Monday, December 16, 2013

My Duck Fetish Housemates and Where it All Went Wrong (Part Three of Three)

Between their duck fetish and my inability to clean to their heightened standards. I knew things in the apartment were not going to work out. However I was biding my time as I couldn't really afford to escape. I, of course, was assuming I had a choice in the matter.
At first I thought we were going to have another argument about tooth-brushing the skirting boards. So you can imagine my surprise when I was given my notice.
That was it. One weeks notice and then I'd be homeless. I looked to my quiet roommate for sympathy.
But she was less than forthcoming. I had to find somewhere to live, someone to live with these nut jobs and move all my belongings to some other godforsaken apartment all in one week. I started to panic.
After a lot of time spent pacing I decided to get my act together. I arranged viewings around the city and spent the next few days running in and out of apartments and showing my apartment to people. In order to get someone to take it as soon as possible, I decided to act like it was a sales pitch.
I even managed to distract viewers from the fact that my housemates were sitting on the couch glowering at them as they walked around the apartment. They were even occasionally growling and making strange hostile murmuring noises.
After the first round of showings I had several enthusiastic candidates. But my housemates had a few additional no-nos. They wanted to make sure that their new housemate had none of my traits. They also ruled out several nationalities as potential housemates based on their perception of that nationality. This included their own country-men.
So I started the process again and eventually found a very quiet girl who was willing to take the room. I tried getting her to sign the rules without actually reading them.
After an hour spent convincing her the rules were just a precaution she eventually signed. I was all set to move out. On the day of my departure my housemate came to the door. I assumed it was to wish me no hard feelings. But instead he was looking for money for the next months bills.
That was it. I'd had enough of these duck-loving loons. So I told him I'd pay him in the kitchen in a minute. I waited for him to go in there and start pottering about. Then very quietly I grabbed my stuff and legged it out of the building, down the street and made my way to my new home.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Duck Fetish Housemates and Where it All Went Wrong (Part Two of Three)

So needless to say I was finding it hard to deal with the knowledge of the duck fetish. I could barely make eye contact with anyone and I spent my days slipping out of the kitchen to avoid mentioning it. Tensions in the house started to rise. I think they knew I was freaked out by their bedroom antics and they started cracking down on the house rules. I would stumble out of the shower to the sound of a stopwatch beeping.
I was determined to make it work. It was my week to clean the apartment and knowing I'd insulted them with my comments about the "cleansing week" being religous I decided to make amends. I was going to make the apartment squeaky clean. So squeaky and clean that they would love me forever. I donned my cleaning clothes and got to work. I broke into the cleaning routine lightly. With a little dance around the kitchen to Dirty By Christina Aguilera. It's important to note at this point that I have a terrible habit of cleaning to my own off-key renditions of terrible pop-songs.
It might also be a good idea to mention that these renditions are complete with compulsive dance moves.
My housemates steered clear of the operation. They walked in on me scaling the kitchen cupboards and belting out a motivational tune and that was enough to convince them to remain in their rooms while I scrubbed.
I was determined. I cleaned and scrubbed and sang and cleaned and scrubbed and cleaned...
Until I was sure I had cleansed places no man had ever cleansed before.
I informed my housemates. Sure we would now, finally, be friends. There would be no weirdness about the duck thing. We would be united in our dust-free apartment. I was alarmed to find that was not quite the reaction my efforts resulted in.
I was then frog-marched into the kitchen. Where my housemate walked straight to the couch and ripped the cushion cover off of one of the cushions and pointed with a look of contempt at it.
But apparently he wasn't looking for the English word for the cushion. He was simply horrified that I had not hoovered the insides of the cushions. I stood gaping at him as he donned his cleaning outfit to show me how to do things properly.
After an exhilarating tour of the various dust traps in our house and a scintillating step by step guide on how to clean a skirting board I was still in shock.
When the tour was over he told me to ask him any questions I might have. So I did.
When he didn't answer I simply went on a small rant about his duck antics. How if I could put with the duck fetish, then perhaps he could be a bit lenient if I forgot one of the several steps involved in removing dust from the skirting boards. It became clear from the look in his eyes that he was considering the best way to dispose of me.

