Monday, September 12, 2011

What September 12th Means To Me: Fantastically Horrible Roommates

College Roommates:  The Unholy Roulette.

Sure, pairing up two complete strangers to share a lunch box as living space for a year could be an interesting character building exercise, or it could devolve into a Hunger Games type of atmosphere that results in having one roommate ejaculate in your Pert Plus, while the other uses your homemade batch of salsa as a urinal. 

Last week, I was having a discussion with a friend about horrible roommates and, since we're still in the early stages of September, which will forever be associated with the beginning of school, I was reminded of my college roommate situation the first semester of my sophomore year.  In an earlier post, I mentioned that I attended Reed College.  As discussed, Reed College is an incredibly unique institution that is one-of-a-kind in both academics and campus life.  But though these features were considered as pluses when I was applying to the school, there was another little fact about Reed College that may have put it over the top:

I wouldn't have to have a roommate freshman year.

Yep, some people base their college choice on a desired major, some attend school to play a sport, I picked mine because I didn't want anyone seeing me naked.  I didn't care that my freshman door room was the size of a walk in closet, it was my walk in closet.  So, considering this, some would find it odd that I chose to live with a roommate my sophomore year in a 2br/1bath apartment just off campus.

In the history of dumb choices it was:

Ok, maybe second. 

Let me tell you a little about Noah:  And I don't hesitate to use his first name because I have no doubt that he will wear everything I'm about to say like a badge of honor.  But let's get something straight about Noah:  He's a fantastic guy and, though we live on opposite sides of the country, I still consider him a friend.  He's easily one of the smartest dudes I know (one of those assholes that can change your opinion on anything) and he's both incredibly talented and funny...often displaying both traits at the same time.  Ask him to do an impression of a German folk singer covering Bob Dylan: "De Ahnswer my friend, ees blowing een da vind, De answer ees blowing in een da vind."  It's hilarious though, obviously, me typing it out doesn't do it justice. And I believe he's the only friend I've ever described as "presidential." 

All this aside, Noah was the gonorrhea of roommates.  Here's a few reasons why no one should ever live with a 20-year-old Noah. 

1) Noah Didn't Like To Move.  Ever.  For Anything - In the middle of our apartment, naturally in front of the TV, was a green bean bag chair.  And when Noah would sit in his chair, he wouldn't get up. For hours. Class?  Fuck it.  Plans to go out that night?  Fuck it.  The apartment was on fire?  Fuck it.  It was as if the little balls in the chair were quicksand.  Because of this, Noah also had a loose relationship with cleaning, though he did, however, rise from his hippie throne every so often to bring his disgusting dishes to the sink.  I recall one time lifting up his stack of week old dirty dishes, only to be greeted with some kind of insect that shows up to feast on week-old food, to which he calmly stated "Cool, we have more pets now."  The "more" in that sentence was probably in reference to my dog (RIP) who was just a small, insolent puppy at the time.  Oakley, like Noah, had no problems making a mess of the house and was known to poop on the carpet from time to time. Upon returning from class one random afternoon, I opened the door to a horribly pungent odor that punched me in the face like a heavyweight might.  Just in front of me was a steaming pile of dog poo, and just beyond that was Noah sitting in his beanbag chair smoking a pipe.  Without looking at me, but obviously noticing I walked in, he calmly said, "I was just letting it fester."

2) Noah's Bizarre Movie Watching Habit On My Dime - Noah loved watching movies.  Noah loved criticizing movies.  Noah loved pay-per-view movies. Noah loved criticizing pay-per-view movies.  Noah loved watching every single pay-per-view movie on cable so that he could criticize every single pay-per-view movie on cable.  And oh yeah, Noah didn't like chipping in for the cable bill.

I can recall one incident specifically:  He was watching a movie called "The Borrowers" that, till this day, I still have no clue of what the plot is.  Why?  Because Noah turned it off after five minutes. Why?  A technicality.  In the beginning of the movie, the featured family is kicked out of their house for some reason I cannot recall.  Noah immediately called bullshit on this:  "They can't do that, under section 41 in the blahbleedablah housing code, the landlord isn't allowed to evict them for the reason stated. So, you sue, movie over." Click over to the next pay per view movie.

Now, you're probably thinking I'm complaining too much, and all of this doesn't sound nearly as bad as sperm in your Pert Plus (actually, it probably isn't).  But I haven't gotten to this yet:

3) The Blow Gun:  Otherwise known as Noah's favorite toy.  A blow gun is very easy to use really, you stick a sharp dart near the top blow hole, blow into it, and it sends the projectile flying at a great speed towards the target.  Is it lethal?  I'm not sure.  Could it cause some serious damage?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  Did I enjoy these darts flying centimeters over my head while writing papers at my bedroom desk?  Not so much.  Noah didn't seem to care though, and I was never safe from his little hobby.  I was never injured fortunately, though I believe my hair actually was at one point.  

Much to the delight of my physical well being, Noah was asked to leave school at the end of that first semester (that sounds insensitive) because, as mentioned, he never went to class.  I never worried for him, not because I didn't care, but because I knew that he could be a miscreant and still end up completely fine because he was that smart and talented.  There were some pluses to living with Noah, though.  Even though he never paid me back for movies, he did have zero problem charging insane amounts of money on his father, Steve's, credit card.  Often times I'd be tired after a long day, and would have no interest in going out to dinner, but it was hard to turn down an offer when told: "don't worry, it's on Steve."  I heard this many times that semester, and I believe we racked up over 2k one month on food alone.  Perhaps that made the whole thing worthwhile.

Though I could have done without the near accidental manslaughter. 

So, anyway, let's hear your horrible roommate stories?


  1. God damn, Brett. These shits are funny.

  2. I begrudgingly attest to the accuracy of most of what is in this article. I take exception to the claim that I watched five minutes of The Borrowers. It couldn't have been more than three.

  3. valdemar is a gaylord