The Dance

Shit, when I said “Get me out of here”, I was joking.

Thanks to a rushed job offer, I’m on my way over the Pennines to Sheffield, a city that hasn’t been knocked down and regenerated so many times it oddly resembles a picked-at scab.  Unlike Manchester, arf. All of this means I’m fucking moving house again.  Now begins the dance.

The dance occurs when you leave a rented accommodation for another.  You owe your landlord a month’s rent.  They owe you your deposit.  You know damn well, if you’ve danced before, that landlords normally treat your security deposit as a signing bonus and spend it on crack, whores and paying fines for streaking children’s playgrounds as soon as you’ve moved your stuff in.  Consequently, you know they’re going to pick apart every pinhole in your wall, coffee stain on the desk or semen stain on the ceiling, and you’ll be lucky to see a penny of your cash back.

Coincidentally, the deposit is usually one month’s rent.  Which is easy, right?  You stall the landlord until you move out, and don’t pay the last month’s rent.  It’s a messy way of doing things, but you can’t deny the effectiveness of not giving someone money.  Unless you’re unlucky, and you’ve drawn one of the few honest landlords in the UK.  They do not spend your deposit on crack and staying off the sex offender’s register.  They spend it on bailiffs, and then reclaim the money it costs in consumer electronics.

The dance, you see, is a tango between two men, and both have the other’s balls in their hand.  They circle, unwilling to break until they’re sure the other isn’t going to rip off their testacles.  On the other hand, both know they’re going to have to tango with another man soon – and a spare set of cojones would sure be handy…

Unfortunately, my landlord is a landlady, and has many more bailiffs than she has balls.  I’d work out how that translates into my tango metaphor, but frankly I’m scared and I’m not sure I want to know.