Somehow I’ve made it to almost-old without racking up too much roommate experience. Not counting girlfriends and relatives, I’ve only shared an apartment with one roommate in my life. And that lasted for just four months, or so.
When I moved to Greensboro I rented a place with a guy from the Convenience Story. And he was OK. We got along, and he wasn’t overly annoying or anything. A little red in the neck… but that’s not a big deal.
I was homesick during the early days down there, but he had it far worse than me. He’d call his girlfriend constantly, sigh a lot, and pace the floor. I tried to talk him into going out for beers, or to a movie, or something. But he just wanted to wallow in that apartment, and exhale a lot.
Finally he snapped, went back to West Virginia for a weekend, and got married on a whim. Next thing I know, he’s moving his new wife into our apartment.
The dude was less of a sad sack after that, but the entire dynamic had changed. I was suddenly the weirdo, living with a married couple, etc. And I felt like I needed to keep things a lot cleaner… The whole thing sucked.
I didn’t think I could afford it, but I spoke with the manager of the apartment complex about maybe moving into a one-bedroom unit. She said they had none available, but one was opening up in about six weeks.
So, I went out and got a second job (on top of the ball-mashing gig I already had), and played Kato Kaelin for the next month and a half.
It was all very awkward. The one bathroom was right next to the living room, and the walls were thin. I could sometimes hear a bed squeaking (at an astonishing tempo) down the hall… The six weeks couldn’t pass fast enough.
Eventually I moved-out, and at the end of their lease the happy couple upgraded to a better apartment, a half-mile down the road. And the last I heard, they were still together: almost 25 years later.
And that’s the extent of my non-girlfriend/relative roommate experience. I later lived with my brother for a while in Greensboro, and shacked-up with two girlfriends over the years. But there were no other real roommates.
I almost took the plunge once, for financial reasons. I ran an ad and “interviewed” some idiot at a bar in Greensboro. He arrived in a novelty tweed cap, had some sort of ironic button on the lapel of his jacket (Archie?), and I knew I’d want to strangle the pretentious son of bitch within two days. So I never called him back, and didn’t respond to any of the other callers, either.
Therefore, I feel kind of left-out when people start telling roommate horror stories. Mine are limited and fairly lame compared to others I’ve heard. But I’m going to open myself up to further feelings of inadequacy, and ask for your far superior tales.
And that’s the Question of the Day… Please use the comments link below to tell us about your roommate experiences, especially the bad ones; the bad ones are always best.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
I’ve waited for 24 hours for someone to do this. Jeff is a music guy for chissakes. Let’s have some fucking decorum here, or some musical sense or something sweet for lunch.
I know that the title you hold isn’t granted without the focus, wisdom, and abstinence you bring to your holy position, and, for the most part, I have noted your universal rightness.
But I now see the limit of my powers of discernment. Your ability to find anything redeeming about “Sugar, Sugar” or any tune performed by cartoon characters exceeds my ability to comprehend, and I cease to believe my own ears. I know that’s not the cartoon characters real voices on the record, but in my ignorance I had come to believe that an ability to suck spittle through one’s teeth, a classic does not make.
Not being a holy man of any ilk myself, I might suggest, in the pop arena, oh, Mac Arthur Park or any tune off “A Tramp, Shining” as a better song, just to name the worst case scenario. I think I hear a little spittle sucking on the part of Mr. Harris whilst the cake is melting, so the music should qualify.
Or any tune by the Go Go’s or the Shangri-Las, just to remind us that women can sing (and write and play) pop as well.
So I remain gobsmacked by your ability to see greatness in The Archies. I defer to your wisdom, but remain in the dark, as usual.
yer humble servant…
A friend of mine let me move into a spare bedroom while I was going through a divorce. As soon as I moved in his C**t of a gf decided she didn’t want me living there even though she didn’t. She would come over and mow as early as possible on Sunday morning knowing I raced on Saturday night and never got home until at least 3 am. She finally talked him into letting her move in. With no notice I came home one night to discover I was now sharing a bedroom with her 4 yr. old son. They had placed his bed in a way that the door wouldn’t shut so I had no privacy even though I was paying him rent. Within a few days I had found an apartment and got the hell out of there!
