That Time You Got Really, Really Lucky

Illustration for article titled That Time You Got Really, Really Lucky

Welcome to Pissing Contest, a weekly story sharing circle for the the ass-draggiest time of the afternoon on the ass-draggiest time of the last day between you and the weekend. Every week, we'll ask a question, you'll share stories, and we'll pick a winner that's featured in the next week's post. It's like a pyramid scheme of outdoing each other!


Gentle readers: this week was fucking garbage. Everything about it was garbage barfed up by a garbage monster onto a barge of garbage. To balance that garbage, we're going to spend this Pissing Contest on something more positive and hopeful: stories of good luck.

Did you win the lottery? Did you find reams of priceless classic movie posters tucked between attic walls during a home renovation? Did doctors give you a 1% chance of survival before you proved those nerdy fuckers wrong and lived? Did you miss a flight and end up meeting your future spouse? Run into your idol Madeleine Albright on a train to Washington DC? Spill!


But first, let's get to last week's Bad Roommate Edition of Pissing Contest. The field was incredibly tough, and there are dozens of stories that merit special attention (and some of them were written like incredible short stories. You guys are smart as hell). There's A Small Turnip's tale of the angel faced boarding school psychopath. Lovely NomNom83's terrible Roommate #2 is one for the ages. The artfully named suckabagofdicks has another harrowing story. Yog-Slothroth is the gate once had a roommate that went from vomiting in "inappropriate places" to starring in a fairly well-known Food Network reality show. But this one had to be the winner, via burner account made expressly to complain about this roommate:

No, I win. Nope. Nope nope. I win. Okay. Here goes. It's long but (I think) it's worth it.

I move in with Tay and Britta. Britta is a hippie chick, laid-back, mellow. Tay is a devout Muslim woman, age 19, going to school to be a chef. Everything's great for a month. I have three cats; Britta has one (but it stays in her room) and Tay has one (which is a crazy psycho and I'm afraid of it.) The decline is decidedly marked with the introduction of a dragon toilet seat.

Britta buys it for our shared bathroom (Tay has her own bathroom). Tay is upset that Britta would violate the sanctity of our home with a dragon toilet seat. As the neutral party, I'm asked to make a decision. I side with Britta, saying it's really no harm done and if Tay wants her guests to use a dragon-toilet-seat-less bathroom, it's not unreasonable to expect that they can use hers. She gives me a wild look, like a Betta fish that has just realized it is tank-cleaning day.

The first thing that happens is Tay starts to leave her laundry in the washing machine, unwashed. When I move it so I can do my laundry, she accuses me of being mean to her. She refuses to do the litter box (at this point, we had just one for my cats + hers—now I know better!), because she doesn't want to clean up after my cats. When I point out that cleaning the litter box ONE time out of FOUR rotations is 25%, and she has 25% of the cats using the box, she accuses me of being a "Nazi dyke." She puts a lock on her door (on the outside, until I point it out and she fixes it). Within two weeks, she has stopped attending school and work. She has moved all of her food into her room. She refuses to do the same with her cat, which is the most vicious creature I've ever met in my life. I figure out why later when Tay picks it up. It instantly melts into the sweetest, most vulnerable kitty you could imagine, so happy its mom is giving it attention. And then Tay flings it into the ceiling as hard as she can and laughs when it hits the floor. When I threaten to report her, she threatens to tell our landlords I have two more cats than I said I did, which would result in them getting taken away. I secretly plan to steal her cat when I move.

I'm more or less forced to do her laundry at this point, because I'm literally afraid she will hurt me or my cats. Her laundry is now 25% crotchless panties and peek-a-boo-bras. When she first moved in, she claimed to be a devout Muslim woman waiting for marriage. Two months into our lease, she's leaving the house for "dates" and returning with wads of cash and Baby Phat jackets. (Those things are fucking expensive.)

One day, I come home from work. Tay's sitting at the kitchen table, reading a book. "Hi!" she says. I say hello back, completely unnerved.

She props her chin up on her hand. "I poisoned ONE thing in the fridge, and I'm not going to tell you what it is!" And she flounces away. I throw everything out of the fridge. The landlords say that it's a domestic matter, and we only have a few more months on our lease, so just ride it out. When the police come, Tay is sitting in the living area, doing homework for a class in which she's no longer enrolled. She's instantly the charming young woman I met in January. It was all a joke, she said. She just wants to be friends with us and is having trouble relating.

Britta and I resolve to only eat leftovers from Britta's job at the local pizza place.

