The Badass of the Week.

-- My Life in the Student Ghetto --
Update 18 September 2006 by Amazing Ben

To refer to our residence as a "shithole" would be unfair.  It isn't.  In fact at first glance, the spacious, inviting and luxurious two-bedroom apartment would indicate that Hot Andrea and I live a life of royalty, reclining in a grand spacious locale with all the creature comforts any man could hope for - a refrigerator, a futon, and the sort of exotic lavishness that can only come from an entertainment center boasting both a Playstation 2 AND an Xbox.  But below this seemingly innocuous and accommodating exterior lies a seedy underbelly waiting to crush our hopes and dreams at every turn.  I invite you to take a journey into the misery that is the student ghetto.

The basement of our apartment building.

My Upstairs Neighbor Is Going to Die

Several months ago I wrote some crazy shit about how I was going to violently slaughter my downstairs neighbors by headbutting them into shrapnel or throwing them into the infernal fires of Mount Doom or some other such retarded shit.  Luckily for me, the Downstairs Dance Party seems to have moved off to greener pastures and more inviting fields of raw chemical narcotics, leaving us with a nice quiet downstairs residence strangely (and seemingly impossibly) inhabited by about sixty chain-smoking Indian Ph.D. students.  Sure, the ground floor smells strangely of smoke and curry and there are so many people in that damn apartment that all their names don't all fit on the side of their mailbox, but as long as they aren't throwing fucking raves at 2 AM and snorting X off dead hookers than it's really not any of my business.  My late-night headache problems were solved.  Or so I thought.

Until one night when I was blasted awake at 4:30 in the motherfucking morning by the soothing tones of GODDAMNED OPERA MUSIC being pumped out at a decibel level usually reserved for jet engines and heavy construction equipment.

You really haven't lived until your eardrums have been assaulted by Luciano Pavorotti at 4:30 in the morning on a fucking Sunday.  My first instinct of course was to get ready to go downstairs and start indiscriminately hitting things with a hammer.  But then as we were searching for our Kill Hammer +1, we came to the slow, horrific realization that the sound was actually emanating from upstairs.  We both knew that there was soon going to be yet another name to tack on to the ever-growing Amazing Ben Enemies List.  Yes, it seems that the apartment above ours has recently been inhabited by some stupid chick who is going to die soon, either by my hand or Hot Andrea's.  Seriously.  All I could think of while the motherfucking Marriage of Figaro was blasting my head into another dimension was to envision something out of The Godfather where the stupid bitch who thought this was a good idea was flailing around being riddled by bullets while The Three Tenors provided an overly dramatic soundtrack.

It has only gotten better.  She apparently also enjoys shitty House/Electronica/Techno "I'd rather have my head slammed shut in a door than listen to this" crap, Emo-core nerdy whine-rock, and shitty, shitty, shitty white 80s rap music.  Not even like Vanilla Ice shitty, either.  I mean like Dude-atude shitty.

Our initial tactic was to try and "wait it out" in the hopes that she'd realize the error of her ways and stop being such a fucking jackass.  When that failed miserably, we broke out the Mithril Rod of Poking +3.  Essentially it's a large wooden dowel and whenever the god-awful music gets too out of hand we start banging the ceiling as hard as we can while screaming profanities at the top of our lungs and sometimes she observes our subtle hints and turns it down.  When that fails we call the cops, mostly because we're both vindictive old cranks.  As if the music isn't bad enough though, she also apparently left her bathtub running for like forty-eight hours straight over the weekend because water actually started leaking down into our apartment.  We called the landlord on her but that hardly matters, of course, because....

My Landlord Fucking Blows

Our building is a run-down out-of-date old-as-fuck falling-apart holdover from the fucking 1930s and the company that owns it is run by an office full of talking diaper-wearing monkeys with no common sense who don't give a shit about any of their tenants or anything else not involving money or maybe bananas.  They delight in the misery of their subjects and feed off of our displeased howls like a rabid wolf feeds on the carcass of its freshly-slaughtered prey.  They are an evil corporation in the truest sense of the word, bent on squeezing every last dollar they can from their tenants while hiring anyone willing to work for less than minimum wage to break into their apartments and royally fuck up whatever they can get their hands on.  They don't give a crap about you, your happiness or anything other than receiving their exorbitant rent check and faxing you color photos of their bare asses with a note reading "this is what we think of you".  Here are some of our best "bad landlord" tales.

