Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Chillicothe gave me the perfect birthday present yesterday.

As I was driving through my beautiful city, I looked to my right and spotted a very respectable mullet. Upon further investigation, I realized that this mullet was riding a bike, which inspired me to write a song to the tune of "Lucy in the Sky". It went, "Mullet on a bike, with jean shorts."
Okay, it wasn't a great song, but it was a spontaneous song, and I thought it was pretty good.
The story gets better. I noticed mullet-guy was sitting between cars and a parking lot. I thought this was pretty funny to see a bicycle in a line of cars, so I wanted to see what they could be in line for on a Sunday evening. It was a drive-thru liquor store!!! Nothing could have made my day better than being in Chillicothe and seeing a man in a mullet and jean shorts waiting in a line of cars on his bicycle to go through a drive-thru. This of course made me question what the laws were concerning drinking and riding bicycles, open container, and drunk biking. Are there laws for these? I hope not! Not only could drinking and bike riding be very amusing for sober observers, it could also be a great way of removing undesirables from the human gene pool.

My birthday, although I consider it a great day, tends to be one of the more unfortunate days in human history. On August 24ths throughout history, Mount Vesuvius erupted and killed (rather gruesomely, one can imagine) most of the residents of Pompeii. A series of invasions began against Rome which ultimately resulted in the fall of the Empire. Many Jews were murdered in various pogroms throughout Europe and the Middle East. Protestants and Catholics massacred one another in France. Hurricane Andrew slammed into the Florida coastline. Two airliners crashed in Russia, and finally, Pluto lost its status as a planet.

Yes, historically, my birthday is not the greatest of days. Thank God for me! Now instead of focusing on all of these unpleasant events, the world can pause in admiration of me!

Other news from August 24th of 2008, courtesy of

1. A headline read, "Driver hits bear on way to get coffee." This headline can paint several amusing pictures in one's head. For example, with what did the driver hit the bear? His car? His fist? A golf club? Secondly, who exactly was on his way to get coffee? Evidently, the most amusing of all possible answers would be that the bear was headed to Starbucks (or maybe Caribou...hahaha) and a driver got out of his car and smacked the bear. However, since I read this in the morning, and I had not yet had my coffee, the first thought to cross my mind was, "I'd punch a bear if it got between me and my coffee too." I just realized that this headline encompasses my two favorite blog subjects.
As I continued to read the article, it turns out that the driver was on the way to get coffee and accidentally hit the bear with his SUV. Although not quite as amusing as a sleepy bear in a night cap on his way to get a cup of joe, this is still quite an amazing thing. According to the Alaskan driver, the grizzly bear came out of the forest at full speed, and he didn't even have time to hit the brakes.
The bear survived, but the SUV was very damaged. Amazingly, the man thought it would be a good idea to get out of his car although the bear was clearly very angry and very alive. The police (who arrived quickly at the scene) had to order the driver to get back in his car and not just stand near the angry bear. The bear was later killed.

2. The second headline of my birthday: "One-legged prostitute falls from chair and dies." Okay, I know this isn't funny, but it reminded me of the stories my parents told me of an infamous prostitute from Ironton, OH that they affectionately called "Step and a Half". Umm...let me say in my parents' defense that they didn't know "Step and a Half", just the stories. On a serious note, it's sad that she died (the prostitute from the news, not Step and a Half, whose current status is unknown, although I'm sure it would be sad if she died too).

I like to think that some day, my name will appear among these incredible events on Wikipedia's page for 24 August.

Monday, July 28, 2008

On Oral Hygiene

Two trips to the dentist in the same month.

I realize this is an incomplete sentence, but I don't know what kind of verb can go in this sentence to give it more meaning or feeling. I feel as though it expresses everything any complete sentence could express.

Ever since being free of my parents' health and dental insurance, I have chosen to celebrate my dental independence by not going to the dentist at all. I realize that that may not be the most intelligent way to take advantage of my own dental plan, but it made me feel good. This month marks the first time in two years that I've had a regular cleaning.