Class was canceled one day, and I went home early. My cat was on the sidewalk. Tay was in the doorway, trying to push my other two cats out the door. She screamed and ran when she saw me. I got my cat back inside and closed the door. Inside her locked room, Tay cried out, "That fucking fat white dyke! And her stupid lezzie friend! They're so unfair! They hate me! THEY HATE ME!" I'm so afraid at this point. I start locking my cats in my room. The house is just bones now; we've removed all decorations, furniture, dishes, food, because we're afraid so afraid of what she's going to do.

She begins hammering things in the middle of the night. Nothing in particular, as far as I can tell. Just hammering, banging, singing at the top of her lungs, laughing hysterically at nothing. She waits for me (always in the kitchen, like I'm in some perpetual motion horror movie) and politely tells me that if I ever go into her bathroom, she'll kill me. Also, I need to clean her bathroom.

She makes a strawberry shortcake and leaves it on the table with a note saying, "I'm so sorry about how crazy things have gotten recently. I want things to go back to the way they were." We throw it out because we're 99% sure there is at least mucus in it.

Tay is the one who was originally holding onto the lease. In May, she comes out and waves it in my face. "Finally! I found a cute little apartment closer to downtown, and I'm so happy our lease is up!" June 2009. I didn't realize our lease was up that soon. I scramble for housing and find it, but just barely. I'm so behind on packing that I call off work. After school, I come home. It's 90 degrees outside, and the heat is blasting. All the windows in the house are open. I turn it down and knock on Tay's door.

"Go away!"

When I get the bill later, it's for $1,050. It's in my name, of course. She has been doing this for a MONTH, only closing the windows and turning the heat down right before I got home.

Tay guessed my plan about her cat. She smuggled the poor thing out before I could take it from her.

A few days after I've moved to my new apartment, I get a call from my old landlords. "Hey, your rent is late. We wanted to know when you were intending to pay it."

When I tell them we moved out, that it was the end of our lease, there's silence. Then: "Your lease isn't out until August."

Tay had used white-out, and marked the move-out date for June 1st, not August 1st, so she could move into an apartment she wanted that was available for June. So that was that.

I win. Unfortunately.

Sweet Jesus.

I hope this week's round is more uplifting. You know what to do.

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I'm not one to believe in fate, but the following sequence of events makes me wonder...

The veterinary hospital where I used to work employed only a handful of technicians. Far fewer than they needed...if someone called out and couldn't find a replacement, there would be tears and bloodshed by the end of the night. Since people were always calling out, you quickly learned to avoid the phone before your shift. So to start the sequence, one day I forgot rule number 1 and got called in to replace my most loathed coworker.

As usual, it was a crazy night with an endless string of emergency appointments. Every cage in the ward was full and I was way behind on everything from laundry to food dispensing. The doctor came down and told me she was admitting another cat. She had planned to have another tech fill out the paperwork and bring the cat down, but that tech was outside in the parking lot trying to coax an angry Rottweiler out of a car. Before I could ask where the hell I was supposed to put it, she told me we would be euthanizing immediately and I would understand when I saw the animal.

So I went upstairs and found the most pathetic little orange kitten. Horrifically underweight, too weak to support the weight of his own head, and with eyes so badly infected and swollen the eyelids couldn't close. The woman who brought him in almost ran him down in her car and couldn't bear to leave him sitting in the rain. I explained the poor prognosis and had her sign the stray over to the hospital.

Downstairs I looked for the doctor so we can euthanize this poor animal. No doc...she had been called upstairs to deal with another emergency. So now I had this kitten in my hand and no place to put him. Every time he breathed in he gurgled and he was draped across my palm like a soggy piece of bread. Five minutes passed. Ten. At that point I'd started cleaning out cages with one hand while carrying the kitten with the other.

And then he bit me.

He didn't have the strength for more than a nip, but I figured if he could bite...well, he had to have some fight in him, right? On a whim I tried offering him some food. He couldn't stand, but damned if he didn't wolf it down. As he ate he started to purr.

By the time the doctor walked into the room with the syringe of FatalPlus, I was a goner. Once the doc was assured I would foot the bill for all treatment, she agreed to give him a chance. Nine years later and he's the best investment (to the tune of $30,000) I've ever made.

If my coworker hadn't called out sick that day...if I hadn't forgotten the rule and picked up the phone...if my other coworker had been available to carry the kitten downstairs...if there'd been a cage free to stick him in...if the doctor hadn't been delayed long enough for me to see the spark of life in him... life would be so much poorer for it.