Thursday, November 8, 2012

Annals of BO: The Landlord’s Nightmare


Gendy Alimurung at LAWeekly has the long, sad story of William Nowell, a street person who sued the Los Angeles MTA for $200,000 and won. Then he moved into a deluxe apartment and somehow never got around to buying new clothes, or wearing shoes, or . . . bathing regularly. When neighbors complained that his overpowering BO was stinking up the building, the landlord successfully sued to have him evicted.

Amid the squalid physical descriptions in Alimurung’s piece is this gem:
Nowell eats only organic food and washes — when he washes — with artisanal, handmade soap from Soaptopia.
Then there’s this:
Diagnosed with a chronic illness that he declines to name, he wound up on the streets, where he remained for the next 20 years. He begged and borrowed. He sold T-shirts slamming George W. Bush, printed with a photo of flag-draped coffins and the sentence, “My kid went to Iraq and all I got was this lousy letter.” Somewhere in there, Nowell stopped bathing. He stopped wearing shoes. He stopped changing his clothes altogether.
Clearly, Nowell’s biggest mistake was renting in LA. He should head up the coast to Berkeley, where he’d fit right in.

Alternatively, he could head to Morristown, New Jersey, which paid off another stinky guy who made a career of suing places that kicked him out—in that case, from the public library.

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