Roommates, Part 2

Roommates, Part 2

So I didn’t get them all, thank you all for your letters and suggestions. (If you are late to this party check out last week’s column) A few suggestions were a little obscure (has anyone else ever roomed with a Sumo-wrestler-in-training or a Kangaroo poacher?), and a few were right on. Of course I’m not giving specific people credit, because I’m a fucking asshole, but you know who you are. Thanks.

The Couple
The only thing worse than the constant fucking is the even more constant fighting, and even worse than that is the cutesy make-up bullshit snuggling after every brawl. When together, The Couple more or less ignore everyone else in the house. When apart, they talk about each other behind each other’s back, and force you to take sides on their petty bullshit, which will later cause both of them to rally against you, hand in hand, and blame you for everything. The Couple is pretty much doomed, the younger they are, the more doomed, which means you’re doomed when they break up, one moves out, and the other suddenly can’t cover the rent.

The O.G. Street Nigga
The O.G. Street Nigga is rarely black, but more often a white kid from the suburbs who, for some reason or other, has aligned himself with the media crafted image of urban black hip-hop culture. While being a complete joke to you and your friends, he will surely attempt to ‘keep it real’ while ‘chillin’ with his ‘peeps in the streets.’ When confronted with his silliness, he will assure you that you are ‘buggin’ and that he ‘came to represent’. Rarely will he go by given names like ‘Lester’ or ‘William’, he’ll try to convince you to call him ‘Chilly’ or ‘Phat Pat’. Especially embarrassing when one of your black friends comes over, and O.G. tries to bond with ‘his homie’. Otherwise harmless, unless he somehow aquires a ‘gat’ to ‘bust a cap’ on someone, in which case he’ll probably just accidentally shoot himself while showing off.

The Benefactor
God bless The Benefactor. Without The Benefactor there would be no Nintendo 64 with weekly new game, no extra large bottle of Stoli in the freezer, and no fully paid pizzas every other day. The Benefactor takes care of everyone. There are basically two types of Benefactors: Type 1:The Rich Generous Person Who Is Also Cool, and Type 2:The Person Who Buys Friends. Type 1 is one of the better roommates to have. A ‘Fuck it, let’s have fun’ attitude permeates the house, and as long as no one takes too much advantage of The Benefactor’s generosity, the fun can last for years. Slightly more troubling is the Type 2 Benefactor, who gives off a stenchful air of desperation and patheticness. When their generosity is nothing more than a trade for your company, you must ask yourself, ‘How is this different than being a whore?’ As soon as the money runs out, Type 2 is remarkably unattractive and painful to hang out with, mostly because with gifts for everyone, personality rarely has to be developed. Scary living.

The Computer Vegetable
At the risk of offending the very individuals who make up most of my readership (you bastards love the abuse and you know it), The Computer Vegetable is little more than an extension of the machine he spends all his time staring at. Shunning nutrition, companionship, sunlight, and exercise, The Computer Vegetable can spend 7 hours trying to find the perfect desktop colors, 16 hours customizing sounds, and 37 hours searching shareware sites to find the perfect screen saver (and talk to his email buddy in Thailand about it), even though the computer will never sit unused long enough to try to save its own screen. While The Computer Vegetable may occasionally play some Quake and marvel at this application of network technology, he generally stays away from video games. His computer is a tool after all. A useful, amazing, all-encompassing tool that provides for every need, every want, every desire with the touch of a button. If you can put up with never having a free phone line, The Computer Vegetable is a good roommate. He pays the rent and never leaves his room.

The Total Psycho
To me, there are generally 3 kinds of people in the world. People who are normal and act crazy, People who are normal and act normal, and people who are crazy and spend all their energy trying to be normal. The Total Psycho goes beyond this last category, he just doesn’t give a fuck anymore. Usually somewhat sane in the morning, as the day goes on the Total Psycho starts to let it slip. Knives disappear. Prescription bottles with strange names appear in strange places. Expect some serious Death Metal blasted around 3 am every morning. Creepy friends. Stashes of weaponry. Strange charges on the phone bill. Being a friend only goes so far with this guy, voted most likely to slit your throat as you sleep.