Gretchen: is the lady still single? Love the backdoor girls!
johnthebasket – I was the one that mentioned the spittle sucking, not Swami. He just likes the song, as well as, oh…I dunno, a few other million people do. The gentleman who wrote that “spittle sucking song” also discovered and produced Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton John, and The Monkees (another “not real” band).
Jeff also wrote “Going to the Chapel” “Then He Kissed Me” “Iko Iko”, “Baby, I Love You”, “Be My Baby”, “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Tell Laura I Love Her”. Also, “Leader of The Pack” and “Brown Eyed Girl”.
Now, I don’t know how old you are, and if you were around when these were hits, but it stands to reason that although you may not enjoy “cartoon character music”, Jeff was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past Monday.
So, while you may not enjoy that type of music, he is laughing all the way to the bank.
Rant over…taken personally, since I LOVE everything Archie (heh, the name of the cartoon!) and Jeff as well.
And I am over it, so please don’t flame me. To each his own as far as musical tastes go.
P.S. Some people even like Barry Manilow! Go figure…
Swami Bologna says
Well said, Stephanie.
Swami Bologna says
One correction, though — Van Morrison wrote “Brown Eyed Girl.”
Thank you, Swami. I am still awaiting a call (or email) from Jeff. I don’t know if he has headed home from NY yet (to California). He always responds to me quickly once he receives my messages.
I love that man. I really do.
Van Morrison wrote that song WITH Jeff and he is singing background on it…listen to the ending, you’ll hear him!
Jeff Barry is a talented writer, producer and singer. With his wife, Ellie Greenwich, and his crazy friend, George (Shadow) Morton, Barry wrote and produced many classics, including the Shangri-Las music, which I mentioned.
Jeff is cool. Ellie is really cool. Shadow is mostly weird, but gets writing credit for Remember (Walking in the Sand). That wasn’t anywhere near the neighborhood of my comment. I just don’t jam with the Archies, but I already deferred to the Swami’s wisdom, so I’ll defer to Stephanie’s as well.
Fer what it’s worth, I am also a fan of Archie comics. I retain some from a younger day and still check them out every couple of years. I wasn’t complaining about the comic book characters. It was the damn music.
Ok, Seanette, I thought Kelli’s link was bad, but yours was over the top insane. HO-LEE SHIT! I’m still trying to process it all.
Fryguy: Sorry, she’s married now and presumably sharing her big round rump with him and him alone.
Icecycle66: HOLY CRAP!!! I have never heard of so many ways of pullin the pud….EVER! Impressive!
And Stephanie, why the hell would I flame you for enjoying some music? It was the Swami who claimed for the tune heroic pop status, one of the best ever, and I threw in my two bits. I guess my attempt at a little humor didn’t bounce off like bullets off Superman. That’s what I get.
johnthebasket – I am glad to hear that you still check out Archie Comics every so often! Lots of kids today don’t know who they are (when I grew up on Archie Comics). Well, I didn’t actually grow “up” per se, since I am only 4’11” but, you know what I mean!
Archie celebrates over 70 years in the industry, so I’m happy they have endured!
And I can truly understand not liking certain types of music and wanting to jam something sharp into your eardrums when you hear it…
Nope, my apologies to you, John. I didn’t think you flame me, I was worried about the johnthebasket lovers, actually!
You mentioned Superman, too. Yay. My geek girl status meter just went off, again.
Commencing in a geekgasm.
Swami Bologna says
JTB: Are you of British origin? I ask because you used the word “gobsmacked.” And if you are a Brit, then you might not know that the phrase “pop music” has different meanings in the U.S. and the U.K. In the U.K., I understand, they use the word “pop” to describe just about any type of music that isn’t classical (or perhaps also isn’t jazz or blues or country). In other words, rock music would be part of the pop music umbrella in the U.K., and all of rock’s offshoots would also be termed “pop music.” In the U.S., on the other hand, pop music generally refers to hook-filled tunes with light-hearted themes, generally intended to appeal to teenagers. So when I said “Sugar, Sugar” is one of the greatest pop music songs ever, I meant it in the American sense, not in the British sense.
I just now listened to excerpts of all the songs on “A Tramp Shining” (via Amazon), because I’ve never heard that album before, and I can report that that album is absolutely NOT pop music, in the American sense. (It’s more like middle-of-the-road singer-songwriter stuff, what used to be called “MOR” in the radio industry, I believe.)