If people from ancient times could be magically transported into the present, and if this ancient person would somehow stumble upon a dental hygienist's office, I think that person would believe that they have stepped into some Satanic torture room. The scary-looking chair, the lead jacket (with no arm holes), the sink (that would probably inflict mortal head wounds if you accidentally rolled out of the scary chair), and a trash can that has to be full of those disgusting bloody napkins that they tie around your neck are enough to turn the stomach of any non-sado-masochist. But this frightened observer doesn't even know the half of it.

The true horror of the dentist's office does not lie in the blood napkins or the cancer-inducing x-ray machine or even the scary drill. The real terror lies in what I can only call "the hook."
After a two-year vacation from the hook's injuries, this cruel piece of metal was wickedly delighted to reconnect with my gums. Although my dental hygienist seemed nice, I think that she may be going through a divorce, break up, or has some other reason to really hate men. Sadly, my gums became the artistic medium on which she expressed her rage. As soon as I sat down in the chair, out came the hook. Although I expected a little mild scraping (because I never floss), I never imagined the treatment I was about to receive. Not only did my hygienist seem to think that my gum-line was much too low, she also didn't think I needed my bottom-front teeth.
I didn't know that the hook could fit in the gap between my lower teeth, but not only did she slide it in at the gum line, but then she yanked with the ferocity of a frightened mother lifting a car off her child. I thought my teeth were going to fly out of my mouth! I don't remember much of the visit after that. I think I may have passed out from the pain. They did however discover a cavity (probably from where she hacked away at my teeth with her serial-killer tool), which resulted in my visit today.

Today, I had a tooth drilled and filled without the use of Novocaine. My thoughts: preferable to the hook. Granted, they didn't drill all the way into my tooth, but even if they had, could it have been much more painful than my gums being pierced by a hook? I don't know.

On the bright side, I'm now terrified to not take good care of my teeth. I don't think my body can make enough blood to survive another visit like that.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tucking your t-shirt into your jean shorts is not dressing up.

I think the title of this post says everything I need to say.

Tonight was graduation at school. After struggling to get myself into my old, uncomfortable, made in Honduras suit, finding a parking space a mile from the auditorium, and walking in 90 degree heat, I have to admit that I would have liked to have worn shorts and flip flops. Why didn't I? I can't really say that I'm sure. I would like to think it's out of respect for the students that are graduating as well as for their families. Dressing up tells them that this is an important time and that it should be respected. Today is different from other days.

Alas, Southern Ohio is not the cultural center of the world. As soon as I got out of my car and joined the throngs of people cutting their way through the heat to get to the auditorium, I kind of felt like Armani at a flea market. First of all, I don't think I've seen a pair of jean shorts for 5 years - until tonight. Ohio State seems to be the team of choice, followed by Nascar, and then Hooters. Also, I saw enough mullets tonight, that laid end to end, I think they could circle the globe at the equator.

I am certainly not a fashion expert. I don't care too much about dressing stylishly, nor do I generally criticize people for not being in the latest style. However, I do want people to dress nicely for nice events. So here is my guide to appropriate graduation dressing for those with or without money.


1. No one wants to see your legs. Have you ever noticed that men in speedos rarely make the cover of any magazine? Furthermore, have you noticed that the rare man's leg that does end up on a cover doesn't even remotely resemble your leg? There is a very good reason for this. Your legs are gross. Please cover them.

2. While you're considering which pair of jeans to wear, ask yourself, "What if I don't wear jeans?" They make slacks in all different colors: brown, black, blue, khaki, white, gray, green, the possibilities are endless. Also, it makes you look like you didn't get dressed with your only goal for the day being mowing the lawn.

