore? Somebody sneezed on their balcony and inadvertently spit on someone and now nobody can have allergies anymore? Somebody’s flamethrower misfired and now nobody can have flamethrowers anymore?
You see what I’m saying.
So, while I look for tables that are exactly the same height as my balcony railing so as to allow myself and passersby to enjoy my lovely flowering cascading plants (and so as to thumb my nose at the management company a tiny bit), available for free or close to it, the quibble continues. My neighbors are apparently in silent allegiance. The vigil goes on. Operation Petunia is in full effect. Next mission: cocktail hour on the balcony. Where I can enjoy my plants.