LA Chronicles: Wolfgang

Its Saturday morning, Day 2 in LA, and my main mission is to find a place to live before I run out of dough! So of course I hit up Craigslist. Now, I know there are better options out there to find a place to live for sure but I figured, eh, why not? As long as I steer clear of that classic Nigerian send me the money, I’ll send you the keys hustle, I’ll be fine. Right?! … Wrong! I got got y’all and here’s how it all went down…

I found what I thought was the perfect crib for me. The price was right, it was close to work and in a great neighborhood. Another selling point was that it was a private guest house in the back of the property so I could make as much (ahem) noise as I wanted and didn’t have to deal with roommates/neighbors. The flatscreen HDTV was just the cherry on top. So I set up the appt, drive down to the spot and meet up with some dude named Wolfgang. From the jump something was a little off about him but I couldn’t quite figure it out, but hell if I care, I’m diggin the place and ready to make a deal. So I sit there with the dude and have a quick convo. He tells me about his experience living in Inglewood and how he likes “the black people.” I chuckled lightly but the over-sensitive, angry black man in me thought about slapping him where he stood. But I digress. So I cut the convo short figuring that if the LA market was anything like NY, I had to make a power move to secure the spot right then and there. I offered all the bread up front, he agrees, I hit up the bank to get the dough, get back and close the deal. We sign a contract, he hands me the keys and says I’ll be able to move in in a few days after taking care of some maintenance issues. Bet!

The Okie Doke Begins

Fast forward to the end of Murphy’s Law day. I get the first sign of bad news. Apparently I couldn’t move into the apartment right away because there’s some work that still needs to be done in the bathroom. Definitely not happy about it but it’s whatever, I can wait for another day. Not gonna kill me. I booked my room for another night and shrugged it off. At the time I’m not really thinking nothing of it. Sh*t happens you know.

Next day comes along and I get another text. “Sorry, I got screwed over by the contractor and the work won’t be done for another few days.” Aiight, now I’m really starting to not like this dude. But I’ve been through it myself so I figured I’d take him at his word and give him a pass. Problem is, I’m running through my budget crazy fast and can’t keep it up much longer (||). So I figured I’d just cut my losses and get my bread back. Then dude offers to cut the rent by a hundred dollars and give me money to stay at a local motel for a few days to tide me over. Now before we move on, another thing you should know about me is that I’m a pretty low maintenance dude. Give me a place to rest my head and clean myself up and I’m not really trippin’. So I grit my teeth and accept the offer. He gives me a couple hundred bucks, I book the motel for a few days and mark my calendar for the day I get the spot.

My First LAPD Encounter

First night, I pull up to the spot, LAPD is parked out front ice grilling me as I pull in. I’m thinking I made some kind of driving infraction and they’re about to pull me over and beat me to death. But they just peeled off when I pulled in so I thought nothing of it. I pull into the parking lot and sure enough the cops dart up the alley outta nowhere and hop out the car, flashlights all in my grill, approaching me “cautiously”. Now I know I was joking before but now I’m really thinking that I’m seriously about to catch a Shawny King for no reason. But eff trying to “get along” they thought I came to the motel to “get it on.” Turns out that they had an ummm, prostitution problem, at my Motel and were just checking to make sure I wasn’t stopping by for a massage with the happy ending. The minute I opened my mouth they knew I wasn’t a local and chilled out a bit. Told them I was here on biz at the local radio station, cop got all groupied out and let me go. Funny thing is, when I walked up to my room, sure enough there were two young girls next door peeking thru the blinds like I was a come up. Damn shame…

The Dudunt-Dudunt Move

So this went on for like another two weeks or so. I bounced from hotel to motel telling myself it was all a part of the overall adventure of moving to LA. He kept giving me bread so I wasn’t trippin’ too much. I’m thinking that I’m gonna come out this one a winner at the end somehow. On top of that, he had two adorable daughters who I happened to meet and as bizarre as his BS stories were a part of me felt for those little girls going through his supposed issues. Everything from breaking up with his ‘fiance’ to getting hustled by a contractor. But mama ain’t raise no complete fool, I was still looking for another place just to cover my bases but I couldn’t find any real leads. At one point I straight spazzed on him and got my money back but because I couldn’t find anything I went back and struck up a new deal with this fool again. But this is where I pulled the super dudunt-dudunt move: I gave the summumabitch my money again! I can see my mother giving me the dummy look right now. SMH. In hindsight I should’ve waited until I was IN the place before I gave up the bread again…Of course, a few days and delays later, I go to call dude with the ultimatum and what do I hear? “The phone number you are trying to reach is no longer in service…GOT!

The Verdict

I get a call from some random lady the night his phone went dead. Turns out that not only did he get me, but about 12 other people for a significant amount of money. The story made the news and all that. So here I am working with the police getting clowned by the homie J.U. for my Start Snitchin campaign work. Eventually the cops tracked him down and I finally headed to court on Friday just to look in the dude’s eye one last time and let him feel that shame. I already know I’m not gettin’ my money back. When I get there I see a gang of people waiting too, more victims. We all have the same story, suckered by the sob stories and most importantly our concern for his two daughters. So we all want the judge to throw the book at this fool. The DA, who just happens to be the Mayor of Compton turns out to be EXTRA cool. Gives us a thorough rundown of the case, tells a few war stories to lighten the mood and lets us know what our options are for restitution. Then we wait for 2 hours to see this fool for two minutes. I get my ice grill on, see him shuffle away in chains, smirk to myself and chalk it up to another life lesson.

Moral of the story…

Hold on to your change and NEVER trust a dude named Wolfgang. Sheesh!

Update: Never trust a person named Wolfgang. In 2010. In Los Angeles. (c) @DBillz … Word!