A bad roommate can be a real drag, man. They’re a detriment to your life and, at times, a real burden. Bad roommates can keep you up at night, wreak havoc on your productivity, lower your self-esteem, leave you stressed and anxious or just disappear when you need them most.
Many of us here at The Gateway, have had to deal with roommates that have let us down time and again. So after a lot of venting and complaining, we decided to reminisce on our worst experiences with old roommate foes.
The longer I live in this house with my roommates, the more I wonder if I’d like to be murdered by Jason Voorhees or Steve Urkel. At least the benefit with Jason is that all I have to fear is the gleam of a machete and then it’s all over. With Steve, I have to fear for my life in some sort of Final Destination style hijinks before I die.
To get it out of the way, it’s not that I don’t like my roommate, it’s the opposite, in fact. He’s always timely with the rent, doesn’t have any particularly offensive habits and generally keeps the music to a reasonable volume. The trouble, however, lies in his uncanny knack for causing accidents that could make the writers of Final Destination roll their eyes. In the span of two hours, he managed to set a pot and a wok on fire with two distinct cooking oils. He also managed to leave a hot element on for the entire day and even managed to leave the front door open while no one was home. Thankfully, we have smoke detectors, luck and low crime rates to keep us safe. Yet, I can’t help but fear that one day I’ll meet my end in some Rube Goldberg-esque accident while dying to the sound of a nasally voice asking “did I do that?”
But Brutus is an honourable man.
I like my roommate, in fact, I think as far as roommates go, I’ve lucked out. Yet some days all I want to yell is “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE STEVE!”
Her name was Whitney. She had drab hair and her shoes were orthopaedic. We showed her the room, then she sat on the couch in the living room. She couldn’t stop talking. It was either out of nervousness or because she read in a book with “Success” in the title, the first line of a paragraph beginning “Chatting is good for first impressions,” without finishing the rest of the paragraph. She didn’t seem to be the type to finish paragraphs.
We got to talking about atheism and she said that, you know, she was like, kind of Christian and stuff, but not, like, that much. She assured us her church really didn’t have that strong of a hold over her. We weren’t particularly interested. But she got the room.
Then she went to some party and she got into the pot. Hard. She made a gravity bong out of a bucket and half a pop bottle, and smoked in the garage. She was high all the time. She told stories about going up to random people on Jasper Ave and asking them for a pinch of weed. When she went to the garage at four in the morning to smoke, she left the back door open as the cats ran to the Telus World of Science. After getting high, she’d practice juggling outside or play her keyboard. She knew where all the C notes were. She really liked playing C notes. She drank pickle juice. She not-so-secretly ate pizza crusts off our plates waiting to be washed while we were still in the kitchen.
She left her diary open in the living room once. “No thinking about boys,” it said, “no thinking about sex. Only think about God if you want to be successful.” I hope she finds success. But god forbid she finishes these paragraphs.
Roommates are like pets without the benefit of a loving companion. You have to clean up after them, they smell bad and they wreck your stuff. Or in my case, they just give it away.
I had a roommate who moved in with me after spending a year abroad. He was pretty nomadic and so showed up at my door with only a sleeping bag and backpack. He didn’t intend to stick around for more than a few months, so I told him he could take my futon — my only couch — to his room in the basement and sleep on it for as long as he stayed. Six months went by, and it was time for him to get the fuck out. The day before he left, two of his friends came over, and the three of them proceeded to carry my futon up the stairs and out the door.
“What are you doing?” I asked, confused.
“Oh,” one friend cheerily replied, “Jonathan is giving Joel his futon.”
His futon? His futon? MY fucking futon!
I was too confounded to say anything like “HEY! THAT’S MINE!” or “THIEVES! THIEVES!” So instead I pressed my face against the window pane as the imaginary rain pounded against the glass, and watched my futon get carried away in the back of Joel’s truck.
If you give a dog a toy, it will love it and cherish it and then tear it to pieces. If you lend a roommate a futon, he will give it to Joel, and you’ll be left couchless and bitter forever.
All I know is I woke up one morning with the faint outline of a pentagram drawn on my fridge that never quite washed off completely. The culprit was never found, and could still be out there, living in other people’s houses to this very day.