3. The shirt. One easy litmus test to perform when you're wondering if a shirt is dressy enough is this two-question process: 1. Does it have buttons? 2. Does it have sleeves? If you answered no to any of these questions, then it's not dressy. Watch out though, because just because it has buttons and sleeves does not necessarily mean it's appropriate, but it's a good start. You may be wondering, Can I replace the word "buttons" with "a zipper?" The answer is no. A shirt with a zipper instead of buttons is called the top of a sweat suit. Very appropriate for jogging. Inappropriate for what is thus far the most important day of your child's life.
One important thing to remember about this shirt with buttons, though, is that it loses its dressy effect when you fail to button it. You might think you look really cool by leaving your shirt unbuttoned down to your navel, but you really just look like a trashy pre-op transvestite (my apologies to my pre-op transvestite readership).
Another thing to be cautious of when choosing a shirt is patterns. You should probably avoid most patterns. Your grandmother may have said that the shirt with the birds and windmills looked sharp or handsome or pretty, but she grew up during the Depression. Take her life wisdom, but maybe take your fashion advice from anyone else.

4. Shoes. The same rule about men's legs applies to their feet and toes. I'm not saying that it is never appropriate to wear flip flops, but please don't go around thinking that they're dressy just because they're brown. I was thinking at graduation, wouldn't it be nice if someone invented something that looked nice to cover up feet that don't look nice, and then it hit me: Shoes! The concept is simple. Feet are ugly, shoes aren't. If you put shoes on your feet, no one sees your ugly feet, because there are not-ugly shoes covering them. These aesthetic devices also serve practical purposes, but I don't need to go into those.

Women - I have less to offer you, but here are a couple of rules.

1. Dressing Up and Slut Competition are not two sides of the same coin. Showing your breasts does not make you classy.

2. If your legs or armpits resemble a man's legs or armpits, please cover them.

3. The shirt and pant rule is still in effect, but you're in luck. You can wear skirts or dresses as well as slacks. It's hard for you to miss. Let me take time to clear up one shirt misconception though. Tweety Bird, Tinkerbell, and any other cartoon character printed on a t-shirt probably disqualifies that shirt from being dressy (unless you are coming in in a stroller).

Men and Women.
1. Smell good - seriously
2. Cut your mullet. Anything would look better. Anything! A big hat, baldness, partial baldness. The point is, there is nothing you can do to a mullet to make it classy. Any attempt to do so will only make it worse. Seriously, try to keep a straight face while thinking about a mullet with a bow in it. Or a mullet that has curls. Or a mullet that is dyed. Mullets represent the worst possible reality. The worst of all possible worlds.

This advice can be summarized by Dwight Schrute. "'Don't be an idiot,' the best advice I ever received. Any time I'm about to do something, I ask myself, 'would an idiot do that?' and if the answer is yes, I don't do it."

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Politics (gulp)

To my friends with political differences from me - you might want to stop reading right here if you're afraid my conservatism could make you think less of me. I still love you.

So I tuned in to the New Hampshire debates tonight, but before discussing in detail, let me first share my thoughts on the Iowa caucus.

The Republican side: normal and predictable.
The Democratic side: somewhat predictable; otherwise incomprehensible.

Republicans in Iowa write down their favorite candidate's name on a piece of paper, drop said piece of paper in a box, and return home.

Democrats in Iowa gather in large rooms, stand in lines, yell at people in other lines, trick people into standing in their lines, threaten people that they might join other lines if they don't first join their lines, and then have to join other lines if their line isn't big enough. The declaring of one line to be not big enough means it's time to start all over again with fewer lines. This is the election that sets in motion the selection of the Democratic candidate.

I hope I'm not the only one that's concerned that such an important process is modeled after recreation time in Italian mental institutions.

On to New Hampshire:
I unfortunately missed most of the Republican debates, but I did catch the Democratic debates. My assessment: I'm going to go ahead and buy a gun while it's still legal, so I'll have something to shoot myself with if one of these guys actually becomes President.

