The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.


"Marie! It's Tim! Open up!"

So I realized last night that I had never posted one of my all-time favorite stories. Warning: it's a little bit risque.

In 2001, I spent the fall in London, studying with Pepperdine University School of Law. We were responsible for finding our own housing, which can be tricky, and very expensive. My friend Taleen and I had decided to look for a place together. So once we both got to London, we set out one morning with a classifieds paper and a phone. We found a few short-term, furnished flats in our price range, and called to set up appointments to look at them. The first one was just across Kensington Gardens from Pepperdine's building (where we were staying temporarily), in Bayswater. It was a quiet, friendly neighborhood. The flat itself was very nice, and large. It almost seemed too good to be true. The landlords had recently bought the building, and were renovating it one floor at a time. The basement flat was empty, and they really wanted to rent it until they were ready to work on it, several months out.

So Taleen and I took it. We never even went and looked at the other places. We each had our own bedroom, and they were quite large. We had a kitchen, pantry, storage closet, living room, bathroom, and extra room with no furniture but a mirror, that we used as a dressing room. The landlords bought new beds for us, but left the sofa and armchair from the previous tenant. All in all, a great setup.

The flat itself had two entrances: one through the kitchen, into a little (maybe 10 square feet) courtyard, and up a metal staircase to the street. We didn't have a key to get back in that way, though, so we used the other entrance, through the front door of the building and down the stairs inside.

Well, the very first night we were there, a man came to the kitchen door and knocked. We answered it, and he asked if Marie was there. We told him that no, we had just moved in, and we didn't know where the previous tenant had gone. No big deal.

Over the next week or so, Marie had several more callers: all men, and at all times of the day and night. It didn't take us long to figure out that Marie had been selling something.

Since we didn't use our kitchen door, the landlord put a padlock on the gate at the top of the steps. A man climbed over it to get to the door. So we bought some potted plants and put them on the top two steps. Someone else climbed over the gate and the planters.

The last visitor came by in the middle of the night, when we had already gone to bed. My bedroom was on the street side of the apartment, so the man was standing beside my window, knocking and yelling, "Marie! It's Tim! Open up!" I got up and went to confront him. Taleen heard the commotion and came to see what was going on. It took several minutes, but finally we convinced him that no, neither of us was Marie, no, there were no other girls there named Marie, no, there wasn't a time he could come back later and see her, and no, we didn't know where she had gone. We laughed, went back to bed, and didn't think too much more about it. After that, the construction workers stored their supplies and tools in our little courtyard, and we had no more visitors.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. I was in our living room doing homework. Now, the only light in the room was mounted on the wall, and had no lamp shade over it. (Since we really only were in there to read our homework, it didn't bother us that it was as ugly as it was.) After a while, the glare on the pages was hurting my eyes, so I decided to move down to the floor to change the angle of the light. The floor was not carpeted, so I picked up one of the sofa cushions to sit on.

Under the cushion was a whip.

A black leather, braided whip, about 3 feet long.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I started laughing and yelled for Taleen. She laughed and picked up the other cushion, under which was a business card for a "massage therapist" named Marie. We just about died.

We took a picture of us with the whip (holding it very gingerly, of course) and gave it to two of the guys on our trip, who were way too eager to have it, if you ask me. Taleen made the comment that everything in our flat that had seemed odd before now just seemed kinky: the bare-bulb lamp, the closet with a slide-latch, the bathroom that locked from the outside.

We found out later, from one of our neighbors in the building, that the previous tenant (we think her real name was Sofia) received gentlemen callers at all hours, and when the new landlords bought the building, she was asked to move out. So thank you, Marie, for getting yourself kicked out so we could have your awesome apartment!

Marie became a part of our vernacular, and when we got back to LA, Taleen had a Marie party, where we all dressed outrageously, and some of her theater friends brought over some props to decorate. I don't know what ever happened to the whip. I don't want to know.

Next time I'll tell you about the day Janus and his associates knocked Taleen's ceiling in.

2 Responses to “"Marie! It's Tim! Open up!"”

  1. # Blogger Malia

    HAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

    great story  

  2. # Blogger hiro

    Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a washington lawyer site/blog. It pretty much covers washington lawyer related stuff.  

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