Monday, February 22, 2010

Tales from the Year of Four Houses

For the duration of my childhood, I lived mainly in the one house. My parents house was familiar and although none of the doors properly fit the doorframes and the whole place was built on a slant (god help you if you put your pen down on the kitchen table and expected it to stay put), it was fairly stable.

However, I eventually got around to vacating the nest and introduced myself to the wonderful world of share accommodation. Since then, I have lived in a few different rentals with a bunch of different people. Between January and December last year I moved house no less than three times, for a total of four houses in a year. Over the course of all this, I have come to the conclusion that no share house is complete without at least one nutter.

Admittedly, I have been that nutter. My first rental place was lovely, a two-storey, high-ceilinged flat with a balcony overlooking the beach, which I was amazingly only paying $118 a week for. Unfortunately for everyone, my housemate was what you would call "a normal human being". See, I have this habit of saying a great deal of things that don't make a lot of sense. I know they don't make sense, I will be the first to admit that. But I figure if I say enough things then one day something will actually be interpreted as insightful, or at least witty. Example:

Housemate: I found this really great cereal at a shop down the road
Me: One might say that you yourself are a really great cereal from a shop down the road.

Nonsense, obviously. Sometimes I accidentally say something that makes sense and am rewarded. For all the others, I simply get a small kick out of being a walking non-sequitur. I live in a house at the moment where this is almost acceptable, but my first housemate didn't really understand this kind of thing. Eventually, I moved out.

When I first moved to Adelaide, I shared a small suburban house with three other people. For the sake of this entry, we will call them Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear. Mama Bear was a down to earth country girl whose family ran a quandong plantation in Broken Hill. She was a vegetarian, and although I ate the occasional piece of chicken, I preferred to avoid meat where possible. At the time it wasn't a moral thing, more just that I thought meat tasted too much like dead animals. Either way, it was something Mama Bear and I bonded over. Baby Bear was inoffensive, a friend of theirs who kept to himself most of the time. Papa Bear, on the other hand, he was something else. He was in a relationship with Mama Bear, and no-one I knew could figure out what on earth a girl as good as her was doing with such an awful human being. Vegatrain refused to come over to my house on the basis that he couldn't stand to be within a ten metre radius of the guy and most people I knew thought this was a fair call. I think the problem is that he couldn't express any kind of opinion without sounding furious. I'm honestly not sure how he accomplished this, but I would hear him screaming and swearing at the tv, even is he actually liked the show he was watching. He was studying quantity surveying at TAFE, but was always coming up with a bunch of ideas about how he was going to get rich. His favourite was his idea for franchising fish farms. He thought this was nothing short of genius, but couldn't get anyone to invest in it. The last time I saw him he and Mama Bear had split for good, he had threatened to beat the crap out of Baby Bear for so much as implying to her that he had cheated on her (even though he had) and he had moved on to studying something else. I am so, so glad I moved out before all of this went down.

I could go on to talk about more share house nutters, past and present, but this entry is probably long enough without it, and also Buglustre is going to be here soon to take me to the optometrist for some new glasses. This is always an exciting occasion.

-Smackie Onassis

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