Vampire Weekend(s), or 5 Reasons to Never Rent your Home to Millennials…

Hypertravel Hostel

Hypertravel Hostel

I can still smell the after-shave, the cologne, the liquor, old-fashioned Las Vegas casinos (the day after), all the smells that I detest, manliness in a spray-can, just add spray-tan, stirred not shaken and ready for a night on the town, now more than a half day after the group left my house, or should we say: ‘the party’? That’s four days of my life that I’ll never get back.

Back story: I operate a hostel cum rooming house cum ‘Air BnB’ cum ‘vacation rental’ in Tucson, AZ, aka ‘Hypertravel Hostel’, whatever pays the bills and pads the pocketbook, and lets me live another day without begging on street corners. Problem is that there really are very few travelers down in this neck of the woods except in winter, and even then, more hangers-on-and-around than actual x-country boogiers…

Socializing at Hypertravel Hostel

Socializing at Hypertravel Hostel

So you do whatcha’ gotta’ do and that includes renting out the entire house (a historic house, I might add, dating back to Territorial AZ and featuring some classic Mexican brick work that must date from masonic traditions originating in the ancient Mideast), ‘vacation rental’ a rather dubious typically American concept that mixes equal parts good will, overkill, self-indulgence and misplaced delusions of ownership…

But it pays the bills and is quite popular in the latter days of pre-Apocalyptic Amerika, almost easier, in fact, to rent the entire house than to rent a single room or bed, depending on the specs and details and the devils appropriate to each, nothing being as simple as it sounds, least of all a situation which requires that I give up my usual element of control…

Every piece of waste carefully laid in place

Every piece of waste carefully laid in place

But that’s the big attraction, of course, that element of control, turning a simple hotel guest into a temporary homeowner, someone who may not even own his car much less his own house, just a credit card to state that this person is upstanding and responsible, at least up to the limits of the credit card, that and an insurance policy…

Enter the ‘Millennial Generation’, known more for its party ethic than its work ethic, more for its hard-party raves than its hard-fought rivalries, the generation that rarely hears the word ‘no’ and likely wouldn’t obey it even if they did, preferring to live at home with Mom and Pop rather than work for less than full book value.

So this is a situation ripe for exploit, and when a twenty-something requests to book the entire house to re-group with scattered family (mom, dad and baby sister) for UA ‘parents’ weekend’, I make room for it and them, while maintaining my hostel units in back. There’s only one problem: it’s all a lie.

Kitchen scene aftermath

Kitchen scene aftermath

There is no family, just the reunited UA varsity party squad and a few cases of beer—Bud Light. But I knew none of that the first night, I ever the trusting one, taking people at their word, innocent until proven guilty, and all that rap. So mid-day the next day of their two-day stay, I send an email to them (30yd/meters away) asking if they’re okay and/or need anything. I wouldn’t go up to the house unless the Internet was down, my bizniz plan at the time.

Well, they send an e-mail back that since I had deceived them and was still ‘on the property’ (albeit in another building) that they’d need to cancel. WTF? So I march up to my house and, sure enough, they’re gone, as is one of two sets of keys that I’d given them. A bit shaken by the sudden and saddening turn of events, I began to reclaim my house, stopping short upon the realization that the other missing set of keys is problematic.

An hour later, I get another message that since Air BnB payment had already been processed, that they’d keep the rental after all, and—I quote—’sorry about the misunderstanding’. What misunderstanding? Are we talking about her flaky b*llsh*t: that misunderstanding? Well, hours pass and they still don’t show, but I can’t do much, since they have already paid. I finally go to bed, assuming I’ll never see them again.

long dark night

long dark night

At my usual 2-3 a.m. insomniac wake-up call, I decide I should get up and check, and, sure enough, there they are, partying full blast, music at full throttle, I slinking around in the bushes of my own house, peeking through keyholes and tilting at windmills. At one point I make my way to the front of the house and am met at the front door by one male member of the ‘party’ (not the ‘father’, I’m pretty sure).

Did you want us to turn the music down?”

That’d be nice. I do have neighbors.” And I left it at that, leaving with the sneaky feeling that I’d be denied entry to my own house if I’d dared even to attempt it. Then I spent the rest of the night pacing, inside and out, fully shoed and clothed even when lying down, walking the whole vast perimeter of the compound measuring noise levels and my own tolerance levels.

Somehow I survived the night and entered the house at ten in the morning—normal checkout time—and caught the last man out, high fives for sympathetic magic and I surveying the interior for any possible damage—none. I dodged a bullet. But what about the other booking that I have pending in two weeks? He already indicated that it wasn’t the two people as originally indicated, but in fact more—no more than ten or twelve he assured me. What should I do? (to be continued)…

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