As I sauntered into the apartment today from a long and arduous day of flash developing, I noticed my roommates huddled together on the couch, examining a small slip of paper. "What's that?" I asked nonchalantly. Scott smiled quietly and handed over the cream colored token, which bore the awful black words, "Provo City Utility." They were written, fittingly, in a foreboding black font reminiscent of the lettering you might see on a cemetery sign.
I turned the paper over to see what this was all about, and read something along the lines of this: "Due to your failure to pay the utilities, we have shut off your water and electricity. We thus invite you to enjoy the quality of life endured by renaissance peasants throughout the (dark) ages. May the Gods smile upon you and your stinky clothes as you refrain from showering, brushing your teeth, cooking, using the bathroom, using your computer, reading, watching tv, and being warm. Said conveniences of modern civilization may be returned to you upon full payment* of your most heinous debt to Provo City. We, in the meantime, will be busy counting our piles of dirty cash.
(*When money is not available for payment, we extend the gracious opportunity to pay with an arm and/or a leg.)
My roommates and I immediately, and in unison, instinctively drew in our hands and legs to assume the fetal position, reflecting on our horrible fate. In a moment of quiet rage, I mumbled, "Those pigs can take my arms when they pry them from my cold, dead hands" I soon realized the error in my logic and began to weep uncontrollably.
The problem here, folks, is that our utilities are included in our rent. Every month we fork over our hard earned cash, with the hope that management will comply with their end of the contract and provide us with the basic necessities for life - electricity, water, shelter, internet and satellite tv. Love - also a basic necessity - is included only in the premium package, which I could not afford.
We called many, many times and left a plethora of angry messages on the voice mail of our property managers. Hours passed, and the temperature of our apartment dropped considerably. The sun sank below the bleak winter horizon and we were left to die (practically) in a fog of pitch black winter cold. Soon, though, our cries for mercy were heard and our utilities were once again restored. Our arms and legs would be spared, and the warm, peaceful hum of our laptop and desktop computers would once again fill the otherwise cold, empty rooms of our residence. Hooray.