Best Of 2021

Additional Clauses to Your NYC Apartment Lease Rider: An Excerpt of a Handwritten Legal Document from My New Landlord

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  1. Drano is not allowed in your apartment in any capacity.

My therapy practice resides in the basement of this historic brownstone and with the ongoing treatment of a patient who consumes drano on high alert, I must state this matter as cause for your concern. My research and most recently published article, “Too Far Gone, One Man’s Extremity with the Keto Diet,” is included as addendum 14b in this handwritten legal document of additional clauses to your lease rider. To acknowledge we have a mutual understanding of this critical issue, please read, sign, and slide the article under my apartment door (1C) by 8am on the first day of your lease. Lay your face flat on the floor and veer into my apartment as best as you can from the crack at the bottom of the door. Wait until the sight of my cat’s tiny paw appears and he begins to slowly slide the article out of your view. You should be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes for the article to completely disappear. This is all dependent upon my cat’s level of comfort with the energy you are exuding that day, the color of your eyes, and possibly the last time you truly flossed. To finish quicker, I would keep your lips pressed tightly together or better yet, just hold your breath. Rest assured I have intentionally fastened my door in an uneven manner so you will not obtain any neck cricks or shoulder pain. If you suffer from Sciatica, I would recommend bringing a foam pillow topper that meets your needs. Just to clarify, I am not liable nor will I pay for any medical expenses if you do injure yourself during this required activity. Do not stop watching, my cat will finish when he is ready. Take this as your confirmation of receipt. Failure to follow these directions exactly will result in a $300 fee per day.


  1. Only one approved guest per week is permitted in your apartment.

For approval, please write a personalized acrostic poem of your guest’s first, middle, and last name and include their favorite inspirational quote in invisible ink at the bottom of a 5×7 glossy postcard. Priority will be given to tenants who provide quotes from Charlotte’s Web and postcards with photos of joyful barn animals. I sometimes do not know the difference between an overpriced store bought postcard or one you have designed and self printed at the FedEx down the street. It’s up to you to take a chance on this. Slide the postcard under my door, remain silent, and wait up to 45 seconds for me to make a decision. If the request is approved, my cat will knock once with his tiny paw at the bottom left corner of my apartment door and if the request is denied, you will hear nothing. If you think there may have been a mistake, there was not. Your request was denied and you may try again in one week.


  1. Absolutely no noise after 10:00pm, even television, on any given day of the week.

I mean it, there are no exceptions to this rule. Although it is only two beats total, my cat is trained to wake me at the opening sound of any Netflix show. At just one month old, I sent him to a top tier behavioral spa for young animals in Martha’s Vineyard where a renowned feline coach trained him to immediately jump to his feet and internally scream at the sound of those two beats, all by watching 20 hours of Grey’s Anatomy per day and calming his sense of exasperation each time a new episode came on with a handful of Tasty Temptations Salmon Flavored treats. My cat is quite confused and I am now treating him for intense anxiety disorder, but it all paid off because since he has returned home, he has not let me down. If he hears even the faintest of those beats anywhere in the building during quiet hours, he alerts me with one light tap to my left shoulder and I will drop everything I am doing to scribble your eviction notice in cursive on a thin sheet of yellow legal paper I have had in my apartment since 1986. I will roll the notice into a tight scroll, secure it with a piece of twine, and attach it to my cat’s thick leather collar. He will then frantically run up the three flights of stairs to deliver you the notice, gnawing off the twine with rage, but you will never hear him. He will slide the notice under your door with his tiny paw and disappear, all of this happening within 3 minutes of the incident. I will not tell you goodbye, but right before you are carrying your last box off the premises, I will violently slam the basement door to the entrance of my therapy practice, alerting the other tenants in the building that a vacant apartment has opened up in case they have a friend or family member interested in moving in.