Archives for posts with tag: Maryland

Yesterday we had a party at our house.  It was wonderful and really nice to be able to have people over.  When at Gangplank, it was convenient to have friends over, but at Tantallon we rarely had visitors.  Mostly this was due to the location – getting people to drive out to Fort Washington was a hassle.  However, another issue was that anyone on the dock had to be escorted.  It is incredibly difficult to have people over to your house and then have to walk them everywhere they go.  I realized this to be a problem when my sister and her family came to visit and we had to explain all the rules to them.  How ridiculous is it to be in your thirties and forties, make a great living, and be treated like a child?  And why did we put up with it for so long?  I never will completely understand why and how we made the decision to stay there as long as we did.

We knew we were leaving at the end of our lease, but expected to stay for a month longer than we did. We had paid for the last month and weren’t due to move back to Washington Marina until the end of the month.  However, circumstances arose that forced us to, thankfully, leave much sooner than we’d expected.  And by circumstances, I mean the zombies finally attacked us.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning.  I had taken Siku out for a walk and stupidly stayed down near the water when I saw the Zombie son out for a walk with his illegal and aggressive Pit Bull.  Zombie Son was 30 years old, didn’t work (though his wife did), and lived for free in the marina.  He bullied everyone on the dock with threats of eviction.  As we passed each other on this fateful morning, Siku slid out of her collar and leash and over to the Pit Bull.  As they started tussling, he began screaming at me, “You B!tch, put your dog on a leash!!”  I was hollering at Siku to come back, but of course, she doesn’t listen as well to me as to JM. He continued screaming at me and finally Siku came back to me.  “If I see your dog off her leash one more time, you’re out of here!”  I hollered back, “She was on a leash, she slid off.  And besides, if your dog weren’t illegal, you wouldn’t be so worried.”   Not that anything was the right thing to say, but that certainly wasn’t it.  He went through the roof.  “I own this place and will have you thrown out.”  To which I replied, “You don’t own this place,  Blah-Blah does and your mom just manages it.”  It is never good to refute a Zombie, they take it as a personal offense.  So of course he continued hollering obscenities at me as he ran off to tell Mama Zombie to kick me out.  I decided it might be smart to tell JM what mess our dumb dog had just gotten us into and he was walking out of the gate about the same time.  Meanwhile Zombie Mama and Zombie Son started down to tell me what a horrible human I was, and JM was introduced to Zombie Son hollering in the background “Tell your fat b!tch wife to keep her dog on a leash.”  And that was when things began to get out of control…..

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If that first phone call from Zombie Mama hadn’t been enough to deter me, you would think that the events the following week would have, but neither did.  I was committed, we were committed, and this year of living aboard was absolutely going to happen, despite all signals that we should have pulled the plug.

We were not even there a week before our cars were broken into.  As we were getting ready for work, we heard frantic knocking on our door – a sound that for the following year would immediately cause me to return to this moment.  We answered the door only to be told that eleven cars had been broken into, our two Jeeps among them.

We immediately went up to the parking lot to a sad scene that made me wonder whether the people who decided to break into our cars knew and ignored that we would feel this way, or else didn’t know the damage they’d caused.  They broke into eleven cars to steal radios and other “valuables” and stole one car.  I figured it was approximately $45,000 worth of necessary repairs, all for probably $1500 gain for them.

The Prince George’s County cops were conscientious, but resigned to the truth of law enforcement in Prince George’s County.  They filed police reports and left to deal with  the rest of the break-ins, robberies, and murders that we came to realize was life in this notorious county.  Meanwhile, Tantallon management refrained from showing up, because why should they?  Their cars weren’t broken into, so why show any type of concern for the residents?  There were a couple of video cameras, but they were so cheap and poorly lit, nothing could be deciphered from them.  And even if there were anything that could be picked up, by say, my Federal Special Agent partner, Tantallon Management wouldn’t let anyone other than the Establishment Zombies view them.  Because what’s the point of indecipherable footage if not to further obfuscate the truth?

Shortly thereafter, in much the same fashion as the useless cameras, they began putting in access-controlled gates.  Without permits.  Because why should they obey the law in a lawless county?  When the county came to enforce building permits, any motivation Tantallon management had to protect their paying residents dissipated.  So a year later, when we pulled out of the marina under duress, the useless cameras were still in place and the gates were still in the same inoperable position they had been in a year prior.  And the residents still lived in fear of hearing that knock on the door that meant their property had once again been stolen, or having guns pointed at their heads when they went to take their dogs for an early morning walk.  Such is daily life at Tantallon Marina in Fort Washington, Maryland.