I owe an apology to Verizon. But only half an apology, really because they were still arrogant bastards on the phone.
Turns out that the reason the phone line isn't working is because the psycho that we bought the house from ripped the wires out of the phone box in the back of the house. Just because he felt like it, I presume.
So the psycho tally thus far:
When his wife gave birth, he claimed the baby wasn't his. The neighbors all say not only was there no doubt that the baby was his, but there was no way the wife was fooling around, as he kept watch on her day and night.
He decided right after the baby was born that he no longer wanted to be married or a father. He filed for divorce and insisted on selling the house. He then made the wife and baby move into the upstairs apartment so he could fix up the main part of the house to sell.
He did all the work himself, something he was obviously not qualified to do. The new flooring in the hallway stops about two inches before the bedroom door. He primed the walls, but never painted them. He removed vent covers and stuffed the vents with cardboard. All the molding in the hallway is warped and crooked. The list goes on.
Also, he was apparently a civilian employee with the Navy. He got fired, according to the one neighbor, for being psycho.
I'm almost afraid to start ripping up floorboards. One never knows what lurks underneath the homes of known psychotics. Hmmm...maybe that really expensive landscaping he put in is actually hiding something.
Guess I'll wait and see if any funky smells come up in the next few weeks.