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Encounters with friends & strangers

Stomach Made Of Steel, Head Full Of Rocks

, , , , , | Friendly | November 29, 2021

I clear out the shared fridge regularly. We’ve had arguments over it before, but after I showed my flatmates what was dripping on their food — the green mold farm at the back of the fridge — they quickly changed their minds.

Everyone, that is, apart from [Housemate]. [Housemate] hates me for it; he hates being told what to do and he hates not getting his own way. I blame it on his spoilt lifestyle.

Housemate: “Why did you throw this out? It only went out of date yesterday!”

Me: “Don’t tell me you are going to eat that? There’s fur all over the cheese.”

Housemate: “I was going to cut it off!”

Me: “Firstly, this mold grows through the cheese; it doesn’t spread across the surface. You can’t cut it off. Secondly, you left it uncovered on top of everyone else’s food. I’ve told you. Everyone has told you. It’s not hard. Put your food in containers or it will get thrown out.”

Housemate: “You need to pay for the container, then.”

Me: “What? No. Your food, your responsibility.”

He tries to argue with me.

Me: “No, everyone here agrees with me. You act like an adult or you don’t use the fridge.”

Later, he tried to convince the housemates to get me out. I shared photos of some of [Housemate]’s food I’d thrown out over the past week or so. No one sided with him. Everyone told him to just grow up and think of others. [Housemate], in response, packed an overnight bag and disappeared late that day.

But not before unplugging the fridge.

No one noticed until much later the next day. We had to throw a lot away as it was the middle of summer. [Housemate] came back pretending to be innocent, but it was obviously him.

We agreed to kick him out, bagged his stuff, and told him to come to get it. [Housemate]’s biggest concern? He wanted “his milk” from the fridge. I got the (now) warm milk from the bin and put it with his things, and yes, he actually took it with him.

This Request Is So(fa) Unreasonable

, , , , , | Friendly | November 29, 2021

I rent a room from [Woman]’s mom. She is okay as a landlady, but [Woman] is just a horrible human being. I could write a book on the things she does without a shred of regret or remorse. The worst that comes to mind is when she pretended to be disabled and then started a fundraiser for herself for said fictional issue. Thankfully, few people fell for it and it didn’t go through.

Something happens to [Woman]’s job, benefits, or both, because I see her at the house with a load of her things. While I don’t listen in, it is clear that money is an issue and she can’t afford her flat.

Immediately, [Woman] wants “her room” back and wants me to sleep on the sofa. I say no; I pay for the room. [Woman]’s mother offers a discount. I say no; I have a contract. It’s my room while I’m paying for it.

Landlady: “Well, you don’t give me much of an option, do you?”

Me: “We have a contract, I always pay on time, and I keep the room tidy, so I’m not sleeping on a sofa.”

Landlady: “I’ll have to evict you!”

Me: “Fine, once you give me sufficient notice. That’s six months.”

Woman: “I can’t sleep on a sofa for six months!”

Me: “I’m a paying tenant, not a guest. I have rights to be here.”

They try to bicker with me, but I tell them to just check my contract. Fearing some sort of revenge, I photograph and video my room top to bottom, just in case they try to lie and evict me early.

Nothing happens until a month later when I hear the smashing of glass. I find [Woman] in the kitchen, glass all over the floor, and a wall cabinet hanging off the wall.

Woman: “Oh, no, what have you done? Tenants who damage their room can get kicked out.”

Me: “‘Room,’ exactly. You know this is the kitchen and not part of the rental agreement? Your mom was quite clear on that. Any damage is yours to fix.”

Woman: “What? No! I… Mom!”

I could hear them shouting at each other through the walls. I only wished I could hear them better.

I soon found another room to rent with a family that spent most of the year abroad. I paid the same rate but I had the house pretty much to myself.

Don’t Worry, Someone Will Make It A Miniseries Eventually

, , , , , | Friendly | November 28, 2021

I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, but I’ve always avoided those epic series that take up an entire shelf in the store. You know the ones — six, eight, ten books, all doorstops nearly 1,000 pages long. It’s just a personal preference; I don’t like waiting decades to see how the story ends.

I’m working in a bookstore, and a coworker whose taste I trust finally talks me into giving one of the more famous of these series a try. I enjoy the first two books well enough, but the third is a struggle; it’s downright boring, and after a week I’m barely halfway through. The next time I see my coworker, we talk about it.

Coworker: “How are you liking [Series]?”

Me: “I thought the first two were great, but I just cannot get into the third one. Tell me it gets better?”

Coworker: “Oh, yeah, the middle books really drag, but things pick up again in the sixth!”

Me: “So, just 3,000 more pages until the good stuff.”

I did not finish the series.