  • Mr. Plaster and the Cable Jack of Mystery

    You wouldn't think that having a cable box installed in your living room would be such a harrowing ordeal, but that is the nature of living in a place where the laws of nature and decency hold no sway.

    One day we finally got tired of monitoring the wind currents and air temperature in a futile attempt to get our rabbit ears to pick up anything other than infomercials for cheap Russian corningware or Mexican soap operas.  We instead opted to flex our spending might and have cable TV and internet connected.  We didn't think this was a big deal since generally there are people who get paid to install this sort of thing effectively and without accidentally setting your kitchen on fire or busting a gigantic gaping hole in your living room wall.  Well apparently the latter was too much to ask, since when the cable guy unscrewed the faceplate for the cable jack he was greeted not by a set of TV wires but rather by a panoramic view of the parking lot behind our apartment building.  He was eventually able to connect our cable box to the only other jack in our apartment (requiring us to juryrig a complex network of splitters and cords in order to hook up multiple machines), and we called building maintenance to have them come and patch the hole.

    We went to work the next day, foolishly believing that a professional hole-patcher would notice the frigid breeze emanating from the gigantic fist-sized opening in our living room wall.  To our surprise, we arrived home to find that not only was the hole still there, but that every crack and crevice in our kitchen was now slathered with a thick layer of plaster.  Some of our drawers were even plastered shut.  We called the landlord to complain.  When we returned from work the following day, the hole in the living room was patched and there was EVEN MORE FUCKING WHITE PLASTER IN THE KITCHEN.  It took us two weekends to chip all that shit out of there so that our kitchen didn't look like the fucking Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man exploded in there.

  • The Ammonia Nightmare

    Late one night Andrea and I were awoken by the building fire alarm.  Under any normal circumstances, we would have been pissed that we had to evacuate the building at one in the morning, but we figured that since the alarm was going off there might actually be something wrong.  We rounded up the cat and headed out the front door to find our hallway was a river of ammonia-laden water.  We quickly learned that the fucking bottom-rate cleaning company had decided to just slosh ammonia all over every floor in the building rather than "actually clean", and as a result the fumes were so powerful they set off the fire alarm.  To further complicate things, I was still on crutches from my knee surgery, so there was a good chance of me busting ass and re-injuring myself as I waded through a river of acrid-smelling cleaning products.  Looking back on it, I sort of wish I had taken a nose-dive down the steps because then I could have made some dough out of the endeavor, but alas.  As it were, the entire floor was covered with dirt and grime for about two months, since the crackpot "four guys in an unmarked minivan" cleaning company didn't even mop before chucking buckets of Pine-Sol on the floor, so they just ended up taking the patches of dirt on the floor and evenly distributing them throughout the floors (and walls) of our entire building.

  • José the Pervert and Our Broken Cabinets

    When we first moved into the apartment, half of our cabinets were pulled off the wall by about two or three inches.  Since our cheapskate landlord wouldn't repair anything that "wasn't broken", Andrea and I broke them and then called maintenance to install new ones.  They came while I was at work and Andrea was home, and the dude who showed up spent the next three hours hitting on Andrea like she was the fucking last woman on Earth.  She of course was all like, "tee hee" but I was ready to lay the passive-aggressive smacketh downeth.  I called the landlord and was like, "maybe the guys you hire should spend more time fixing our cabinets and less time trying to have sex with my girlfriend," and the lady on the other end of the line was like, "I'll tell them, but you better not be hitting on any other girls either".  Gee, thanks for the fucking relationship advice, bitch.  I'll keep that in mind the next time you hire somebody to come into my house and try to pork my girlfriend.

    Of course Andrea thought I overreacted, but chicks don't seem to understand that sort of thing.  It's a well-known fact that when your girlfriend is way too hot for you, you need to do everything in your power to keep other dudes from hitting on her at all costs.