I just thought I’d try to clear things up. Before any fists start flying.
So many to choose from…
“Brown food dude” who only ate food that was brown, chain smoked Marlboro menthol lights, drank Dew, and obsessively brushed and sprayed his hair while listening to Rush Limbaugh. Wottadouche.
“Stank Matt”- Similar to brown food dude, but spoke with a fake Irish accent for almost a year. Self-taught tumpet player who didn’t work so he could “practice.”
Dude who stabbed all the knives and forks in the kitchen floor because the rest of the house never did the dishes. He also put all the dirt dishes in everbody’s beds. He was justified, but scary.
Crazy Judy- pretended to go away for a weekend and hid in her locked bedroom so she could see (listen?) to what I would do with her out of the house. Not my girlfriend, but a much older woman from whom I rented the room. Fell in love with ex-con while volunteering at the homeless shelter. He stole my boots when he left.
There have been others, but I think those three are the worst.
Born and raised in Tacoma, WA. Moved some as an adult: Seattle, Downtown Philly, south of Baltimore, back to Tacoma.
I agree with much of your definition of pop. I don’t quite agree with the “appeals to teenagers” part, although I was a late teenager when Mac Arthur Park was released, and it made the Billboard Pop chart (#2) and was being hummed by all my teenage friends.
I hope fists wouldn’t fly over a tongue-in-cheek fake flame about an Archies’ song. I’m as passionate about music as anybody, but nobody would consider this the Algonquin Round Table of musicology and nobody ever accused me of writing like Dorothy Parker (although I love dressing up in her duds).
Swami Bologna says
I knew your comment was all in fun, and wasn’t at all offended that you’re not a fan of “Sugar, Sugar.” But just felt that I should step in with Stephanie to defend what is in fact a great pop song. Peace out.
WB in OH says
This why I love this site. At noon it looked like this post had run it’s course. I leave to visit a job site and all hell breaks loose and is back under control by the time I get back. Plus I learned about twelve new sayings for masturbation. Great stuff people!
Okay, Swami! I just got off the phone with Jeff, and he said…
Are you ready?
After reading him your comment/question he said to tell you, specifically (and everyone else still reading, heh):
It is NEITHER of the things you mentioned! He said that the word candy refers to her (his girl) being SWEET and nice and kind and all things good and wonderful in his world. That his world is just a better place because of the sweetest girl he has ever known.
How’s that for an answer?
And, I thought all this time that Jeff was in New York (because I had not spoken to him in days) and he just told me he never even WENT to NY for the induction! His flight was cancelled from CA to NY due to the bad weather out East. So, he called up his friend (Steven Van Zandt) and asked him to accept on his behalf. Steven obliged.
There is more to this story/conversation, but I don’t know how much of it I should post here! (We were on the phone for 23 minutes and 31 seconds according to my Venus)…
Swami Bologna says
Very, very interesting. Thanks so much.
You are very welcome, Swami!
I should probably go get some work done now…
Not only is thewvsr enteraining, its educational. =-)
Fat Secretary says
My husband and I are pretty quiet and work most of the day and late at night, so we are almost “not there” wherever we live.
Worst roommate was in Walnut Creek, CA. My fiance and I rented a bedroom in a condo and had “kitchen privileges” from a woman that seemed super cool and mellow at first….(thank God this was a 3 month agreement while we looked for our own place).
Shortly after we moved in she got two kittens and put the litter box in OUR bathroom, with her “all natural cedar shavings”, or whatever, I LOVE cats but these animals and their all natural diet and no actual litter to absorb the outcome-totally disgusting, especially first thing in the morning.
It seems that kitchen privileges pretty much only meant microwave your food and take it back to your room, among other “rules” we were presented with after the fact. The worst? When she asked the upstairs neighbor if he could stop peeing at night, because she could hear it and it would wake her up. We got out of there as fast as we could.
I am suddenly so glad I have only had a couple roommates and especially glad I didn’t join the military. Good Lord!!! impressive the number of references to masterbation. impressive indeed.
I wish I HAD had a roommate due to all of the refererences to masturbation!
