Is P.F. Jones?
Eminent Domain Can SUCK MY ASS
by Ralph Herring
Post Kent Reader

City Hall is screwing me.
They're using eminent domain to buy my house for next to nothing.
This house is my life.
It all started when I moved here seven years ago.
I transferred to this college town as a junior political science major.
I was here on scholarships so I had to keep my grades up, which meant studying alot.
Still- I needed to eat and pay rent, so I got a job at a book store.
One day I hear my boss, Mr. Dureski, talking about the decrepit house on the other side of the parking lot.
Turns out he owned it, but it was too run-down to rent out to tennants.
Mr. Dureski was behind on the property taxes and was considering letting them foreclose rather than paying them.
I convinced him to sign it over to me if I paid the back taxes.
It sounded like a good plan- I'd gain a house I could sell for $150,000 for just a few thousand and some elbow grease fixing the place up.
It sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime.
What could go wrong?
I used up the last of my nestegg to pay off the back taxes.
A few grand seemed like small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.
I also bought some tools, construction supplies and a set of Time-Life books on home carpentry.
I may have also bought a flat screen TV, too.
Then I moved into the Hellhole so I could pay the monthly taxes intead of my apartment rent.
I thought I was ahead of the game.
I still had to work to support myself, and I thought I could work on the house when I wasn't in class.
Here's the thing- I'm not that good at repairing things.
Never have been.
And this house was really messed up.
The floor was gone in the living room.
The roof leaked.
The basement flooded.
The electrical was shot.
I thought I could handle the situation.
I was wrong.
My grades were the first thing to go.
I spent so much time trying to repair shit around the house that I never studied.
The most logical solution seemed to be to quit my job so I would have time to work on the house and study. I took out the first loans in my life to support myself.
It seemed like a small price to pay, but there was no such thing with this house.
This house was my new Sheila.
Sheila was a girl whom I dated for two weeks in high school before I realized she was crazy.
She stalked me for a year after that- following me, calling me, she even keyed my Chevy Celebrity.
Now I had a Sheila house tormenting me instead.
By the second semester I had lost my scholarships and was on academic probation.
Thanks, Sheila.
I had to take out more loans to cover the tuition.
Frickin' Sheila.
Every month I would get a visit from Mr. Grouper, the building inspector, who would always fail me on something.
"Better luck next time, wise-acre."
What a fucking dick.
And fuck Time-Life books.
I gave up on trying to do everything myself and took out more loans to hire contractors.
Fuck them, too.
You know what contractors are good at? Taking a thousand dollars any time you see them and then disappearing for months on end.
In the meantime, Sheila-the-house-from-Hell would countinue to deal me blows.
A new leak in the roof shorted out my flat-screen.
Dammit, Sheila!
I failed another semester and dropped out of school.
Oh, Sheila.
I held on to my dream- as soon as I sold the house I would be able to pay back all the loans and still finish school.
Except that was never going to happen.
Even when I thought I had gotten the house up to snuff, that bald dick Grouper would cite another violation and make me spend another thousand dollars.
I didn't understand what was going on- the evil contractors said everything was perfect but I still couldn't pass code.
Then I got the notice taped to my door- my house was permenantly condemned and my land was being commandiered through emminent domain to build a strip of condos.
The "settlement," which I had no say in, wasn't even enough to pay off my college loans.
The bald son-of-a-bitch had been shooting down my repairs on purpose so the city could take my house.
Grouper condemned my Sheila to death and put me in tens of thousands of dollars of debt for a kickback from a condominium developer.
He killed my dreams without thinking about the consequences- at least thats what I think he was yelling about when I visited him and the Mrs. late last night.
I also visited a plummer, an electrician and a condo developer.
Mr. Dureski had passed away from a heart attack last fall, so I visited his son instead.
Anyway- I've chained myself to the radiator and I've got a shotgun for any wise-acres that come sniffing around me and Sheila.