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Duck Fetish Housemates and Where it All Went Wrong (Part One of Three)

About two years ago when I first moved to Dublin City I was really excited. I had this vision of a New-York Sitcom type life. After spending my formative years in bog holes and blackberry bushes, in the back end of nowhere, I was ready. This was going to be a new beginning and I tried as usual to have realistic expectations.
But Dublin was pricey and I soon realised that there is no such thing as the dream apartment. There is the apartment that will have you and you accept gratefully whether or not the toilet works and the ceiling is caving in. So I ended up in a teeny tiny shared room. There was barely space to stand between my bed and my roommates.
The second issue arose when I tried to unpack. It soon became clear that by Dublin standards I was something of a hoarder and there just wasn't enough space to accommodate all my belongings.
But this was not going to deter me. I decided to befriend my new housemates. After all this was never going to be like the TV sitcoms if we didn't get to know each other. I was living with what appeared to be a lovely Brazilian couple and a very shy girl who barely spoke. So at our first house-breakfast I attempted to make conversation.
I assumed of course that they just weren't morning people. Having grown up with my mother not being able to piece a sentence together until the coffee kicks in , I wasn't surprised.
However, my quiet roommate made it rather clear that they simply weren't chatty folk. That afternoon I was presented with the official house rules.
 A most welcoming list of laws to abide by.
The list had at least twenty rules varying in levels of normalcy. Being my usual tactful self I tried to make light of the situation.
Needless to say nobody was impressed.
I made a few more light-hearted and sarcastic remarks.
 That fell heavy on what was a very silent audience.
After that I got a bit nervy. I tried asking about the girl I'd replaced and why she had left. But my shy roommate didn't offer much in the way of useful information.
Despite my misgivings it seemed like it was too early to give up on the living arrangement yet. After all I'd only been in Dublin a week and they were just quite people. I could cope with silence and perhaps the awkward feeling would subside. I was going to make the best of it. That was until I discovered a weird and disturbing thing. One day I came home earlier than planned and heard duck noises coming from the Brazilian couples room.
At first I thought they might just be watching a documentary. But is soon became clear that this was not the case. I hoped then that perhaps this was a once-off. But a few days later, when it happened again, I realised I'd moved in with some rather unusual people.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grand Theft Tricycle by a Three Year Old

When my brother was three he realised that he could get whatever he wanted by sitting on his bottom and screaming very loudly in public spaces. He would refuse to move from wherever he was sitting until he was bought whatever his heart desired. My parents often gave in just to stop people staring at them like they hit their baby. But then my mother had enough.
My father was not impressed by this suggestion.
With that he decided to take us all toy shopping. Rather than have to deal with us all in the shop, he left my sisters and I sulking in the car. 
He then marched into the toy store with my brother trailing behind him.
It wasn't long before my brother spotted something he liked the look of. A small tricycle. 
He threw his usual tantrum.
My father probably thought he'd solved the mystery of child-rearing when my brother stopped crying immediately. 
But my brother was quite a conniving child. He took a different tact. 
He hopped straight on the tricycle and started cycling towards the exit. 
My father didn't even notice as my brother pedaled furiously towards escape. He made his way under the till barriers and out through the automatic doors. 
From the car we could see him emerging. 
We glowered as he made his way towards the car his arms outstretched in glory. 
We were more than a little annoyed. 
Then we noticed the giant man sprinting after our brother trying to catch him. It was the toy store's security man. 
My father was following sheepishly behind and looked mortified when he was presented with my brother. 
Needless to say we excitedly recounted the tale to my mother. 
The next time we went to the toy store they had implemented some new security measures. 

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