A few years ago, a very funny film came out called "The Cooler," in which a casino operator noticed that whenever a certain guy stood near gamblers, they always began to lose. He had the bright idea of hiring this fellow in order to increase his profits.
I’ve known "coolers" over the years. Whitley has a period of time when he had only to enter someone’s home and stand near the TV or expensive stereo–not even use it–to have the equipment break down. This got so bad that people stopped inviting us to their apartments.
He had another period of time when he continuously broke the computers he was using. When he took one of his computers in to be fixed one time, the repairman said he’d never seen anything like it–the inside of the computer was "completely melted."
A friend of ours owns a boat along with his brother-in-law, who is responsible for maintaining it. He took the boat out one time, and when it was time to return to the dock, couldn’t get it started. He turned the key in the ignition, but nothing–he finally had to get it towed back to the marina.
When he complained that the brother hadn’t been maintaining the boat properly, he came out to the dock, hopped in the boat, turned the key once and it started.
These could all be examples of the "cooler" effect.
This would be an especially unfortunate trait for a landlord to have, but our landlord–thankfully for him–appears to be an UNcooler.
We live in an old building that’s been through a major earthquake, so things get creaky at times. My gas oven was beginning to light slowly, then one day I slipped a meat loaf in there, and when I looked at it, I found that the oven had turned itself off. Time to call the landlord.
He’s a nice guy and promised to come over soon. This happened on the eve of a 3-day holiday, so I patiently waited until the following Tuesday before I expected to be able to use the oven again. When he came over on Tuesday morning, I explained the problem and we turned the knob to ignite the gas and–just like the boat–it started right up, and it’s been working fine ever since.
I thought to myself: "This is a great ability to have if you’re a landlord, saves lots of money that bane of a landlord’s life: repairs."
But it doesn’t always work that way–I kept nagging him to fix the dryer, which wasn’t working well, and he finally called in the "Maytag man"–just standing near it didn’t do the job. However, I notice that, even though it’s been raining fiercely for a couple of days, the skylight hasn’t leaked the way it used to.
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