Yo, Dublin! What the fuck!
What? That's a plastic pouch full of some landlord's breath, or, to use the proper parlance, "an inflatable mattress flopped artlessly on the floor";
Where? Dublin, which for some reason is the worst city in the world, now, for awful rental opportunities, RIP London, you had a good go;
What is there to do locally? Still petitioning VICE to send me over to Dublin on a four-day all-expenses jolly so that I can actually answer this question with any degree of knowledge or authority, but until then I suppose we can make something up: although, to be quite honest, if you're sleeping in a threes-up with two other people and you are the inflatable mattress haver, then essentially all there is to do locally is thrash around squeakily on the floor wondering where, exactly, your life went wrong. Your parents loved you, didn't they? They did everything they could. They swaddled you in soft towels the moment you were born. They spoon-fed you all the nutrients you could need. Your mother, your angel mother, fed you with her own milk. All along the way, they kept you: warm and safe and fed, drove you to swimming practice and birthday parties and karate, helped you with your homework. And somewhere around about adolescence the bond shredded a little, started to break: as you morphed into your own person, a proto-adult with your own needs and desires, you forgot about all they'd done for you, instead saw them as the walls that hemmed you in: the curfews, the warnings not to do drugs, the quiet insistence that maybe you get a weekend job, make a little money of your own. And yes, you'll get the bond back, one day, but it won't be the same: it won't be that same symbiotic back and forth, your need for them and in turn their need for you, a circle of hands balanced upon one another for support, the closest love there is. And for now, look at you: you are 23 years old, in Dublin, and outside the rain is grey and brown and spatters the window; and you can hear the wind blow and see the frigid fog roll in; it's daytime but it feels like night is coming. And look at you – look what became of you. Your parents raised you up from a fragile pile of nothing and this is how you repaid them. You became an adult human, yes. But you became an adult human who sleeps full-time on an inflatable mattress on the floor. Think about the sad note of disappointment that escapes their mouth when they realise how you live: ohh. They tried so hard with you. They tried so, so hard. And this is what you became. So yeah anyway you can sit and think about that—
Alright, how much are they asking? 325 of your finest Irish Euro.
You ever slept at a friend's house? Either planned or unplanned. It happens, sometimes, doesn't it: you are in their city for a weekend and sure, they say, stay over, but when you turn up there it turns out they'd entirely forgotten about all this and oh yeah, do you mind staying on the sofa, the sofa too short for you, your head and legs suspended over the ends like a plank between two logs? Or: it's the end of a night out, and your place is like a 40-minute Uber away, and theirs is just around the corner and their flatmate is away with work anyway, so no it's fine you can just sleep rigidly and unmoving in their bed, trying not to touch things, so intimate to be here, in a stranger's bed, surrounded by their smell, that eerie feeling that you are lying in their warmth, the centre of the bed still hot as if they had just rolled out of it, and you don't know where the lamps are and you can't charge your phone, and it feels weird, you here, slipped between someone else's sheets and on their mattress, as if you are kissing them fully on the mouth, as if you are naked there with them, rolling around in their skin flakes. Sometimes a futon is creakily unfolded (only one person in the flat knows how to do the futon: every futon has a specific quirk that needs to be activated before it opens up. You have to wake the one person who knows up), but nobody has a spare blanket, so you lay here with sofa cushions for a pillow and a duvet that is just a sheet. Sleeping at friend's houses is nice, obviously – but also it's very much the worst thing you can do to your body, your sleep cycle and your friendship, and should be avoided at basically all costs.
Anyway, what I'm saying is: if I went to a friend's house and they offered me this to sleep on, I would spit in their face and declare them my enemy:
This is the latest from Dublin, which for whatever reason in the last three to four months has transformed into The Absolute Dirt Worst Place To Rent In History (see: this, this, this), with this particular mattress situation being the cherry on the turd sundae. To be clear here: this is not just an inflatable mattress on the floor. This is an inflatable mattress on the floor in somebody else's room. This is a room conceived in hell for three people to live in.
As the Irish Independent reports, the room (offered in a cheery multi-rent tier system: €425 pcm for the double bed, €325 for the mattress, or €750 for the whole room) was spotted by student Orla McCarthy, who contacted the advertiser for more details. "I contacted the advertiser because I was a bit confused about what was on offer," she told the paper. "I asked the landlord to send me a photo because I didn't really know what was meant by the different rent prices. He sent me photos of the room and I was really surprised."
Here's a good illustration now of what I like to call "Good People" and "Bad People", and see if you can spot which is which. Here is Orla, trying to make the best of things (bearing in mind please that she's just been offered a mattress – and not even a real mattress: a balloon mattress – and is in the midst of that semi-desperate student hunt for housing that consumes so many young people at this time of year):
"The apartment is really modern and clean. And the room is an en suite room. But I couldn't pay €325 to sleep on a blowup mattress and share a room with three other people."
Okay? And here is the nameless advertiser, when confronted by Independent.ie about how he feels re: criticism re: half-inflating a single mattress and flopping it on the carpet:
"Only PRTB (Private Residential Tenancies Board) can control better than every department this situation.
"If you receive the complaints then try to make contact with the PRTB to get it reviewed, and for any amendment of the terms and conditions for private tenancy in the state."
See the subtle difference? See how landlords respond when you ask them if an inflatable mattress sandwiched into a small double room and rented out is ethical or moral? You see how they refer to terms, and conditions, and the strict walls of the law? You see how they refer to the slow machinations of a governing body designed literally to stop people doing this sort of thing, as if the onus is on the person sleeping on an inflatable mattress, and not the person putting the inflatable mattress down and renting it?
Okay, rough analogy: say I stab you. I stab you, like, six times. In the abdomen. Blood everywhere, whole deal. And you are like: "Hey, fuck, ow: stop stabbing me." And instead of stopping stabbing you – or never stabbing you in the first place – I instead get the arse on and say, sulkily, "Well if you've got a problem with me stabbing you, mate, you know the number for the police." Do you see? Do you see that maybe I should never have stabbed you in the first place? That maybe I should look inward and question my own motive for going on a stabbing spree, and not the person affronted to be stabbed?
I'm just saying:
Absolutely fuck landlords.
More! Of! This! Shit!