Funniness Negates Wrongness
Monday, August 14, 2006
Roommates? Roommates!
Forgive my absence last week...I was entirely to update the site. As a penance, I offer this really long blog for you to enjoy.

I was browsing the insidious MySpace the other night, looking up people I no longer talk to to see how fat they've become. I'd gone through people from high school when I decided to start looking for old roommates. Unfortunately, none of them seem to be on MySpace. Which is probably--in the long run--a really fucking smart thing to do. But it did get me thinking about some of the freaks I've lived with back in the day.

Rob - Rob was my freshman roommate at Texas A&M, in good ol' Dunn Hall. A year older than me, he was one of the biggest tools I've ever met. Both semesters we lived together, he had an 8 o'clock class every day of the week. Now, a normal person would set their alarm for maybe 6:45 to make it to class by 8 (later if they didn't care about hygiene). Not Rob. Rob would set his alarm for 5:15, then snooze for two hours, finally rising at 7:15 to race to class. Imagine, if you will, two hours of the loudest alarm clock in the world going off every 9 minutes. On the rare occasions that he did actually get up early, he would spend at least an hour playing hockey on his fucking Sega Master System. In a feeble attempt to be somewhat considerate, he'd at least turn the volume down. Unfortunately, he'd always settle on a volume that straddled that fine line where sound ceases to be understandable and becomes annoying--just a low murmur that you can't sleep through for some reason.

Rob was also one of the messiest motherfuckers I've ever met. He'd microwave stuff in the room, then just leave the dishes in the bathroom sink, making it difficult for myself and our suitemates to actually use the sink. One time, the suitemates and I actually cleaned his dishes, then used double-sided foam tape to create a complete place setting on the bathroom mirror, hoping that that would send a message to Rob. It didn't.

Thai - Thai, despite his name, was actually Vietnamese, though he grew up in the suburbs of Houston. Luckily, being an Asian, Thai was an over-achiever in the math and science departments and had interned for NASA the summer before our collective sophomore year. Nerd. He was usually quiet, though he did have a penchant for microwaving the most foul-smelling Asian food imaginable, which generally made me gag and forced me out of the room. His Viet Cong grandparents, still farming rice back in the suburbs of Ho Chi Mihn City, had a bad habit of calling him when it was convenient for him, which was generally about 3 A.M. Central Time. If you've ever been around Asians, you already know how, when speaking their native languages, they tend to YELL AS LOUD AS POSSIBLE. Well, imagine my roommate speaking Vietnamese on an international phone call to a country with a really shitty telecommunications infrastructure. This actually required him to yell at a volume that was somewhat similar to that of the sound of a space shuttle lifting off. People in other dorms were waking up. Fucker.

Matt - Matt was my only really decent roommate. He was an engineering major and pretty studious, so he was usually quiet. He had a girlfriend named Leslie who was also pretty cool. And I should state that I was never actually sure that they were boyfriend and girlfriend, as I never actually saw them be affectionate towards each other...not even a kiss. But they were always together, so I just assumed. Another cool thing was that Matt loved Chevy Chase movies...especially Vacation, which is one of the funniest early-80s movies. He was also pretty tidy, picking up the room regularly. In fact, the only complaint I had about him was his uncanny ability to come home--usually with Leslie in tow--whenever my girlfriend and I were being intimate. We'd hear the key in the lock and scramble to cover up and they'd come in--and either being dicks or too clueless to deduce what was going on--would sit down and either do homework or turn on the TV. This would, of course, force the girlfriend and I to remain in bed for extended periods of time, pretending to be asleep, until they left again. Despite all this, I never had the desire to kill him.

Warren - My senior year, I finally moved off-campus, taking up residence in an apartment with Warren and Jon. I'd known Warren since high school and he was always a decent guy. Maybe a little bit too much on the neat side and strangely soft-spoken, it had never occured to me before we moved in to the apartment that he might be "different". But then I discovered the suitcase of porn. I was going to borrow his carry-on bag that he kept under his bed and since he wasn't around, I decided just to take it. As I lifted it, I realized there was stuff in it. Throwing caution to the wind, I opened it, only to find it chock full o' hardcore gay porn. Everything made sense then...the neatness, the mincing way he walked, the slight lisp, the entire wardrobe obtained from the gap, the strange men that would come over in the middle of the night and disappear into his room to--what I'd previously assumed--practice wrestling moves. A few months later, Linz borrowed his computer to write something and we took the opportunity to poke around a bit, discovering a browser cache and history full of gay-related links, not to mention a few emails from a guy in Austin who always signed off his notes with "Flicker Pooh". So, yeah, that pretty much confirmed his gayness. Oh, and he tried to kiss me once. Fag.

