I’ve had over a dozen roommates since college, but the most tried and true has always been Sars. We met after I’d agreed to move in with her– but the stars must have been in alignment because we were PERFECT for each other– in a very “opposites attract” kind of way. That is, she was everything I wasn’t: Responsible, Practical, and Level-Headed.
Even our musical tastes were different. She’d bought into that school of thought that considers music to be an art and expects musicians to be talented.
Whereas I’m just looking’ to get my groove on.
One night we were at home, doing whatever it was we did before you could stream Netflix, and I decided to graciously share some of my most amazing tunes with her. I hooked my laptop to a large set of speakers so as to be as generous as possible.
I think Sars may have been studying– that sounds like something she would do. I was a really helpful study partner so I hit play and the room was filled with Fergalicious.
“Fergalicious definition make them boys go loco
They want my treasure so they get their pleasures from my photo.”
Sars did not appreciate my kindness towards her.
“Please turn that off,” she calmly requested.
Those speakers were so rad, I honestly couldn’t hear her. Cross my heart.
“Aussa!” she yelled, “Seriously, turn it off!”
But I was too caught up in the poetic genius and melodic rapture.
“I’m Fergalicious (so delicious)
My body stayin’ vicious
I be up in the gym just working on my fitness”
Sars stood to her feet– Of course, I didn’t see her because my eyes were closed in musical ecstasy. I imagined myself on stage, performing before my thousands of fans. The sounds of her angry screaming were drowned out by the APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE.
I opened my eyes in a moment of pure Fergie bliss and realized Sars was standing in front of me, eyes narrowed and hands on her hips. I still couldn’t hear her yells over the phenomenal crooning but I’m pretty sure I read her lips:
“Don’t make me hug you.”
I kept my hands in the air, flicking them about like Mariah Carey when she hits the high notes.
I assumed her threat was empty– she knew I couldn’t stand to be touched. She wouldn’t dare.
In a last ditch effort to save herself, she reached for the pause button but I was too quick for her– I lifted my laptop in the air, holding it up like an offering to the gods of pop music.
I did the only thing I could do. I started screaming.
“Please! Don’t! Stop!”
She growled through her cuddling.
“Turn it off!”
She was a koala bear and I was her eucalyptus tree.
I swatted at her strong arms, trying to release myself from her affection– but she wouldn’t budge. I bucked wildly, sure that the passionate beats emanating from The Ferg would give me all the strength I needed. But my attempts were futile.
I couldn’t take much more– They say everyone eventually breaks under torture. With the last breath in my lungs, I relented.
“Okay, OKAY!” I gasped, slamming the laptop shut and killing the music. Her arms immediately released me, as though a spell were broken.
I cowered against a corner as she flicked her hair in satisfaction and headed back to her textbooks. I was almost safe– but she stopped. I watched in fear as she turned to face me, a glint of revenge in her eye.
“I found something earlier.”
Her voice was so frighteningly calm.
“Yeah?” I whimpered.
She nodded ominously and motioned for me to follow her to the kitchen. I was afraid of what she’d do to me if I didn’t obey, so I shuffled after her.
She stood in front of the refrigerator and pointed at our shiny stainless steel trashcan. The lid was slightly propped open from being over capacity. This was nothing out of the ordinary– We weren’t exactly known for our trash-taking-out skills.
“You put a coffee filter in there.”
I nodded slowly, even though it wasn’t a question.
“Weeks ago,” she added.
I nodded again.
“Do you know what happens to a coffee filter when you forget to take the trash out?”
This time I shook my head– slowly, fearfully.
Standing back as far as possible, she extended her leg to step on the lever, lifting the lid to reveal the trashcan’s innards.
When I saw it, I screamed.
Then she screamed.
And we screamed together.
It looked like Marge Simpson was crouched inside, hiding in a nest of brown banana peels and egg shells.
I desperately threw myself onto the kitchen counter, fearful that it would grow legs and try to gobble me up.
Eventually we settled back down, called a truce, and returned to our regularly scheduled activities. But then– there was a loud knock at the door.
“Who is it?” I demanded in my most “I will cut you” voice.
“Police! Open the door, now!”
Call me paranoid, but if I ever stage a home invasion I’ll definitely start with “Police, open up!”
“DON’T OPEN IT!” I whispered, scuttling off to peak through a window in the next room over. I carefully lifted a single slat of the Venetian blinds and peered out onto the porch, expecting to see a band of marauders or blood thirsty killers
Lo and behold… it was a police officer.
I opened the door, trying to look innocent.
He stepped inside immediately.
“Is everything alright?” he demanded.
We reassured him that yes– everything was alright. We looked around in dazed bewilderment for a fire or something that would warrant an emergency response. Still, he didn’t seem to believe us.
“Is there anyone else here?” he asked, staring into our eyes as though we might try to answer telepathically.
“No…” we answered, our voices trailing off.
He remained dubious, possibly worried that an evil clown was holding our 3rd roommate hostage in the laundry room.
“Everything’s fine, we’re just studying.”
That was *mostly* true.
“Well,” he finally said, “One of your neighbors was concerned. She said it sounded like something violent was happening, like someone was being hurt.”
Sars and I slid our eyes over to look at each other and communicate telepathically.
He waited for an answer, some sort of explanation.
“Well,” I started, “I was playing some Fergalicious… and then… there was this moldy coffee filter… and… it was all just very upsetting.”
He looked back and forth between us, still trying to suss out whether this was some sort of secret code. He must have given up or decided to believe us because he wished us well and stepped back out into the cold.
I ran back to the side room and watched through the blinds as he walked to his squad car.
“I never imagined this would be why the cops were called on us…” Sars said in a dazed voice.
There was a flash of movement across the parking lot. I watched as two figures emerged from an apartment and embraced in a Sars-like style. One of them was dressed in thin pajamas and I recognized her as the woman who lived below us. She released her hug and crossed back towards our building, visibly shivering in the night. Her face was a mess of worry and tears.
Three days later I once again hid behind those Venetian blinds and watched as that poor woman relocated to a different building– It was an identical apartment, but one where she was less likely to be haunted by the sound of a Moldy Fergalicious murdering the tenants above her.
Have you ever had the police show up for a not-so-emergency situation? Did you ever think you heard a murder? What’s the Moldiest situation you’ve survived?
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