Dr Mumbo

The worst flat in the world?

Few things bring Dr Mumbo as much joy as the occasions when PR man Ben Rawling’s flat mates move out, and he applies his copywriting skills to finding a replacement.

Last time round, the ad went viral, and indeed he even ended up on Sunrise.

It also inspired an AFR column in which Rawlins became the poster boy of all that is wrong with modern Australian men.
Inexplicably, yet another flatmate has moved out, and the grubby Bondi flat is once more on Gumtree. And again, the prose are beautiful:

“Pretty flash” – David Koch, Sunrise Host

“We’ve all lived in worse” – Melissa Doyle, Sunrise Host

“Not too bad, I could live there” – Edwina Bartholomew, Sunrise reporter

So, the verdict is in. I can live with their judgement. The question is, can you?

In case you’re wondering what I’m on about, click here http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/video/-/watch/26424304/for-rent-crap-apartment/ to see the kind of story that screams “slow news day.” You’ll find a video with an explanation of the last flatmate ad I posted and a wonderful guided tour of the worst unit in the best position in the worst block in the best street in North Bondi. And yes, that nervous, awkward, stumbling dork attempting to appear cool, casual and comedic is your potential new flatmate.

Now, there has been one notable change to the room since the clock ticked beyond a quarter past on my time in the limelight – the room’s soiled mattress has been disposed of by the local Hazmat professionals and there is now a shiny new(ish) mattress and bed just begging to be personalised with your own unique stains and odours.

But everything else remains the same. Archaeologists have put the age of the carpet at some time in the 70s based on the fossilised fondue stains found in the lowest layers of the carpet pile. The peeling paint work has also been dated from a similar period due to the high levels of asbestos and lead it contains. The kitchen and bathroom….. well yeah, they exist but that’s about it. The view and location still rule though – there’s more info and original flat description included in the images.

But hang on…….. wasn’t this unit advertised only 6 months ago? Why would someone move in and out so quickly? And how annoying are rhetorical questions? Could it be that I’m as horrific a person as described in the article taken from The Australian Financial Review? Possibly, but let me clear up a few things.

Let me start by saying that even more startling than the self-satisfied smugness of the article is the irony of accusing someone of being a deeply shallow, status obsessed, money hungry, mean individual to a (rapidly dwindling) readership of investment bankers, hedge fund traders, stock brokers and CEOs. That said, there are a few factual errors that irk me more.

Firstly, I don’t have the “capital” to afford this place. It is rented and the rent is split neatly down the middle.

Secondly, I’m not looking for you to furnish the place – rather, I’m a simple person who, try as he might, simply can’t get excited by home furnishings. If you happen to be one of those people who can develop an emotional attachment to a floor lamp, quidenza or armoire, then feel free to decorate in any manner you desire.

Thirdly, I am not famous nor do I crave fame. I have always had a better chance of achieving infamy anyway.

And finally, I DID find a flatmate well before the story was printed but now she’s moving on.

That flatmate, the incredibly talented and charismatic Marney McQueen – http://marneymcqueen.com – can tell you why she’s moving out when you take a look at the place. She’s an outstanding actress, comedian and performer who really deserves her own TV show and she has agreed to talk me up as long as I stop making threats to her family. A fair deal.

So, come down to Bondi and enjoy the abundant perky silicon and saline hills of the fabled grassy knoll. Marvel at the chiselled, posing, hairless chimps at the outdoor gym at North Bondi. Watch the hipsters push their fixies up Bondi’s many hills. There’s so much to do and see!

Dr Mumbo is certain that once again, the new flatmates will be lining up. At the time of writing the ad is at 779 views and counting…


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