My assessment of the candidates:

Obama - the vote for change. Unfortunately, Obama's idea of change is a vote for someone with no experience. It would be a change to vote for a Turkish prostitute, and at least she (or he) might not promise to raise our taxes. By the way, since when did raising taxes become "change"?
Strengths - very attractive family
Weaknesses - taxes, and the likelihood that we'll all be killed by terrorists if he's elected

Edwards - the vote for lonely women. He's a trial lawyer; he's going to raise our taxes; he's the cause of healthcare being astronomically expensive; he speaks for the middle class, which he's read a lot about, but can't actually give a name of anyone that would be in such of an unfortunate state. He's tragically underqualified, but when he flashes that six thousand dollar smile, he wins the hearts of middle-aged women and gay men all across Iowa. If you want to know his positions on anything, just check out Obama's positions and add nuclear disarmament.
Strengths: love-at-first-sight smile and lots of stories about grandma
Weaknesses: he exudes incompetence, was a trial lawyer, and what is almost an assurance of our deaths in terrorism related accidents.

Richardson - also known as that guy that was sitting between Clinton and Obama. His policy - friendship. Everyone can be friends. Hillary and Obama, Edwards and the moderator, the U.S. and Pakistan. What's his solution for Pakistan's problems? Ask Pakistan if they wouldn't mind resolving them (more specifically, we should send someone to ask Pakistan). His solution for energy independence? Ask Americans to use less energy. While he's at it, can he ask people to stop illegally crossing our border and ask terrorists to knock it off. They seem like they just want to be helpful.
Strengths: seems nice; has experience as governor
Weaknesses: 2% in IA caucus, believes losing is the best way to end war, large likelihood that we would all be killed by terrorists.

Clinton - you know your politically party is impoverished when she's the best you can produce. She is however the best of the Democrats. I'm pretty sure she's the only one that believes that 9/11 actually occurred. She's definitely the only one that has even paused to consider what would happen the day after we pull out of Iraq, and she's the only one that has actually done anything in Washington. Although I think everything she's ever done is bad, at least she can actually do something.
Strengths: has experience, is at least aware that there are terrorists in the world.
Weaknesses: wants to strengthen economy by taking more of our money (I'm puzzled too); insanely denies Petraus's success in Iraq; married to guy that ignored terrorist attacks on US soil in NYC, Africa, and at sea during his presidency. Also, lacks upper-body strength - if her survival ever comes down to a fist fight between her and any western European leaders, my money's not on her. I would however think she could put on a pretty good fight with Ahmadenijad.

On a separeate note, it's the fifth day of January, and I've already blogged 3 times this year. I will be accepting apologies from people that accuse me of not blogging enough. I will not be accepting complaints that blog quality goes down when done in mass amounts.

In the end, I'm still going to feel safer if I know I can shoot myself.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

San Francisco tiger murdered after boy tricks her into eating him

A brief rest from the STDave chronicles.

It could only happen in California. A tiger escapes from a cage, kills a boy, injures two others, and zoo-goers rush to defend the tiger.

The facts of the story are simple. On Christmas day at the San Francisco zoo, a tiger escapes from its viewing pit. Tragically it killed a teenager and injured two young. After the rampage, zoo workers killed the animal before it could hurt or kill any other people.

As the zoo is reopening, reports are coming forward about what happened. Clearly, the walls to the pit were not adequately high. The rational solution: make sure zoos have sufficiently high walls. The California solution (also known as the worst imaginable solution): blame the people that the tiger attacked.

How, you may wonder, can one blame the victim for this? A tiger killed a person! What's to debate? Apparently certain zoo-goers who were fortunate enough to survive the Christmas tiger attack claim that the boys who were injured (but not the one who was killed) were taunting the roaring.

Taunting a tiger? Are you serious? Here's the thing about tigers. They always want to eat you. Always. They don't stop to remember the times you were kind to them. They don't have fond memories of you. They don't care whether or not you donate to little tiger charities. They want to eat you. You are literally nothing more than a piece of meat to them.

I can continue to beat this horse.

Tiger = meat-eater.
You = meat.
So by the transitive property, Tiger = you-eater.