Jon - Jon had been Warren's roommate on-campus and had followed him to the apartment. Jon was what could charitably be described as a "geek". My memories of him include a perpetually glossy complexion thanks to the massive amounts of oil that his facial skin continuously excreted and an anal obsession with protecting his coffee table. I also remember that the one time he actually had a date, he invited her over for dinner and a movie. Linz and I walked in on them--not having sex, but watching Days of Thunder with the home theatre system turned up to 11 and with Jon and his date on the opposite ends of our wraparound sofa with the lights fully on. One has to wonder if he were clueless or something had transpired.

Perhaps the most memorable story involving Jon was an incident relayed to me by Warren, the gay one. Warren came home from classes one day, walked into the apartment and headed back towards the large bedroom he shared with Jon. As he approached, he noticed the door slightly ajar and the TV on, so he slowly pushed it open to discover Jon wanking it whilst watching a rerun of Doogie Howser, M.D. The odd part is, Jon was so into masturbating and watching TV, that he didn't notice Warren standing there staring (though whether he was staring in shock or to check out Jon's junk was never clear) for a moment. Fucking freak.

Miles - Probably one of the worst roommates ever. After Jon fucked us over and insisted that he wasn't moving out for months, he surprised us with "I'm moving out this weekend". Fucker. Warren and I, as poor college students, couldn't afford to go it alone, so we were going to need a third roommate to replace that fucker Jon. We whipped up a flyer and posted it around campus.

After a few nibbles, we finally had someone call--Miles. I was wary, but Warren, desperate for someone to share the burden of bills with, talked me into it. I should've known better than to listen to that fag...

First off, Miles wasn't a student...if he had a job, he never went to it. Instead, he kept odd hours, sleeping all day and staying out at night, doing fuck knows what. His sister lived in Bryan, College Station's twin city, and he'd walked there from south College Station fairly often. He had a bad habit of turning the heat in the apartment up really high, even in the summer, making it unbearable. He'd make coffee with raw eggs in it, then leave it laying around to drink from occasionally throughout the day. Despite first appearances, when he came to view the apartment, it soon became evident that he was some sort of uber white trach. Warren, out of town fairly often to "visit his aunt" in Houston or go home to Tyler, wasn't really bothered by him. I, on the other hand, grew to hate him. I took to occasionally locking the deadbolt to keep him out of the apartment, in which case he'd either walk to his sister's or hang out outside the apartment until someone let him in, instead of beating the shit out of the door like a normal person would. I was counting down the days until our lease expired, because I was definitely moving out. On top of all this, Miles never had money to pay the rent or bills, so in the interest of not getting evicted or our utilities cut off, I started having to cover for him. When the amount owed to me finally reached $1500, I threatened small claims court. I had the money the next day. Fucker. I finally moved out and moved in the the last person in this list, Nathan.

Nathan - Nathan was a guy that I'd met in a couple of classes we shared. He was in the Corps of Cadets, but as soon as his obligation was over, he was ready to move off-campus and into an apartment. As I was in need of someone to live with, we got a place near campus. Unfortunately, since we only needed an apartment for six months and almost every really nice place in College Station would only do twelve month leases, we had to move into a semi-ghetto apartment complex whose only saving grace was that it was within walking distance of the Ramada Inn and its bar with overly-hot bartender chicks. This place was like an apartment complex in a Elmore Leonard novel, only not in Florida. Nathan was, at first, a decent roommate. Except for his penchant for constantly locking himself in his room to masturbate, I didn't really have a problem with him. Until he started drinking J&B obsessively. He'd sit in the corner easy chair, watching TV and drinking scotch all the time, only rising to go to school or to a bar. One night, he called me from the Brazos County Jail to say he'd been arrested for public intoxication and wanted me to come get him out...I said I would, but unfortunately, I fell back asleep. I didn't mean to, honestly, but I did. Turns out, after I didn't show, he was forced to call his parents, who came down from Dallas to bail him out. In the long run, I didn't feel all that bad about going back to sleep. He had his good qualities as well, though. Since his family was very well off, he'd usually buy our drinks when we went out and buy the groceries. We were, despite his flaws, fairly good friends. After graduation, I kept up with him for a few months, but, like many friendships, it waned. I often find myself wondering what the hell ever happened to him.

So, there you have it...a rundown of all the fucked up roommates I've had. It makes me wonder if there is anyone normal in the world.