Last Wednesday, Steven and I were invited to a Tenant Forum at our apartment complex, where they offered to pay us (!) to share our opinions about the apartment and its amenities.
Never being ones to turn down a Benjamin, we RSVP'ed to the forum and showed up to give our opinion and get our cash.
And so did 15 other people who lived in our apartment complex. And those other fifteen people? Well, they were all certifiably insane. All of them. (Which, as you might expect, made me question my own sanity for a moment. But then I remembered they were giving us $200 to do this, and I figured I could put up with crazy people for an hour or so for two hundred bucks, right? I've done it before for lots less....)
About halfway through the introduction to the forum, this younger girl -- maybe 20, 21 years old? -- came rushing into the room, tripping over chairs in her high heels. She was wearing a slim-cut suit and cat-eye glasses, and she looked like she'd metro-ed all the way in from DC.
She plopped down noisily in a chair and immediately started talking. About nothing. Just saying things like "Oh have we talked about the pool yet because I just hate that there's no sun and et cetera and stuff! Like totally!"
The forum moderator looked at her sideways, and she quieted down for a second or two. The forum discussion began, and after about 20 minutes of legitimate question-and-answer, the subject shifted when one of the attendees mentioned that he'd been having trouble with his lease.
He claimed that the lease he received from the landlord wasn't the same version as he'd signed in the landlord's office before moving in.
Now, disclaimer to all of you. This is what I do for a living. Our firm represents landlords. Residential and commercial landlords, and my concentration at this point is residential leases in particular. And I'm fairly familiar with the procedures and requirements in Virginia for providing a tenant with a signed copy of the lease within a certain number of days, and if the tenant doesn't sign it but pays rent and takes possession of the apartment, the law treats the lease as if it was signed, blah blah yada yada.
So when the residential lease discussion started, Steven looked at me as if to say, hey, you know about this. I looked back at him for a split-second, with a look that said, I am not getting involved... when all of a sudden, this screeching voice piped up from the back of the room.
"LET ME GIVE YOOOOOU SOME FREE LEGAL ADVICE!" Cat-Eye Glasses Girl yelled from the back of the room in her most know-it-all voice. "HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE STATUTE OF FRAUDS?! THEY CAN'T DO THAT, YOU KNOW!"
Steven looked at me again, wide-eyed and about to burst out in laughter. I also think Steven thought for a second that I just might slug the girl. I looked back at him and whispered the one word that explained it all:
He just nodded. "And there's no such thing as free legal advice," he whispered back.
First year law students are nothing if not passionate about the Statute of Frauds.
And that, my friends, is how I earned $100 cash, a portion of which I used to purchase some new stripey Noro sock yarn at A Tangled Skein in Maryland.
A warning to all you folks practicing in PG County District Court in Hyattsville.... A Tangled Skein is like a tenth of a mile from the courthouse. It is fabulously stocked to the brim and utterly impossible to resist.
I'm knitting from both sides of the ball to create the stripes -- three rows in each color. I haven't decided how to handle the heel yet. And yet I am just plunging forward. Because I am a fearless knitter, yo.
Fearless. And so let it be known that I will put up with crazy 1L's for yarn money.
Noro money, specifically.