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Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Stuff I Did to My Roommate That I Feel Bad About Now

I went to college in a town about three hours away from where I grew up--and was very glad for the change. Which begs the question of why I decided to room with a I guy I went to high school with.

Well, he asked.

My roommate, whom we came to call "Tom Jovi" and "Motley Tom" (because he was about as far removed from Heavy Metal as you could get) was somewhat of a fundamentalist type. And that didn't set well with our hallmates, most of whom had about 12 years of Catholic school under their belts. Tom could, well, sort of proselytize.

Tom was target for other reasons. He dressed like Pat Boone and said things like, "Okey dokey, smokey" and "gotta love that, babe."

He left Post-It notes advising him to remember to get "Psyched for the Alcohol Awareness Dance." (Yes, we had an alcohol awareness dance. It was an administrative formality on a campus with perhaps the most liberal booze policy in the country. You could drink anything anywhere, as long it wasn't in its original container.)

Tom carried a briefcase to class. Enough said.

Back to what we did to Tom. We had a roach problem in our dorm. Our Roach Motels would reach maximum occupancy in less than a week, so we'd have to turn them upside down to expose a fresh sticky surface. A guy who live across the hall from me collected a vast quantity of roaches in a near-empty Jif jar (with just enough peanut butter left to attract the bugs). When Tom wasn't around, he worked all the possible combinations on the briefcase lock, got it to open after about 30 minutes and dumped the roaches inside.

I wasn't there to see it, but I heard Tom's Econ class later that day was interesting.

Tom had his tape collection divided into "secular" and "non-secular music." Really. Another guy swiped one of his Sandy Patty tapes and recorded Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" over it.

We put Canadian whisky in his Listerine bottle.

Our girlfriends would even indulge in the abuse. One made an obscene montage out of Tom's boxer shorts, a tube of toothpaste and suggestive squirts from the toothpaste.

Another woman would call Tom on the hall phone, which was at the other end of the building. The guy answering it shouted, "Tom! It's the abortion clinic. They say you have an overdue bill!"

Tom finally got involved with a nice woman we liked, and we quit picking on him.


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