Yesterday’s post about my experience during my LEAP summer got me thinking about the many other stories that came out of those two months – some poignant, some sad, others tremendously funny. I then remembered one of my favorite photos from those days in the housing project, and decided it was too fantastic not to share.
If memory serves, the apartment complex consisted of three residential buildings with one “common” area as well. Living there* was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. There was shouting at all moments of the day and occasional gunshots at night. A distinct, unpleasant odor permeated the indoor public areas. The elevators had buckets in the corner, because it’s better to have urine in a container than on the floor. Graffiti lined every wall. We put duct tape facing outward on our bed frames to catch the roaches before they skittered up and into our sheets; more than once, I awoke to find one stuck, legs still kicking.
(*I am talking about the physical space, not what it was like, emotionally, living there, nor what it was like to live so near my beloved campers. Just the buildings themselves. And the smell.)
Right outside of our apartment door, which was on a fairly high floor — the 9th, maybe? — was the door to the trash chute. Every time we threw away our garbage, or really, every time we entered our apartment, we came face to face with this scribbled missive:
Okay. I could have found it depressing – the graffiti and all. Or maybe threatening, considering that Raymond was so directly “targeted.” Or some sort of commentary on life in the projects.
But, come on – there’s graffiti everywhere, even at my daughters’ elementary school (although probably not quite like this). And really? I just find it hilarious.
Firstly, it amuses me that Raymond – who, I assume, is male – is insulted using derogatory terms typically aimed at females. I also chuckle at the capital B; clearly, the message writer meant business. (See also: the three exclamation points at the end. I MEAN IT!!!)
Secondly, the grammar nut in me is tickled that Raymond is identified as a gardening tool. I imagine that the insulter intended to refer to him as a slut… but perhaps I’m wrong. (I also recognize the irony of me grammatically analyzing the use of slang, but my awkward geekiness just makes it funnier, no?)
And finally – speaking of grammar – the misspelling of ain’t makes me laugh out loud. Well, maybe I giggle rather than laugh outright, but still… Whoever wrote this was DETERMINED to use the word ain’t (clearly, isn’t or is not would not have sufficed), but somehow knew it just didn’t look right.
anit… No, that’s not it…
an’t… Damn it, I know there’s an apostrophe in here, but this is still not right!
ain’t… YES!! SUCK IT, RAYMOND.
If you can’t find humor after riding up a urine-filled elevator to your roach-filled apartment, where can you find it?