The Roommate From Hell

As told by Wade G Henning Last modified Jan 16, 1995

Ok everybody, here it is. The whole story. (And for those of you who are new on here, like Nenechan, and haven't been following the saga of my roomate, please to just bear with me.

This the continuing saga of Paul E. Statler. My roommate. He isn't important enough to deserve his own saga, but what the hey. I don't care. The E. stands for "Ernie", of which he is terribly embarrased. (It is his father's name.)

Lately I have become obsessed with providing truth in just how stupid my roomate is. I don't strive for open confrontation, but I want proof that I am traveling down the right path in life, and he's well... headed for a cactus. (Garth and Mike, I know you got that. You'd better.)

Wednesday night. We have a mech-e project due the next day, which is optional/extra credit. The task, take our little steam engine and Meccano set, and build a steam powered car. Andy and I are lab partners, and are set to get working on this. We have combined Meccano part sets with a second group, with Paul, Dilip, and John, because thier steam engine is broken/warped & twisted in funky new ways. Well, John doesn't care/ couldn't care less. Which is perfectly fine. He doesn't need the credit anyway. I'm in it for fun. I don't need the credit. It will move me from an A+ to and A+. Dil says he'll do it if he has time in the night, after other work. Paul says boastfully: What? I ain't go the time for that! No way! Not with all these finals to get ready for! Hummph! No way!

Pass 4 hours. I come home to Andy and Dil on our floor with the stuff all strewn out, analysing the problem effectively. Paul is in his seat watching over. I sitt down, manhandle the engine, and start to bolt parts on it. Dil and I discuss chain systems, andy begins a worm drive shaft. Paul interjects with: "you're doing that wrong"'s

"You gonna do this?" I ask.

He shruggs. Yea. Guess he'd look pretty stupid sitting there NOT doing it, playing w/ Mosaic . Yea Paul. You study finals. Right. And I got a bridge to sell you. (Rather sell him one of those Dr. Kevorkian Devices tho.... )

At some point Andy mentions a licence plate. Here's something the brain can handle. Paul Leaps aroun and dives into Linux, declairing what a great idea that is, and "I'll do that!"

Time goes on, we get the thing assembled slowly, adding and removing parts. PAul happily and proudly prints out his license plate after 10 minutes which is a rectancle the size of your palm with the letters THR-EEE on it. (we live on tower E 3, 3 E whatever.) Butt ugly. When I ask him "THAT took you 10 minutes?" He starts getting unbearably defensive. "I would LOVE, I would LOVE, to see you do that! I DARE you! Here, I DARE you to try to do that!" He offers his machine and it's wimpy little Linux paint program. Andy goes over and looks at the thing, and starts laughing at how easy it looks. Dil and I roll our eyes.

Later, all four of us all down on the floor hacking the thing. (no, he wasn't being useful. He was discussing my semantics after every 6 words I said.) Dil at some point takes the lighter we'll need to fire up the Esbit fuel tablet that goes in the boiler firebox, and powers the steam engine. He examines the thermal conductivity of our chain by holding the ends as paul lights the middle with the lighter. Dil makes the mistake of testing the middle once he is satisfied the ends don't get hot at all. He accidentally burns himself. He sucks his fingertip. Paul takes the lighter, and a piece of string, and sets about to light the string on fire, and watch it burn slowly up the wick. HE tries it, and it goes out suddenly. "What's worng with this string?" he asks.

Dilip explains it's dental floss.

He's even more pleased at this, and fires it up again. The point being, that Dental floss on fire dripps. It's actually pretty cool to watch. It's like liquid flame. Bluebrowm glowing dots the size of a small BB, that seem to hover down from the little round circular bubble of fire at the end of the floss. So we watch the drips for a while, and the dots hit the floor carpet and vanish. I'm cool w/ this, the rug isn't flaming, but theres a lunch tray with parts on it a foot away, and Dil and I suggest he move the floss over top of the tray. He agrees, and promptly slides the wick over his leg and to the tray. Of course, what he didn't notice, was that he had dripped one of the little fire balls down onto his sock, and sock burst into an arc of four inch high flames instantly, and swept down the bottom of his sock,"Whoa!" down the heel, swooped up the top of the sock, idiot smacking and stomping the foot at the floor smothering the flames with his bare hands,"Ho Ho.. he he.. ho ho.." swating the flames into oblivion as they curve at his jeans leg. The sock showed no instantanious damage. Paul is laughing/trembling his head off in understandable shock. We're staring in disbelief. There is much junenile commentray. like "You IDIOT! you set your FOOT on fire!"