The Video Game Zombie
This guy is a drug addict as much as any heroin head, it’s just that his fix is connected to the television, via a wired controller. Most likely playing some sort of sports game, the Video Game Zombie gets fewer than 3 hours of sleep daily as he tries to mesh the creation of his dream Hockey line-up with his job at Taco Bell. Annoying if you have the audacity to want to use the television for (gasp) actually watching TV, the power of the Video Game Zombie is magnified ten-fold when even one person versed in his game enters the house. The two will geek it out until all that overhear lose their will to live and slowly expire to their rooms.

The Trendy Fake
What’s cool this week? Ska? Raves? Goth? Never fear, The Trendy Fake is here to take up the trend of the month and run with it. A true chameleon, but in a very bad way, the Trendy Fake viciously attempts to play well with others, offering enough information and dropping enough names to arise suspicions of being a police informant. Can talk her way through puddle depth discussions of her genre, but not much deeper. Becomes suspiciously quiet when a real (fill-in-the-blank) comes along, taking quiet notes of names and lingo to drop on people less cool. Tolerable depending on the strength of your stomach.

Freeloading Eurotrash (Readers from countries other than USA or Canada can insert their own jokes here)
Freeloading Eurotrash knows a friend of a friend of yours who said if they were ever in your town to look you up. Well, they did. With the talents and dreams, they’re sure to be paying rent before too long, right? I mean they are European, which makes them far more cultured than you, and they won’t hesitate to tell you everything that’s wrong with America, and how much better their particular shithole of a country is. So it comes as quite a surprise when they pile empty Big Mac cartons to the ceiling while yelling “Ey caunt buleev she’s gunnah stah wif dat wankah” at the image of Jerry Springer on your TV set. Let me speed up the end for you: No green card=no job=no rent=Old World Charm wears off pretty fucking quick, they meet up with a bunch of people cooler than you, and you eventually get your place back.

The D&D Roommate
‘Fuck you dude, I made my magic save. Besides Basilisk’s can’t turn Chaotic Neutral elves to stone during the daylight hours in the season of Brigid’ is but one way to be awoken at 5 in the morning by a bunch of sweaty nerds who have little to do with their lives besides roll dice and eat nachos. Don’t be surprised to find a cape mixed in with your laundry every so often either. The D&D Roommate specializes in the power of imagination, which is usually a good thing, except when it becomes a substitute for leaving the house. D&D seems like something that people in retirement homes should be playing, not young men in the prime of their lives. Yet, the D&D Roommate will have your living room or basement packed every fourth Saturday with the best individuals that computer labs, university libraries, and comic book stores have to offer. Good news is that whenever a Renaissance Fair comes within 100 miles, these guys will disappear for a good two weeks.

The Leper
You’d think that at some point in their lives, everyone learns that if they accidentally vomit on themselves, they should probably change their shirt sometime in the next few hours. But not The Leper, oh no. The Leper considers showering a frivolity, tooth brushing a government plot to further fluoride poisoning, and laundry a creature of legend and mythology. The Leper’s diet consists mainly of things even the heartiest alley dog will avoid, mostly parts of pigs suspended in vinegar solutions at gas stations. The Leper will shock and amaze you, astound and confuse you, disgust and embarrass you as you learn that the line separating man and beast is pretty much a personal decision. The Leper is beyond The Slob, and bordering on health hazard. The Leper has no friends, and won’t hesitate to freak the shit out of your friends when they happen to stop by. The Leper is almost tolerable in a House situation, but if you’re stuck with one of these at a dorm, consider suicide, or at the very least disfiguring your own face as to remove your sense of smell and taste.

Serial Killer Wanna-Be
Better have a big bookshelf, because the Serial Killer Wanna-Be has a copy of every murder book known to man. SKWB knows the vital stats of every killer from Albert Fish to James Huberty, and won’t hesitate to give you detailed explanations of how they offed their victims. And if the books aren’t enough for you, why not sit down to a daily screening of Senator Budd blowing his brains out, or fuzzy snuff tapes from Canada? Usually offering a charming blend of Satanism, drug abuse, death metal, and pornography, the SKWB rarely has a girlfriend, and if he did, would spend more time mapping out how he’d dispose of her body than what he’d do on a date with her. If nothing else, life is always exiting at your house.

