But he doubts this new case holds anything that interesting. The cat feces complaint, on the other hand, cites "general unsanitary condition" for an entire apartment building.

"General unsanitary condition," Emge muses. "You can't go wrong with that."
He is met at the building's door by the nervous, wiry biker who manages the complex. At a quick clip, the man runs Emge up onto the roof to inspect gutters, down into the basement to view the boiler, and up and down the hallways, where no cat feces can be seen. After half an hour of this, Emge hangs back and knocks on a few doors. He meets several elderly couples in poor medical condition who are struggling against swarms of roaches. He meets a young death-metal dude and his collection of beer cans. He walks through a cloud of pot smoke, laughing all the way. And then he meets an Occupant and his Odor.

The Occupant has lived in the same garden-level apartment since 1978. His legs are withered, and he lisps. When he has to move, he uses a walker--but he doesn't walk much. At the moment he is watching Geraldo on a small TV. A grease-soaked carpet stretches out before him--green, with gamboling roaches.

"Oh, boy," says Emge, "we have to get rid of these roaches."
"Well," says the manager, "I want to, but he won't get out of here so I can spray. Not even for four hours."
"Well, where am I thupothed to go?" the Occupant says, indignantly. "I'm crippled."
"Do you have any relatives?" Emge asks.
"See?" the manager says. "He don't cooperate."
"You don't like these roaches, do you?" Emge asks the Occupant. "No," he says. "And I'm glad you're here. I wanted you to come."
"Could you get out for just a couple hours tomorrow morning?"
"Thit no," he repeats. "I ain't about to mith my thtories. I got to thee All My Thildren."
"What time's that come on? Eleven? Hey," Emge tells the manager sternly, "you better get this place sprayed by eleven tomorrow. And this guy needs a paint job and a new carpet. This isn't the best you can do for him, is it?"
"Uh, no," the manager replies.
"You thee?" the Occupant crows. "You thee?"
"I'll be back to check on you," Emge assures him.

"Oh, I liked that man," Emge decides, as he drives away. "I like anyone with a legitimate problem. He's crippled, he's got roaches, and he doesn't want to miss All My Children. I like that. Those roaches are going. He is getting new paint. I live for this kind of thing. The more tragedy and trash, the more I love it. You feel," he says, "like you might accomplish something.

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