Another odd thing about this story: How exactly does one taunt a tiger? The witness says the kids were roaring at the tiger.
1) Tigers roar, but they don't eat each other.
2) Tigers most likely don't understand any human language. Speak English, roar, sing Edith Piaf classics, whatever you want, the tiger will not understand you.
3) I find it much more likely that the tiger was upset, not so much that the human was making roaring sounds, but more that the human was not in her stomach. I feel confident that the most annoying thing a tiger can imagine is a piece of meat that it can't reach.

Beside the facts that tigers are carnivores and refuse to orally reason in any known language, why do we have the idea that tigers like being stared at by people in zoos, but they don't like being yelled at. If we're going to put tigers in animal-prison to be stared at by people from all corners of the earth, why do we then assume that it's uncouth to make animal sounds near these animals?

I do not mean to write a scathing post against tigers. In truth, I prefer a world full of tigers to a world full of polar bears (see previous posts). I will not, however, rush to the defense of tigers when they eat my fellow human beings. In the end, tigers are not nice. We can never really be friends with them. They will eat us.

God help the horrible people that are trying to blame a boy for being killed by a tiger.

On a lighter note, I've found that YouTube may save my life in the event of an animal attack.
For example, I saw a zebra survive a crocodile attack. It turns out that crocodiles do not like being bit in the eye. Although I hope never to have to bite a crocodile in the eye, I will if I have to (and I won't feel bad about it, even if others seem to think I was making crocodile noises). However, unless the crocodile is eating or has already eaten your hands or legs, I would suggest hitting or kicking the crocodile in the eye as a more hygienic (and much less yucky) solution, if at all possible.

In other animal news, African buffalo are freaking incredible. I saw with my own eyes (via YouTube) a herd of buffalo team up against an unholy alliance of lions and crocodiles to save one of their young. Lions and Crocodiles!!!! Working together!!! The Apocalypse is coming people! The African buffalo won't always be around to save us.

Take care of each other friends.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

STD Part 3: STDave and the Scent of Friendship

Happy New Year Everyone!

Among the many interesting stories one could tell concerning STDave and his tenure in apartment 1D, most of the more interesting ones involve the adventures and mishaps he encounters with his friends. As mentioned in previous posts, he had many friends at the neighboring university that neither Jim, Dave H., nor I knew. As the three of us are generally friendly people, it did not bother us immensely when his friends came over... at least not at first.

One thing that must be said about STDave, is that he was often late. If he needed to be somewhere at 6:00 pm, that usually meant he would get in the shower at about 6:15, and leave no earlier than 7:00. As I rarely went anywhere with STDave, this did not affect me much, but I imagine that it was a source of great annoyance for his friends. Of course, how can you be a friend of STDave's and not have a few specialnesses yourself?

In the autumn of our year together (literally, not figuratively), when STDave was still sleeping on Jim's futon in the living room and still living grâce à Macaroni and Cheese, we were introduced to many of his friends. One in particular worth noting I will refer to as Chubs (since I never knew his real name anyway. I would call him Friendly in an ironic way, but STDave had another friend that we called Friendly because he actually was friendly). As indicated by his nickname, Chubs was a rather plump man. I realize that I don't have a lot of room to call people plump, but seriously, this guy was round, and I'm not saying that to be mean.

STDave did not drive, and evidently Chubs did. Unfortunately for Chubs, STDave was never on time. This meant that Chubs spent a lot of time in our living room waiting for STDave to shower and whatever else it is that he did. Being friendly people, Jim, Dave H., or I would invite Chubs to have a seat in our living room and watch TV with us. Chubs always declined. It seems that instead of sitting, Chubs preferred standing directly behind people who were sitting down. Just standing...silently...behind us...watching...waiting...for 15 minutes at a time...just standing. I don't know how to type a good onomatopoeia for the sound you make when a chill runs up or down your spine, but that's the sound I make every time I think about Chubs standing behind me...quietly waiting.

