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Plumbing the depths of South Lake

Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 19:11

This marks my first year living in an on-campus apartment in South Lake Village. There are many benefits to living on-campus. For example, my apartment number, ED, has the benefit of being a documented medical condition. When I chose to live on campus, a top priority for me was that my address hints at male performance problems.

In a way, apartment living reminds me that there is a bigger universe out there. Unfortunately, since I am afraid of the bigger universe, I mostly stay inside and hide behind the blinds.

I may never get to experience the bigger universe firsthand, but if it's anything like my apartment, I can safely conclude the following:

No matter where you are in the universe, there will always be an apartment full of drunk people, they will always live above you, and they will always wait until 3 a.m. to start their nightly festivities of organized screaming and team furniture destruction.

I can't help but wonder what's going on in the apartment of drunk people above me. I have never actually ventured upstairs to find out firsthand, so I have instead created some possible scenarios based upon the noise that I hear through the ceiling in my apartment.

Possibility 1: Our neighbors have combined bowling and home furnishings into an athletic event. Saturday is league night, and the competition is especially fierce.

Possibility 2: Our neighbors are attempting to domesticate a zebra.

Possibility 3: Our neighbors have successfully domesticated a zebra, but they are now trying to get it to breed with a cement truck.

When not dealing with the slight inconvenience of magnitude six shockwaves from our neighbors, there's nothing my roommates and I like doing more in our apartment than sharing meal times together. There is a special bond over food that we've created in our apartment.

Let me set a scene for you. It's 11 o'clock in the evening, and my roommate Joe is just settling down to his daily Second Dinner. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: "Joe, is that 'Spam' on your plate?"

Joe: "No, I'm eating healthy. It's 'Spam Lite'."

At this point my roommate Kevin, our resident voice of reason, enters the room.

Kevin: "I don't think meat should hold its shape like that. Meat should be shaped like one thing - a cow."

In our apartment we try to look past our differences of opinion and taste. Each of us embraces a fresh style of cooking, uniting old-world flavor with new-school flair. Sometimes that inventive spirit spreads like wildfire. Other times, though, it spreads more like grease fire, choking our lungs and forcing all occupants out of the kitchen in tears.

A few nights ago my roommate Jayce took an Olive Garden container out of the fridge and dumped its contents, pasta and cream sauce, onto a plate. I watched him microwave the pasta, top it with five chicken nuggets, and reveal the whole dish with a flourish. "Chicken Alfredo!"

I had to leave the room.

To be fair to Jayce, it was his cooking that helped us discover another unexpected gem of our apartment: the plumbing. South Lake plumbing was apparently designed by Dr. Seuss and constructed by a kindergarten class. I am confident that our system of pipes could only have emerged from a firm belief in the squiggly line as a valid shape in engineering.

Thankfully at the beginning of the year, I arrived in the apartment first and secured the "good" bathroom. Joe, on the other hand, was not so lucky.

At least once an hour he trots into my room to inform me that the toilet in his bathroom is broken. I really enjoy those reports from Joe, because there's nothing more relaxing than the sweet sound of something that isn't my problem. Just like ED.

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