The previous post about Roommates reminded me of this little story:
A long time ago I roomed with two guys: Karl and Dennis. I’d been suitemates with Dennis in college and got along with him reasonably well. Karl and I were on less good terms, though I’m a pretty easy guy to get along with. They were initially going to get an apartment together, but I was needing a place and three ways is safer and cheaper than two.
Things went swimmingly for a while. They were closer to each other than they were to me, for the most part. But that was fine because things with my then-girlfriend Evangeline made me pretty constantly need space and to be alone. I should have noticed, however, when Dennis was distancing himself from us. He’d done the same in the dorms before deciding to keep the door between our apartments locked.
Dennis was a big Delosa Dragons hockey fan. As such, when the Dragons dropped out of the playoffs, he was was pretty distraught. As he generally did when he was distraught, he popped in an adolescent sports movie. It was “Bad News Bears” for baseball, “Little Giants” for football, and one of the Mighty Ducks movies for hockey. This time it was Mighty Ducks 3. Karl, meanwhile, was quite bored, so he was hanging around the living room. I was working on my computers at the time on the kitchen table.
Karl was pretty relentless in his poking fun at the movie. The movie, to be frank, left itself wide open to snide criticism. I wasn’t following the plot or anything, but with a movie like that who really needs to? I kept my mouth shut and Karl didn’t. He pressed on. Dennis, already upset about the Dragons’ loss, got up, got his tape out of the VCR, went to his room, and never spoke to Karl again.
I had already made the decision to go month-to-month, though it was mostly so that I could move out. I figured that they were okay living together cause that was their plan before I entered the picture (before I was the mediator, I was the third wheel!), I was making enough money that I could afford to, and I could move closer to work. Things didn’t work out as I had planned, though it certainly help keep the hole Karl and I would have to dig out of smaller.
For an excruciating three weeks, they communicated through me.
“Tell that jerk I don’t want to speak to him.”
“Tell the crybaby I’ll talk to him when he grows up.”
And then one day, Karl woke up and I came home from working the night-shift and Dennis was gone. I’d later found out that since he didn’t have a place in town to live, he quit his job and moved about 600 miles away to live with his grandmother. More immediately of concern was our own situation and particularly mine. He was already back a month’s rent and since we had to give notice and hadn’t paid the previous month’s rent, and he had the largest room and paid the most in rent, he owed me nearly four digits. He also dashed my plans for getting my own place. Not only was my financial situation more precarious, but there was no way that Karl could afford his own and it would have been selfish of me to not take him in to account. But at the time I was just glad that the stalemate was over – whatever the conclusion.
I could have lived with either separately, but I had gotten tired of being messenger. Karl and I ultimately made great (if odd) roommates and he was an usher at my wedding (which Dennis did not attend, perhaps because Karl would be there). It did take quite a while for me to get my money back. Most if it, anyway, and I forgave the rest.
I’m not generally a big fan of adolescent sports movies. They’re formulaic and predictable and tiresome. I did think the original Mighty Ducks movie was alright. I’ve heard that the second is actually better than the first, though I wouldn’t know. What I do know, however, is that I hate Mighty Ducks 3 with a passion. Even though I’ve not really seen it.
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