I guess I could write about more Osama news, but when you have a chance to write about someone's downstairs leather fetishist neighbor, you don't pass it up.

When Jack Hagerty closed on his new condo three weeks ago, he thought it had everything he wanted: a quiet, safe Glen Park location, easy access to BART and a backyard for his 10-year-old son. Turns out it came with an extra feature - a self-described "leather sex" enthusiast living downstairs.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

"He's entitled to his life," Hagerty said. "I just wish he'd told me sooner."

Hagerty said all was well until he announced that he intended to remove the carpet and padding in his unit to help with allergies. The downstairs condo owner explained in an April 24 e-mail that he opposed the idea.

"I am a sexual enthusiast and enjoy leather sex," the man wrote. "At times, it is possible and even likely that the sounds of leather sex will be coming from my bedrooms to your bedrooms without an effective sound barrier. While it is not my issue, you may find you need to explain things to your son as it could be confusing to him since it frequently doesn't sound as pleasurable as it is."

"I just don't think it is appropriate for my son to bear witness to that," Hagerty said.

But the neighbor says if Hagerty just left the carpet and pad on the floor everything would be fine.

"My lifestyle shouldn't have anything to do with this," he said. "I could be singing Chinese opera in my bedroom."

So shouldn't the real estate agents have disclosed the issue? Rob Rogers of Zephyr Real Estate, who helped to handle the sale, said, "You certainly don't have to disclose someone's sexual preferences or what they are doing." Noise may be an issue, but how much noise is too much?

It has left Hagerty in a tough spot. Recently divorced, he bought this place so he could share custody of his son. Now he doesn't feel they can move in.

"I'm screwed," he said. "I put every penny I had into this place, and I'm still paying $2,000 a month in mortgage and homeowner fees. I can't even afford to pay rent somewhere."

I guess I'm supposed to sympathize with Hagerty, but it's hard. This contretemps (I refuse to call it a dispute) began when Hagerty decided to rip up his carpet due to "allergies." Now, I am not a doctor, but I do know this. There are some people who suffer from real definable allergies. They know the fibers to avoid and the medicines to take to alleviate their symptoms. Then there are people who suffer from "allergies," meaning they are constantly complaining about suffering from something, although it's never quite clear what it is. They think the solution is to rip up the carpet, even though there's no such thing as a "carpet" allergy. (maybe cleaning the carpet would help). They are people for whom life is often a burden. In addition to suffering from "allergies," they also get divorced, lose custody of their children, and buy into a condo with the downstairs neighbor from Hell via Sodom and Gomorrah.

Still, what kind of a downstairs neighbor writes a letter detailing his fetishes and dragging Hagerty's 10 year old son into it as well? Don't tell me this guy didn't get off on freaking out the straight folks upstairs. If Mr. Leather Sex is so noisy in his lovin' that you can hear him at all hours - and you have to love how he says his fetish "doesn't sound as pleasurable as it often is," a preview of coming attractions, I guess - then that is a matter for the condo board, if not the police. Nothing in his CCR's can let him make a hellacious amount of noise while indulging his passions at all hours of the night. Plus, I really doubt whether a carpet is going to be the difference between blissful silence and a nightly Grand Guignol.

San Francisco is famously tolerant, and equally famously filled with neurotic oddballs. But, there are some things even too intolerable for SF.

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