Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tiger'ish Tales Vol 5: To Sleep The Sleep Of The Dammed

As much as Logan would’ve liked it to be true, we simply didn’t live in a bubble. A world existed beyond our room, and Logan would have to venture out into it. I feel sorry for those with whom he had classes. It was a fairly typical experience to come back to our room, check our voice mail and hear, “Hey, uh, Logan…This is Mike from Intro to Anatomy…uhm….you, uh, ….missed our lab appointment today, so, uh, …yeah. Also, uhm,…so, where’s our fetal pig?”

Simply put, Logan was lucky to have me as his roommate. I can honestly say that no one on campus and certainly not in our dorm wing would have tolerated him as well as I did. Our school policy on roommate switches was that I –the grieved- was responsible for finding someone who was willing to move in with Logan. Additionally, I had to have a written agreement from my new roommate accepting me into their room and a document signed by Logan’s would-be roomie spelling out why I could no longer live with him and felt moving was the only option. Logan stymied any chance I had of taking that route within hours of being at school. First of all, he stuck out like a guy who always wore a unicorn necklace that hung down to his waist, because HE ALWAYS WORE A UNICORN NECKLACE THAT HUNG DOWN TO HIS WAIST! Secondly, our wing-mates (wing-men?) were almost uniformly the dumb jock/ frat boy stereotype.

A few words on with whom we co-existed: If I were to pick an anthem for our wing, it would be the Limp Bizkit cover of the Mission: Impossible theme. That was always blasting, and far too many of these fine young men thought it was the height of musical achievement. Also, these guys had discovered the cult-hit that had flopped at the box-office not quite one year prior, FIGHT CLUB. Completely missing the point of the movie, these generally privileged upper-middle class Midwestern white boys identified very heavily with Tyler Durden and his message. The inevitable fight clubs began, only to be shut down by the administration, citing it as a violation of the school policy prohibiting “General Tomfoolery.” Well, what choice is left for these disenfranchised youths but to proceed to their own version of Project Mayhem? And, in fairness, to them, who more embodies the belief that he is, in fact “special,” that he is, in fact, a “beautiful and unique snowflake” and not “the same decaying organic matter as everything else” than Logan? Project Mayhem had its target, and I would be collateral damage.

Aside to the aside: The town in which our University exists had one tattoo parlor, Porch Front Tattoos. Anyone who went there –on my floor it was usually to get the barbed-wire bicep- of course became known as “Porch Monkeys.” Of course, Porch Monkeys took the name with pride, never realizing its etymology. One Monkey took Project Mayhem really to heart and, in thinking of the wonderful synergy between Porch Monkey and Fight Club had “Space Monkey” tattooed on his neck. For the rest of his college days, he was to be known as “Sponkey.”

Anyhow, the Space Monkeys mission to upset Logan-as-representative-of-the-establishment (and really, Logan couldn’t be less representative…they were the ones downing White Castle Crave Cases nightly) began gently enough. Our dry-erase board regularly was tagged with “Logan has bitch tits!” When Logan started putting up equestrian art on the outside of our door, the horses always ended up with giant cocks drawn somewhere on their bodies. Which, for reasons that would become all too clear, didn’t bother Logan at all. Having the only room that was opposite a bare wall and not another dorm room, our door was blocked with all of the lounge furniture. A few times a gallon-sized zip-lock baggie was filled with shaving cream, slid partially under our door and then stomped upon. They gave that up when they realized that it was only hitting the bare floor and my bed, so Logan wasn’t affected.

The one thing they did that was truly clever, that still boggles my mind and makes me shudder to think of how potentially dangerous it was, was inspired by Logan’s own insufferable bathroom habits. Each room had a small sink and mirror, but that meant everyone had to use the communal showers, toilets, and urinals. Logan being Logan, had his own way of doing things. The shower set-up was a bank of five shower heads along a wall, with dividers in between, but with one drain in the middle stall that all the water ran into. In other words, each day a choice had to be made: do you take the end showers, which had only cold water, but relatively clean conditions, or do you go in towards the center, where the water was hot, but you were guaranteed to deal with the shower water of the other men? This water was always dirty, usually pissy, oftentimes mixed with cum, and if someone was drunk, shit and/or vomit. I was a cold-shower man. Logan, was a bath man. Which is to say, he would take the next available stall, and sit/lay bare-assed on the ground and bathe. Why? Because he preferred baths, plain and simple. But, as the stall dividers and curtains went from about six feet off the ground to maybe two feet off the ground, and because Logan wasn’t one to close the curtain anyhow, everyone got the show.

Similarly, Logan would leave the stall door open on the toilet, and one could tell what his purpose was by how he was sitting. If he was facing forward, looking out towards the sinks and mirrors, he was taking a piss. If he was sitting backwards, pants off, straddling the bowl and holding onto the pipes, dude was taking a dump. Even if shitting, however, he was turned to watch himself in the mirror. I asked him once why he didn’t stand at the urinal to take a leak and he told me, “Why do something standing when it can be done sitting down?” He’s got a point there. I do think a bigger factor really was that there were no mirrors by the urinals. Dude liked to watch himself on the toilet. But again, this meant everyone else had to watch him, too.

So, onto the one prank that made sense to me. It was a Sunday morning, and the combination of Logan’s general early-bird noises, as well as the constant Bizkit through the walls, had developed in me a high capacity to sleep through noise. Even if a noise was loud enough to kind of wake me, I would ignore it for as long as possible, usually get used to it, and fall back asleep. I was also pretty hung-over, so it didn’t occur to me the gravity of the situation when I finally did open my eyes. As usual, Logan had been up for a while and I had decided the need to pee was greater than the need to sleep and woke up to see my shower sandal float gently past my bed on a pool of water that was easily two inches deep. I just kind of stared for a moment, slowly realizing that something was very wrong and that I probably had to deal with it.

It would turn out that the Monkeys had purchased some garden hoses and duct tape. They taped the hoses to the faucets in the bathroom, then taped the other ends to the bottom of our door. They then taped the bottom of our door to the floor to create a surprisingly effective seal. They jammed pennies between our door and doorframe, locking us in for good measure, then started up the water and waited.

I would end up calling the physical plant services for help, only to be told that they were busy dealing with a mysterious ceiling leak in the room below ours. Evidently, it never occurred to them to check on what might be happening on the floor above. Anyhow, I called our Resident Assistant, he stopped the water, un-jammed our door and things slowly drained out onto the women living below. All four of us with water damage got some cash from our room-cost reimbursed, and we were all relieved that nothing really came of it. No electrocution, no drowning, just some wet stuff and a small cash payout.

Now, I know what you, the reader, really want to know. What was Logan’s reaction to all this? Again, I remind you that he always woke up before me. After I woke up and saw my sandal float by, I turned my head toward where I knew Logan would be, his computer. Right as I did I saw his already all-too-familiar bare ass winking at me through the slats in his chair, and then I saw his hand, calm as can be, reach down holding one of those cheap cups colleges like to give out with the event-du-jour printed on it (Ok-SOBER-fest 2000 in this case), his hand dip the cup into our flood waters, fill it a bit, and bring it up to his lips for a nice, refreshing drink.


  1. When you shit facing the wall like that, it's called "The A.C. Slater." That said, it was always a joke to my friends, and we were unaware there were people in the world who shat this way as a matter of course.