Just thinking out loud. Nothing to see here…move along…
When I lived in Indy in 2008 I lived with a vegan couple with dreads, tats, piercings, etc. Nice people, but I also had kitchen priveledges but they made no room for me in the kitchen. Also I felt weird putting my carnivore food in the soy-fridge. the worst part was the 6 cats that might as well have been feral, the two chihuahua that shit everywhere. And the two ferrets that lived in a cage filled with their own shit.
The cat littler box was in the bathroom and they cleaned it once a week maybe, it was towering with shit, there was shit and piss all over the floor, and eventually it was in the living room.
I thought PETA people thought owning pets was wrong?
I’d come home from work and go straight to my room. These people were arty, too. So every now and then the shower would be full of mud.
I pretty much lived with a covers hair metal band in the early 80s. Nuff said?
my only roommate was a bit weird but through him I met my wife
Rat Bastard says
Last as usual…howdy, Surf Reporters! Been a while since I’ve been able to post here!
Worst roommate: the guy from Philadelphia who was normal at first, but after becoming a cook at various local college dive-bars he started bringing the entire waitstaff home after closing. They would proceed to drink 5ths of cheap tequila until 5 am while I worried if anyone was going to walk off with one of my guitars. I’m sure there was some cocaine involved, but it didn’t seem to help this guy: he would inevitably end up passing out on our couch and pissing himself, then would wake up and turn the couch cushions over as if nothing had happened. I kicked the fucker out after this became his “routine.”
I also lived with a married couple from Erie that were completely batshit insane, but I’d have to write a novel about them.
my current degenerate roomate feeds her cat raw chicken because she can buy it with her food stamps. we found chicken liver on the carpet the other day. yum!
Also, her room(and our hallway) smells like “a vagina full of bad decisions” mixed with death. Th smell nearly knocked me out cold a few weeks back.
Maybe one of those bad decisions was inserting raw chicken livers into it.
The Dave says
My current roommates just got married and are kicking me out so the new wife’s daughter, her boyfriend with whom she is constantly breaking up with and getting back together, and their infant son can move in to my 10×10 bedroom. I’d be pissed if I wasn’t so sure that all parties involved will be completely miserable once I move out and they move in.
Back in the mid 90s I lived in a house with about 8-10 other punk rockers, and one day I came home from work to find that my crust punk roommates had knocked the fridge over, cracked open the back, and were huffing all the freon out. I still lived there for a year, and could write a book about that place.
Amanda Leigh says
I have had a ton of roommates but Annabelle from my freshman year in college stands out as the worst. To her credit, she was bipolar & off her meds so there was a little method to the madness.
She bought a 5# bag of ice blue “gemstones” – those flattened marbles. She glued them all over the walls & ceiling of our dorm room. It did look kinda cool, but she used Elmer’s glue. As soon as the heat kicked on, they started dropping off & raining onto me in my sleep. That doesn’t sound too bad, but try sleeping with your mouth open. I nearly asphyxiated on one of those pieces of glass!
She also smeared hair dye all over my favorite blouse & a linen dress in my closet. She actually had to get into a GARMENT BAG to attack the dress. She was dying her hair in our room one day & I asked her to do it in the bathroom instead – that was what threw her into a rage.
She called my parents in the middle of the night to tell them I was suicidal (I wasn’t), I had done acid (I had) & I was having sex with lots of people (I was, but it wasn’t all at once). My dad drove the 2 1/2 hours to come get me, arriving about 5am to find me hung over & puzzled about all the fuss.
She finally dropped out of school a month before finals & that money-grubbing school STILL made me pay to have a private room.
Amanda – I laughed so hard at your post that I had to get up from my desk and do some work for a bit.
My roommate bothers me with her dog. I do everything I can to keep her dog from escaping the front door, and the occasional time the dog will run out I have to hear from her about how important her dog is, and ways we can figure out for me to keep the dog from running out. She’s crazy! And uber-controlling. I’m already giving her 100% on working to keep the dog from running out, and she keeps pushing for more, when there’s no more that can be done. When I tell her I’m not God and not perfect, only human, she has the audacity to agree with me, and say, “That’s not what I’m saying.” She needs to stop trying to control every aspect of free flowing life, and learn about what life really is. What she’s living isn’t it.