The Roommate from HELL

Friday, October 2, 1987

I never fit in much at college parties, because I was the quiet loner.  It wasn't that I was shy; it was that drunk people are pretty much stupid and boring, especially in large numbers.  Like the George Thoroughgood song, "I drink alone."

Not so with my redneck roommate my freshmen year in the dorms. His name was Doug, he had joined the National Guard right out of high school, he was dating some girl who had just had her boyfriend killed in a drug related incident (execution style). His highest ambition was to be a game warden.  He had a lot of mental baggage which he didn't carry very well.  In fact, he threw his emotional baggage around like that gorilla in the old American Tourister commercial.

Doug pissed me off.

This was 1987, Fall.

I come back from a long day of classes and Doug is there with his compound hunting bow spread all over the floor in pieces. The place smells evil, and I know it’s not the lubricants he's using on his pulleys, etc. I look down at some unmarked bottles that look like they might have once stored some type of medicine, and then at all these arrow heads lying around. He has a few poison pods as well...  Doug then explains to me that he's loading poison in his poison pods of his bow and that the stuff is lethal even if the deer gets just a small scratch. Now, hunting with poison arrows in Mississippi is legal, it’s the poison in the arrows which is illegal (go figure) which I guess makes him perfect material to be a game warden later in life.

The thought of having stuff like that in my dorm room chilled my blood.  Anything that is capable of killing a 300 pound animal won't do wonders for a human being if it accidentally gets on you.  The fact that Doug was using really thick gloves to handle the toxins didn't do wonders for my confidence in having that stuff in my dorm room either.  Next thing I would know, Doug would probably be duct taping dynamite sticks on to his arrows to go riding around in a '68 orange Dodge Charger and blow up outhouses and other stuff that couldn't get out of the way.

Fast forward to later that night, I get off from my minimum wage job at the grocery store; I come home, and crash. About two in the morning, I'm awakened by Doug and his redneck mullet friend coming down the hall drunk and singing a bunch of Hank Williams, Jr. songs.

"Why dew yew drink... (burp) and why dewwwww yewwwww rollllllllll smooooooooke..."


Seeing as how Doug is FUBAR, I help his friend get him out of his pants / shirt down to his boxers and we manage to push / shove him up into the top bunk where Doug passes out and starts snoring loudly.  His friend is as loopy as Doug, but if he wraps his dumb ass around a pine tree, that will be one less scoggin in the world to breed.

"What the hell have you been drinking?" I asked the friend.

"We got a suitcase of Schaffer..." he said, holding up his fingers and pointing to some fingers with some of his other fingers.

Cheap horse piss.

"We got some Keystone..."

More of the same.

"And we scored some mondo weed off a friend of mine."

"Got any left?" I asked.

"Dude!" the guy says, throwing both arms up and out. "We smoked it! Hahahahahahaha!"

Well, yeah, that was obvious. 

At least with all the commotion that Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb were making, if campus security did come to investigate they wouldn't find anything that would get me bounced out of college and probably down to the local jail.  I pat Brainiac on the shoulder and escort him to the door, showing him out. Hell if he's going to crash here tonight. Two stoner rednecks is more than I could take at that moment, and the term "justifiable homicide" would be used somewhere in my defensive arguments if that came to pass.

I sit on the edge of my bed just in time to hear Doug burp and fart at almost the same time then giggle. He's lucky he didn't explode. This is just great, I think, hoping that he doesn't puke or piss all over himself in his sleep.

I try to go back to sleep. About thirty seconds into the beginning of what had the potential to be a great wet dream featuring Kristin Alfonzo, one of those backyard 'slip and slide' kiddie water wet mats that is like 100 feet long and made by Whamo, and a 50 gallon drum of Vaseline, I'm rudely awakened by ... something.

Above me.