    Man Law!

  • The Moron Bros. Plumbing Co.:

    Our apartment's plumbing is old and shitty.  It was first installed in the seventeenth century and hasn't seen any significant upgrades since the discovery of running water, and as a result our bathtub drain backs up every month or so.  And every time, we have to call a plumber out to snake the lines.  It's like clockwork.  Well recently our landlord has switched plumbers, opting to get rid of "old guy with a pipe snake who can tell the difference between a tub drain and a gopher hole" and replace him with The Super Retard Brothers Plumbing Corporation.  The SRBPC showed up the other day to snake our lines, went into the bathroom for about fifteen minutes, and then ran out as quickly as possible.  Sure, our lines were cleared, but we also found a disgusting blue sludge covering not only the entire floor of our bathroom, but also sprayed on the walls and ceiling.  It was AWESOME.  Also, they apparently dropped some heavy piece of equipment into the tub, because there was a big piece chipped out.  It pretty much ruled.  I really enjoyed spending the next hour cleaning this mysterious slime up and throwing away everything that wasn't inside the kitchen cabinets out of fear of contamination.  I guess the goddamned Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges were booked solid, otherwise our piece of shit landlord would have contracted them instead.

Our plumbers hard at work.

Those Damned Boston College Kids

I just want to go on the record now and say that I fucking hate Boston College and all of its sports teams.  Even if you discount the fact that I went to Catholic high school (and if anything will turn your against BC and Notre Dame, it's going to Catholic high school), Boston College is one of the two colleges I root against every single time they play.  Note:  For those keeping score at home, the University of Miami is the other one.

Now I went to college at Florida State, and despite how badly they suck now I'm still a big fan of FSU football.  I went to all the home games (students got free tickets), and I went to all the best post-game parties.  OK that last part is a lie;  Saturday night was usually just me and my friends sitting around in a dorm room getting drunk and playing Wrestlemania 2000 on the N64.  Whatever the case, this is how I remember FSU fans:

Now here are your typical Boston College Fans:

Ok, maybe the comparison isn't fair.  Sure, we also had these guys at FSU:

But then again Garnet and Gold didn't get wasted and spend their Saturday nights standing ten feet outside my bedroom window at two in the morning hollering "woo" at anything capable of self-locomotion.  You see, my apartment is directly across the street from the last stop on the route of the infamous "Boston College Drunk Bus".  This means that from 10 PM until about 3 AM every Friday and Saturday night we are serenaded by increasingly large groups of drunk Catholic school students getting their first taste of freedom, a taste that is made doubly sweet in the event that BC actually wins one of their football games.  This generally just translates into a bunch of drunken idiots yelling about nothing and pissing me off.  Over the last year or so I've toyed with the idea of getting a high-powered scoped BB sniper rifle and taking potshots at the offenders from a hidden bunker in our spare bedroom, but I'm unsure of the legality of this and I'm not entirely confident in my ability to avoid retribution or detection.  It's one thing to shoot some douchebag in the neck with a pellet rifle, but it's something completely different when said douchebag and all of his drunk friends know exactly where you live.

Occasionally some humor results from these brazen displays of drunken tomfoolery, however, and this almost makes up for the fact that it's impossible to sleep when BC wins at football.  For instance, this weekend we got to witness the most idiotic white boy street fight I've ever seen.  Basically, from what I can tell, it involved a large group of about thirty kids in baseball caps and sandals running around in the middle of the street while two dudes with their shirts off yelled "fuck you" at each other repeatedly and secretly hoped that their friends would hold them back.  My guess is that the goal of these so-called "confrontations" is to outlast your opponent by being able to yell "fuck you" for a longer period of time than your enemy without getting bored and wandering off, because eventually "skinny white bitch #1" was able to make "skinny white bitch #2" walk away in disgust, apparently completely drained of all his "fuck you" scream power.  Believe me when I tell you that this was even more ridiculous than it sounds.  It was truly one of the most retarded things I've ever seen in my life.

The Philly Phanatic doesn't phuck around
when it comes to kicking asses.


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