Schmoll The Besieged
by Bruce Anderson, May 6, 2009
Glenn Schmoll is 69. Glenn Schmoll says he's going to write a book, an unhappy book, on the theme of getting old in a cold rented house with a heater that doesn't work and two sets of unsympathetic landlords. The book will be about that and other things — many other things.
Glenn Schmoll is besieged and aggrieved.
For a man besieged and aggrieved Glenn Schmoll is an up kind of guy, always merry, always looking forward.
But he is besieged, and he is aggrieved.
Glenn Schmoll's landlord is Barbara Clark of Century 21 Real Estate, Fort Bragg. Generally speaking, Century 21, Fort Bragg, and Barbara Clark specifically, are not known for the breadth of their sympathies.
Barbara Clark has made Glenn Schmoll very unhappy, and Glenn Schmoll has made Barbara Clark very unhappy.
Barbara Clark manages Glenn Schmoll's house for his second set of landlords. They are Jorge and Leonilda Sousa of Redlands, California, a town far from Cleone where their rental unit rests and their tenant is restive.
The Sousas are not property moguls. They recently drove to Fort Bragg from Redlands to paint Glenn Schmoll's house, the Sousas' rental unit, maybe the Sousas' only rental unit.
Schmoll "rhymes with doll." Until this month, Schmoll-rhymes-with-doll lived at 24961 Ward Avenue, which is in Cleone, which is north of Fort Bragg, both of which front the Pacific Ocean, off of which cold winds blow cold, wet fog into the cold bones of a tired old man.
And the toilet often backed up, which made Glenn Schmoll's cold little house at 24961 Ward Avenue cold and smelly. But Glenn Schmoll and his life partner always paid their rent, paid it right on time, too.
An electrician said the heater was shot. The electrician said the heater should be replaced. A plumber said the plumbing needed serious looking at. Electricians and plumbers cost money. Glenn Schmoll is on a fixed income. His life partner had just died. Together, they made ends meet, and heaters and plumbing are the landlord's responsibility.
When Mr. and Mrs. Sousa arrived in Cleone to paint Glenn Schmoll's house, Glenn Schmoll asked them, "My lifelong partner is dead. Together, we paid you $1,300 a month to live here. We paid our rent on time and we kept the place up. The heater doesn't heat and the plumbing backs up. Can I pay you $1,000 a month to live here by myself?"
The Sousas said that Mrs. Clark of Century 21 determines the rent. It was out of their hands. Talk to Barbara Clark.
Glenn Schmoll launched volleys of complaints at Century 21 about the heater that didn't heat and the plumbing that backed up. Glenn Schmoll got nowhere. He finally said he planned to move "by April."
Barbara Clark responded with an eviction notice for April 1st.
"I considered her a friend," Glenn Schmoll says.
Glenn Schmoll wrote to Barbara Clark.
He was not intemperate.
Glenn Schmoll letter to Barbara Clark was written late in December. It began, "Hey, Barb. There was a complete misunderstanding on your part as to when I will be moving — if I do move."
Glenn Schmoll's letter informed Barbara Clark that April "has 30 days and I had April 30 in mind as moving day."
Barbara Clark had April 1st in mind. She not only didn't budge, she ran to a hungry lawyer, Jim Jackson of Fort Bragg.
She sicced Jim Jackson and his big, white hungry teeth on Glenn Schmoll. Jackson told Glenn Schmoll to be out by April 1st.
Glenn Schmoll claimed landlord retaliation, and his complaint soon grew into a very large and comprehensive complaint embracing a dispute with the probate courts, insurance claims arising from Glenn Schmoll's deceased partner's estate, lovelorn chiropractors, elder abuse, vindictive lesbians, an Air Force pilot crashing a B-66 "he was not qualified to fly," karma, false accusations of internet porn, and inflated textbook prices at the College of the Redwoods.
As if this deluge of random calamities were insufficient to sweep Glenn Schmoll out of Cleone on a tsunami of falsehood by April Fool's Day, one of the vindictive lesbians gave Glenn Schmoll an F in algebra!
Nobody gets an F in algebra in Mendocino County. Nobody gets an F in anything in Mendocino County.
Glenn Schmoll isn't a conspiracy guy, but he was beginning to wonder, and wonders still.
But Glenn Schmoll is nothing if not resilient. He's beaten back the malevolent forces arrayed against him, or at least put them on hold as he goes to Ten Mile Court today to defend himself against Barbara Clark and her landlocked shark, lawyer Jackson. Glenn Schmoll is moving soon to a place where the heater works, the plumbing doesn't back up and he's safe from Barbara Clark and Century 21.