Doug is mumbling, he's trying to sing, but he just isn't in any shape to do that. I tell him to fucking go back to sleep, using those exact words in a stern voice. He won't. He's tossing and turning, and I realize that all that separates me from a 220 pound drunk redneck with odious personal hygiene habits falling in on me from above is a weak ass half inch thick sheet of plywood that makes up the 'floor' of his bunk above. I'm laying there, arms and legs spread, on my back, staring at the bulging, sagging piece of plywood that is just three feet from my face. Crushed to death by a stinky, drunk, stoned out of his skull redneck in the prime of my life. I had other plans for my future than that.


Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see a hairy arm and this big fleshy hand reach slowly down off the side of the bed, from above, and I watch it, slow motion, grab up my bendable single bulb light that I keep to read by, and it starts trying to lift it up and down, smacking the base of the lamp up and down on my alarm clock as I hear the slurred voice above me going "How do you make duh fukking music play? I want to hear Charlie Daniels! Whadafuh!"

Bang. Bang. Bang. My clock radio moves closer to the edge with each impact, and finally drops off the milk crate it rests on, hitting the floor.

And that was fucking *IT*.

I think I just lost it then. I'm the kind of person that is evil when I lose it, pure fucking evil, like I will reduce your ego and soul to something the size of a BB. I got out of bed, walked over to where he kept his bath kit, and took out two items that should never be used together; his aerosol can of masculine hair spray, and my cigarette lighter (no I didn't smoke, but a lighter is a damn handy thing to have on campus, an essential tool).

Walking back over to the bed, Doug was semi-dry humping his pillow, in a fetal position, staring away from me at the cinderblock wall. I prepared my tools of revenge, and reached over, punch rolling Doug towards the wall while saying "Doug. Get up."

Doug moaned and rolled over slowly, his eyes coming open millimeter by millimeter, blinking, staring at me as I stood on my bed, looking down at him in the top bunk.

"Huh...whaa..." he moaned, closing his eyes and reaching up to put his hands on his forehead.

I punch rolled him in the shoulder again, rocking him in his bed.

"Doug. Get the fuck up. Get the fuck up, man. Come on. Don't roll back over and go to sleep. You have to get up." I said to him again, very calmly, punch rolling him until he paid attention to me.

"Huh... whuh...whyyyyy...?" he moaned.

"Because..." I said, bringing up the lighter and the can of hair spray. "You went to sleep with a cigarette and now you're f-u-c-k-i-n-g bed is on FIRE."

I fired off the aerosol hair spray at the same time as I flicked the lighter to life, aiming about six inches over his face, creating an instant blow-torch of joyous chemical pyromania which lit up the darkened room in a mixture of shadows and shades that could only come from Dante's Inferno. The flame was close enough to singe some of his eyebrows into melted balls on the end of his hairs... tiny little lollipops from Hell's own candy store.

Doug screamed and stood up in his bed so quick that he almost knocked himself out when his head hit the cement ceiling of the room. I kept the aerosol fire going, moving it back and forth around his pumping dancing legs while he wailed like a little girl.  I thought he was going to kick down holes in his bed he was stepping and fetching so hard, screaming and crying and stepping and slapping.   I can only imagine the images that must have been going through his thick Schaeffer's / Keystone and pot inhibited cranium at the dancing flames that seemed to follow him like a little dervish. I felt a great amount of satisfaction when, with a battle cry that would have made any leatherneck proud, he dove off the top of the bed and into a nearby vinyl covered recliner that we had set up in the room.  When he hit the recliner, it took some of his force but not all of it and promptly spilled his drunk ass over backwards, sending him sliding across the tile room to wind up in a curled up moaning ball in the corner by the door, slowly rocking back and forth and crying in deep sobs.

"Good night." I said and went back to bed.

I slept pretty soundly, even with his whimpering over in the corner. Doug never came in drunk after that, and he never brought any more poison or hunting gear into my room. When he moved out and left me with a phone bill from hell for calling long distance to his girlfriend, he failed to remember that he had left his favorite folding blade Buck hunting knife. When he came back looking for it two days later, I told him I hadn’t seen it. I still have the knife, I paid the phone bill off years ago.

College is a funny thing. It teaches you not to put up with crap from anyone, if you don’t learn anything else...