One night, I was sitting alone in my living room with my back facing the kitchen (and the front door to the apartment). I heard the front door open and close, and I assumed it was Jim or Dave (not STDave). I became a little concerned that no one greeted me and wondered if perhaps my roommates were just having a bad day. I stood up and began to turn around and, "AAAHHH!" Chubs was just standing behind me, quietly, waiting. Clever guy that I am, I turned my panicky scream "AAAHHH!" into a trembling but believable, "AAAHHH-I didn't know you were there."

Chubs's Response: Silence

My response: Have a seat.

Chubs's Response: Silence.

Thus ended the most meaningful conversation I ever had with Chubs.

As my other roommates began to learn that Chubs was entering our apartment without knocking, we started to lock the door at all hours of the day, even when we were home. The unintentional but humorous side effect of this remedy is that from time to time we would hear our screen door open, then a large mass slam into our front door. After a few moments of what must have been muffled cursing, a feeble knock could be heard throughout the apartment.

Whatever Chubs may have lacked in social skills or human warmth, he made up for in the fact that almost every weekend he swept STDave away to his apartment downtown. This meant we could use toilet paper in safety, reclaim pots and pans, and sit on the futon in the living room during the day. Weekends were generally STDave free for me, Jim, and Dave H. Although we knew Sunday night we would lose the futon again, at least we had the weekends.

One Sunday night, I came into the apartment at about 11, and as soon as I walked through the door I froze in disgust at an unspeakable stench. It was as though someone were smoking old Camembert cheese in a sewer.

"What is that?" questioned my roommates and I as we raced through the apartment trying to find some air freshener. Coughing and gagging the rest of the evening, we tried to discuss possible causes of this new odor, and just as we were concluding that this smell is other-worldly, and just as we thought we were getting used to the ungodly aroma, STDave walked the short distance from his room to his bathroom. Never in my life had I so fervently wished for the sweet release of death, so strong was the stench surrounding him.

The following weeks were torturous and confused. The stench seemed to dissipate throughout the week, so that on Friday's, the odor was hardly noticeable. On Sunday nights however, STDave would return from Chubs's place along with his new olfactory accompaniments. Our efforts to mask or diminish the stench were endless. We burned candles in all common rooms of the house. We opened windows on days it was way too cold to open windows. At one point, it was impossible to find any free electric receptacles in our living room, because of Glade Plug-ins. We shut and locked our bedroom doors (I found that any time I left my door open during the day, the smell would invade. I always pictured the odor asbeing a large, semi-solid, toxic cloud that was too big to get through the cracks in my bedroom door. I also feared that it could stick out its semi-solid hand and open my door if I didn't lock it. It sounds insane, but it helped me sleep at night.) All of our efforts were fruitless.

We knew an inevitable conversation was coming. Only two questions remained: How do you tactfully approach the subject of this horrible smell, and who would be the first person desperate enough to bring it up? Both questions would be answered one very Christmassy night.

On a Sunday evening in November, Dave H. and I were putting up our Christmas tree in the living room. We heard the front door open, and we didn't even need to look to see who it was. We could smell him. In an instant all the warm Christmas cheer in the air had been murdered and replaced by the smell of smoked sewer cheese. This was the worst night of it, and this was the final straw for me. Pacing around the living room with an insane look in my eyes, I practiced how the conversation was going to go. Here's the ideal script as it played out in my mind.

Andy: (Knocks on STDave's door.)
STDave: (Opens door) Hi, Andy how are you?
Andy: I'm great Dave. You?
STDave: Fantastic, Andy! Thanks for asking. You're such a great roommate. What can I help you with tonight?
Andy: Well Dave, Dave H. and I were just wondering if you smelled something kind of funny tonight
STDave: No, no I haven't.
Andy:Oh, well, Dave and I picked up a whiff of something, and we picked it up last week right after you got back from your friends' in Dayton.
STDave: Oh no, Andy. I'm so sorry to make you feel uncomfortable. I will seek out the source of this odor, and all of our lives will be better.
Andy: Thanks Dave, and Merry Christmas.
STDave: No, Andy, thank you. And as my Christmas gift to you, I'm going to buy my own bed, clean my own dishes, not invite my friends to just walk into our apartment, not steal your toilet paper, not keep my friends waiting, and generally contribute to the quality of our apartment.
Andy: God Bless Us, Every One.

