This space can get awfully discouraging much of the time, as I go after oil barons and county commissioners and politicians and other bad guys, and most of my friends will tell you pessimism is not generally my demeanor, so I continually go looking for things to get me back on the “sunny side of life.”
From time to time, I glance at the legal ads in the paper to see if there’s anything of interest — yeah, I know, I need to get a life — and this morning there was one that jumped out at me. Brought me around to the sunny side. Got me chuckling.
I don’t like to poke fun at other people’s indiscretions, but what I read in the paper this morning struck me as kind of funny. See, some poor dude got behind on his office rent, to the tune of about $13,000, and the landlord went to the sheriff’s office to get help collecting it. That’s not an unusual situation.
So the sheriff went to the judge and asked for help. The judge said, “Do what you have to do to get the landlord his money.” So the sheriff said, “Well, we’ll just see what this guy owns and take it.”
And so they put an ad in the paper this morning that said the landlord is going to take possession of the guy’s personal property and sell it at an auction to get his rent money. And then, much to my amusement, they listed everything, apparently, the guy owns in the ad, which took up about 15 column inches of tiny type on page C8 of the paper. Here, the paper said, is what now belongs to the landlord:
All household goods, including but not limited to, kitchen utensils, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, kitchen appliances such as stove, refrigerator, microwaves, portable-type dishwasher, mixer, toasters, all types of vacuum cleaners, tables, chairs and all other kitchen equipment; all dining room chairs, tables, hutches, cabinets and any other dining room items or equipment; all beds, nightstands, dressers, chairs, and any other bedroom furniture or items; all living room chairs, sofas , end or coffee tables, love seats and any other living room furniture, televisions, home computers, TV, videocassette recorders, pianos, organs and any other musical instruments; all household pictures except family-type; all desk, floor and other types of lamps; all sporting goods such as cameras, binoculars, pool tables, typewriters, filing cabinets, calculators, and any other office machines and equipment; yard-type equipment such as mowers, grass and hedge trimmers, fertilizer spreaders, garden tractors and/or cultivators, lawn edgers, trowels, rakes, hoes, snowblowers and all other yard equipment; all outdoor cooking grills, accessories, and all patio-type furniture; camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, eating and cooking utensils, portable lamps, thermos and/or portable coolers and any other camping equipment; all firearms. Oh, and a 2014 Harley Davidson and a 2020 Ford F250.
“To be sold at public auction.”
Well. I don’t know what legal ads cost, but it must have taken a small bite out of what the landlord is going to recover. And it took me a long time to type it. It seems to me that they could have just run an ad that said, “Dude, the sheriff says we get everything you own,” and accomplished the same purpose.
Or they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble selling rakes and hoes and VCR’s — does anyone still buy them?) — by just grabbing the pickup and the motorcycle. Those two things should generate at least $13,000, unless the guy hadn’t finished paying for them yet, either. But if that’s the case, I’d think that the landlord would have to get in line behind Eide Ford and Roughrider Harley Davidson or some local bank.
So stay tuned. The Tribune runs its auction ads Thursdays. If you’re looking for a coffee table, or an organ, or a vacuum cleaner, or a fertilizer spreader, watch for the auction listing. Maybe even tomorrow. You could pick up a trowel or a sleeping bag and help this poor guy pay off his debts to the landlord. Maybe there’d even be a few bucks left over to help him find a new office.