If Only There Was A Simple Solution For Scrubbing Away Bad Flatmates

, , , , | Friendly | November 27, 2021

I’m the author of this story. Since my original plan to first change the lock and then call the landlord didn’t work out, I decided to move out of the flat and look for new accommodation entirely. The air in the house was tense, and by this point, we barely talked to each other… which led to this incident a few days before I finally moved away for good.

I decided to cook some risotto for myself, but due to unfamiliarity with the recipe, some rice burned and formed a thick, hardy crust that couldn’t be simply washed off with some soap. I decided to save myself some effort and use the baking soda plus vinegar trick to soften it up for later, so I laid out a layer of baking soda, poured the vinegar, and set a two-hour timer as I waited for it to take effect.

At some point before the timer expired, I heard a knock on my bedroom door.

Me: “What is it?”

Flatmate: “Dude, what the f***?  You’ve been b****ing about me and [Other Flatmate] leaving dirty dishes and cooking stuff around, yet when you do it, it’s fine?”

Me: *Raising my eyebrow* “What are you talking about? I’m pretty sure I put the fork and spoons in the dishwasher; it’s not like I have to run it as soon as I finish a meal.”

He scoffed at me and looked at me smugly.

Flatmate: “And what about the pot? Won’t you wash it, huh? That doesn’t count because it’s too hard? Is your prissy little a** too heavy to do it today?”

I finally got where he was going with this, and I was not happy.

Me: “That’s because I burnt rice in the pot. That crust is like tank plating; do you expect me to scratch it away with my bare hands?”

Flatmate: “Oh, f*** you. No, you aren’t going to bulls*** me. You totally left it there dirty. I have got better things to do with my afternoon than cleaning up after you and being b****ed at.”

Me: “And I don’t want to waste my time cleaning a—”

Flatmate: “Ah-ha! Now you admit it!”

Me: *Grumbling* “If you’d let me finish, and if you did something besides strolling around the town and partying in this flat, you’d know about how to remove crusts from pots.”

Flatmate: “Yeah, with elbow grease, which you clearly didn’t use.”

Me: “No! I used vinegar and some bicarbonate to soften the d*** thing up.”

The timer goes off right about then.

Me: “There, the timer has expired. Now I’m going to show you.”

Flatmate: *Crossing his arms* “Hmpf.”

I went into the kitchen, opened the tap, and started scrubbing away, with entire pieces basically sliding off as the fizzling mush got washed away. [Flatmate] looked sheepish to be sure, but at that point, I was completely done with his and the other guy’s s*** and refused to eat at home for the remaining week I was there until I managed to move into the all-male dorm I had already planned to spend the rest of the academic year in before looking for a new flat entirely after the summer. My new flatmates are much more reasonable nowadays!

Flatmates Like This Make Me Sick

Soothing The Limping Cat, The Barking Dog, And The Standoffish Horse

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 26, 2021

I’m the author of Soothing The Skittish Cat. The cat in that story passed away at eighteen years old, not nearly as skittish as she was when I met her. One day, our downstairs neighbor knocks on our door, and my wife answers.

Neighbor: “Hey, is your wife home?”

Wife: “Yeah, what’s up?”

Neighbor: “My cat’s limping and he won’t let me near him, so I think he’s hurt. He likes her. Do you think she’d come take a look?”

I go downstairs and the cat limps right up to me. I immediately notice what looks like a bite mark on his hind leg.

Me: “Ah, okay. You need to get him to the vet. It looks like something bit him and it’s infected.”

I scoop the cat up into my arms and deposit him into the carrier the neighbor has, the cat purring the entire time.

Neighbor: “Thank you. I knew you could get him to behave.”

Me: “You’re welcome but… why me? He is your cat. Sure, he likes me, but…”

Neighbor: “Oh, he only lets you pick him up. Sort of like how [Neighbor #2]’s dog only lets you walk up to her porch without barking his head off. I’ve lived here for ten years and he still barks at me. You moved in last year and he’ll walk right up to you.”

Wife: “And my mom’s dog will literally only listen to you. You literally trained her because she wouldn’t listen to Mom at first. And that horse we saw at the state fair that apparently doesn’t let people touch him but wouldn’t let you stop scratching him, then he put his head on your shoulder and went to sleep — even the owner was amazed.”

Neighbor: *To my wife* “I’m pretty sure your wife is a witch.”

Wife: “She has a lot of familiars. You should have seen [Skittish Cat] when she first moved in with me; she got right in [My Name]’s lap on day one.”

The cat was fine after a round of antibiotics but I had to coax him out of the carrier when the neighbor brought him home. Apparently, I’ve been designated the friendly neighborhood witch!

Soothing The Skittish Cat