Music Nazi #1
Be prepared. Be prepared to be subjected to mediocre music and long boring lectures about why the music is as important as it is. Hear the arguments about who was King Crimson’s best bass player. Follow the fascinating careers of Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp, Santana, and Rick Wakeman. Scratch out your eyes to the tune of 27minute keyboard solos. Hear why Phish is so good, even if they are a trend. Be indoctrinated into the cult that doesn’t think Geddy Lee’s voice stinks to high hell. Be prepared to listen to tons of boring blues songs and be prepared to run upstairs when he gets drunk and busts out the fusion records. And don’t even think of playing anything you happen to like, because the Music Nazi will rip it to shreds on technical, melodical, and historical levels. Music Nazi #1 probably plays an instrument himself, which he uses more for noodling than playing anything decent. Expect to be run out of your own living room daily.

Music Nazi #2
Music Nazi #2, or the Indie Rocker, may be more intolerable than Music Nazi # 1. Where Music Nazi #1 is all about the music, Music Nazi #2 rarely even listens to the music, but you’d never know it by the size of her 7″ collection. The fact that Music Nazi #2 doesn’t have a turntable that works doesn’t seem to halt the process of acquiring vinyl. Music Nazi #2 will sit in her room, read zines, and feel bothered that the rest of the world listens to such shitty music, but will rarely offer to play anything for anyone in fear that it will end up on MTV by the end of the week. Don’t try to play your music around Music Nazi #2, she’ll either take off Indie-points for what record label it’s on, or that failing, she’ll tell you exactly what other bands it steals from (‘That sounds like the drummer for Scratch Acid playing with Drive Like Jehu and the singer from Squirrel Bait – what a rip-off’). Never mind that whatever band she happens to be listening to sounds like Pavement recorded on a Fisher-Price tape recorder in a wind tunnel. Usually any in-depth pouring through Music Nazi #2’s room will find the secret stash of Smashing Pumpkin and R.E.M. CD’s, broken out only when no one else is around. Will claim many underground connections, but most of them are based on the fact that someone in Operation Ivy responded in a fan letter of hers in high school. Can be always be seen wearing a backpack, usually vegan (except for those trips to McDonald’s when no one is looking), and rarely gets fucked-up. Boring, snobby, and almost entirely without a sense of humor, unless you’re an underground icon, in which case they’ll treat you like Jesus. As you probably aren’t an underground icon, you should probably avoid this one.

The Young Republican
The Young Republican isn’t always a Republican; sometimes he’s a Nazi, but chooses the Republican Party as the one closest to his belief system. The Young Republican is undoubtedly white, upper middle class, from a nice neighborhood, and usually has someone else paying his rent. None of this sheltered lifestyle will stop him from attacking things on the conservative hit list: welfare, affirmative action, huge government expenditures (unless they’re spent on killing people), over-regulation of business, blah blah, blah. He will blame all the problems of the country on lazy minorities, but that extra 50 pounds he’s carrying keeps him from engaging in too much energetic activity himself. Most likely to get drunk and tell racist jokes to your friends. Once you realize this roommate is nothing more than a spoiled mamma’s boy with a free ride through life who dresses all his fears in the clothing of an enemy, you’ll understand where he’s coming from, and why he must be argued with. If you like to spend all of your free time debating, this is the perfect roommate; you’ll find yourself taking positions on issues you don’t even care about, just to prove him wrong, which usually isn’t too hard.

The Activist
On the other side of the Young Republican is the Activist who, upon moving in, will turn your kitchen into a recycling center, your bathroom into a showroom of environmentally conscious cleaning products, and your living room into a classroom of understanding and compassion. Always trying to drag you along to whatever protest People Who Care are staging that week, always on your ass for being part of the problem instead of the solution, the Activist drives to meetings about air pollution, smokes Marlboros and wears Nikes to a protest against multi-nationals, and objects to men in her anti-sexism group. The Activist shouldn’t be confused with the decent people who fight for causes. The Activist forms protest as the core of existence, the cornerstone of her identity, and is a total pain in the ass to share a toilet with. She’s also more fun to argue with than the Young Republican, because where conservatism is the fear of reality, liberalism is the fear of conservatism. Her passion gives her huge buttons that are easy to push.