"Naw, it was just my sock..."

Just in case you think he has half a brain, and this was accidental, and can be excused: Two minutes later he's still proud of his adventure with the fire, form which he escaped unscathed. Vvery MACHO thing to light your foot on fire. Yep. That's right. Chicks really dig it. Women go for this kind of thing. Fire, foot. Yep. Es MUY MACHO!

So he does it again.

Yep. Goes right ahead and puts the lighter to his sock. Yes, foot still in it, until he gets a flame. Does it a couple times but all he can get to happen is a little burning strand at the tip, then it goes out. Awwww.... what a SHAME. He didn't light himself up and become a christmas tree. Everybody here still remember stop drop and roll? Well, theres a first instruction, or disclaimer, that is often overlooked. The best way to prevent yourself from GETTING on fire in the first place, is NOT TO LIGHT YOUR FRIGGIN' FOOT ON FIRE IN THE FIRST PLACE. This just has a NASTY and well documented habit to engulfing you in flames. it is NOT a good Idea. The Surgeon general says "No Smoking Dammit!" The department of health has released formal documents proving that there is a direct link, observed in thousands of study cases with labrotory rats, that lighting yourself on fire leads to getting severe body encasing burns. THIS IS A KNOWN FACT! It is public knowledge! Am I missing somthing here, or is this guy stupid or what?! Auughhh!

And as IF that wasn't enough, he proceeded through out the night to grap hot metal objects, stick his finggers in flames, grap the little tray full of flaming Esbit, that had vibrated out of the running engine and fallen on the hall's tile floor, which had been running for 8 minutes straight, boiling a tank of water, and tryed to PLACE IT BACK IN THE BOILER WITH HIS BARE HANDS.

He WAS trying to show off. He does this all the time. It was obvious. So he graped it witrh is fingers and screamed "OW!" And tryied to grap it a differing way,, and sreamed "O

And realized he ought to just flick it across the floor, then lift it in, so he's flicking his tray as Dil tries to get in with the pair of needle nose we use to handle the lit tray... so he naps it with two fingers suddenly and tries to trow it in the firebox portal, and screams "Ow!" and drops it, and dil picks it up and putts it in... This is like one of those phycology diets, like, where everytime you try to eat a Hostess Ding-Dong, you get smacked in the head with a mallet? Every time you try to pick up the fire-spewing tray, you get burnt... untill eventually you realize that you should not pick up the flaming fire pan. Babies learn this real fast. It is very simple. El macho man, I can stick my hands in an open fire cause' I'm tough, can't figure this out. HE WASN"T DRUNK. No... i'd belive it if he was, but the idoit just kept trying to pick up the fire. Esbit gets hot enough to melt your hand for crying out loud! IDIOT! IDIOT! IDOIT! Aughhh!!!

This is driving me nuts... Thank god his grades are plummeting. At least there is SOME order int he universe. Anyway, it feels real good to get one chance to rave mindlessly about my roommate. Don't get me wrong, in case one of you ever sends this back to him, he's not a bad guy... he just... well... um...

I asked him If I can't tell this story to everyone and he said... sure. I don't care. Go ahead. I don't care.


The epilog to all this is that there is a chance that he will be moving out this coming semester. Moving down the hall to a guy who had his roomie move to a fraternety house. Praise be! Peace and quiet? Anyway... still an increasingly plausible "if". (see? Stories DO have happy endings :)

Feel free to post this around anyone you want. Just nothing indiscriminate. It's just one of those things. Hopefully It'll come back to him, and he'll be so PO'ed he'll floor me on the spot. Better yet, post it to his parents. I'd love that. Remember boys and girls, that's STATLER. S-T-A-T-L-E-R. Not HENNING.... STA-TLER. Synonimous with Dorkoronomus-when-it-comes-to-fire-safety.

Hey, but he's slick on Linux!

Don't think of me poorly becuase I have written a whole message dedicated to ranking on my roommate. I DO have a life, really... And it IS funny, common... hey,... don't look at me like that!... Honestly, it's KINDA funny...hey!... ok, FINE!... geez...

....though crowd. ;)

And actually... DON'T send it back to him. ;)


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