Unfortunately, the conversation did not go like that.

Andy:(Knocks on door)
STDave:(Opens door; says nothing)
Andy: Hey Dave, I was wondering if you smelled something kind of funny?
STDave: Yeah! Where do you think that's coming from?
Andy: (Thinks, "No, that's not how the conversation's supposed to go. You're not supposed to be able to smell it. No, no, no. Where's it coming from? You! You! YOU!!! Andy pauses briefly while all these thoughts pass through his mind and then says) Well, it's coming from you.
STDave: Oh Snap!
Andy: Well, we really notice it right when you get back from your friends' in Dayton,'s bad...and we smell it...a lot.
STDave: Oh Snap!
Andy: Yeah.
STDave: I think my friends have mold.
Andy: (Thinks "Lovely" but says) Yeah?
STDave: I'll try to work on that.
Andy: Yeah, we'd all really appreciate that.
STDave: Okay, see ya' later (shuts door).

Walking back into the living room, I saw a look in Dave H.'s eyes that I had never seen before and will probably never see again: admiration.

Fortunately, as the holidays rolled around, STDave got his odor under control, and we were able to move on to bigger and better points of contention.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

STD Part 2: Beginnings

Our adventures with STDave started in the Fall of 2003. I was preparing Apartment 1D for the arrival of my three new roommates. The carpet had been cleaned (not by me), all the rooms were empty, and the kitchen was daily becoming cleaner and cleaner. I very much looked forward to living with the two roommates that I knew. Unfortunately, the fourth roommate that we had planned decided to live elsewhere during the summer. Therefore, it fell to the cold and calculating hands of the University to place a man in the empty bedroom.

I believe I was hanging out in the apartment with Dave (not STDave) when the front door to the kitchen opened unexpectedly. Two large strange men walked unannounced into my apartment and began wondering aloud if this were the correct apartment. I thought that was an odd question to wonder AFTER entering a strange apartment, but as I expected an unknown roommate, I was able to deal with this intrusion. The older man was actually quite friendly, and chatted with Dave and myself. The younger one, the one who was obviously the college student, seemed a bit quiet but otherwise fairly friendly. While talking with STDave's dad, I learned that he (the dad) was a youth pastor, that they live in Tennessee, and that STDave had gone to a different, more expensive university in the area before transferring. This tidbit of information would be the only information any of us would ever know about STDave, excluding information gained through passive observation.

When he came in that day, both he and his father were surprised to learn that there was no bed in the bedroom. Once again, I thought that maybe this would have been something they researched before they moved in to an apartment, but I understood that assumptions get made, and maybe in Tennessee, all apartments come furnished. STDave was in luck. Jim had already brought and assembled a futon in the living room of the apartment. Although Jim was still a couple of days from moving in, Dave and I decided that he would not disallow our new roommate to sleep on his new futon. In hopes of beginning a friendly new relationship and extending good will, we offered him the futon, just until he got a new bed, and STDave accepted.

The next morning was a Sunday. I got up around 9 to go to church, and as I stumbled out into my room, a shirtless hairy STDave was sprawled out on Jim's futon. Amazingly, my numerous trips between bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, which all involved passing through the living room, did not seem to stir Sleeping Beau... uh ... Sleeping STDave. Although impressed by his ability to sleep through not only my morning routine, but also the routine of Dave, it did not strike me as incredibly strange that a college student would still be in bed at 10:30, when I left.

After a nice morning at church, and a lengthy lunch with my friends, I returned home around 2:00 pm. Upon opening the door I realized that the futon had not been folded back into its proper and upright position. Then I noticed that there was still a hairy mass curled up on it. Euh.
Dave was in his room. A victim of his own politeness, he couldn't really watch tv or cook, or do anything in the common rooms of the house, because our new roommate, with whom we were hoping to establish a genial relationship was sleeping peacefully. Dave and I contented ourselves by saying (whispering actually), "This is only until he gets a bed."

The next few days were really quite busy. Classes were beginning, organizations were advertising, Jim had finally moved in, and life was generally getting busier for everyone. Well...almost everyone. While, Jim, Dave, and I went about our normal campus lives, we could not help but notice a few things. First of all, STDave obviously failed to buy a bed during that Sunday. In his defense, by the time he woke up and would have been moving around, I'm sure all the furniture places would have been closed. Also, STDave didn't have a car, and he never accepted our polite offers to take him to necessary places.
We also noticed that STDave's bizarre sleeping schedule did not really seem to change just because we switched over from school-less weekend to class-ful weekdays. Although, among the three of us, we often ran into each other and each other's friends on campus, we couldn't help but notice that STDave had never been spotted by anyone on campus. In fact, it was finals week before there were any confirmed sightings of him on campus outside of our apartment.

That week we learned two things about STDave. First of all, he had strange eating habits (See Part 1). Second of all, the fact that he didn't have a bed didn't seem to bother him an awful lot. It seemed that STDave had very odd opinions of privacy. Throughout the day, we hardly knew he was there (If you count "day" as starting at about 3:00 pm, when he would roll off the futon and retreat to his room). He only came out of his room for 1 of 3 reasons.
1. To make macaroni and cheese.
2. To expel macaroni and cheese.
3. To sleep half-naked on Jim's futon.
One would think that people who lead quiet and private lives through the day would prefer not to sleep in common areas at night. This was not the case with STDave. Sleeping was by far the most social thing he did.

The story continues. What we had thought was the offering of a futon for one night, turned out to be the offering of a futon for one month. Throughout the course of the month, Jim, Dave, and I became mysteriously louder and louder in the morning during our morning routines. I think I even began watching the news before going to school. Although there was a little bit of annoyance and pettiness in this behavior, on all of our parts, I think we were more amazed than anything.

I mentioned above that sleeping was the most social thing STDave did. It turns out that that will end up being a double-entendre. The story of the futon (and how it got its name) would not be complete without just a couple small but remarkable anecdotes.

Although a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night always resulted in seeing STDave on the couch, sometimes we got to learn that STDave had a few friends that also seemed quite fond of Jim's futon. His friends (who merit and will get a chapter all to themselves) came from his former, neighboring university to pay him a visit, usually during evening hours once or twice a week. Every now and then, though, some would stay over.

One dark and stormy evening (I dion't know that it was actually bad weather, but it just seems fitting and right to say that it was), Dave walked into the apartment to the sound of strange noises. Praying that what he thought was happening wasn't actually happening, he glanced over to the futon, and as his eyes adjusted to the dimness of the room, they fell up on a kind of moral darkness he had hoped never to see in our living room. There, on the futon, was STDave and girlfriend, TR. What they were doing would go down in 1D history, and would give the new futon a new name: Hippity Dippity.

One more memorable event would occur before month's end. One Saturday morning as I began to prepare for a lazy college weekend, I awoke to a scene straight out of Ally McBeal. On the small futon were STDave, TR, and a THIRD MAN!!! (This man, we would go on to call Friendly). EEEuuuuhhhhhhh!!!! Although there could be a million reasons that these three people could be sleeping, scantily clothed, late into the morning on a small futon in my living room, I don't want to think about any of them.

Eventually, STDave would go on to buy a bed. This obviously meant that our contact with him sharply declined (except for the macaroni incident and several like incidents that will be posted later). However, this short, introductory month to STDave will remain an important memory that will burn on in the back of our brains for as long as we live. Kind of like some horrible disease.