Oct 282003
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

College presents many challenges to the unsuspecting, innocent

applicant. We’re all expecting the usual tests – how much drinking

we can do and still maintain a respectable GPA, for example. It’s

the challenges we don’t expect that kick us swiftly in the groin,

challenges like getting along with our roommates.

Sure, this isn’t a problem for most people. Statistically,

you’re likely to stick with your roommate through the whole year.

But during that time a roomie may drive you nuts. It turns out that

a lot of people, when filling out those little roommate selection

surveys, forgot to mention their rampant kleptomania or, worse yet,

their obsession with N’Sync.

A lot of people just take a “live and let live” policy of

tolerance towards their roommate’s eccentricities. These people are


Let’s say your roommate is playing some wretched song that makes

your teeth grate, your eyes roll back in your head and your mouth

froth. First, get a rabies shot. Then we can take care of the music

problem. Your goal here is to make the music as annoying for your

roommate as it is for you. To do this, wait until you’re alone in

the room and pour a box of Rice Krispies just behind the speaker’s

cover. This will make a fine, static noise that makes any boy band

sound like the monsters they really are.

And sometimes there are problems that just can’t be helped, like

if your roommate has an early class on the day you’ve scheduled to

sleep in. Clearly in a situation like this, the blame can’t fall on

anyone, except of course for your stupid roommate, whose stupid

alarm clock wakes you up every stupid time. There are many fair and

equitable solutions for this problem such as a quieter alarm


Obviously, you can muck with the alarm, and set it for a time

you’d rather wake up. But that’s tamper-evident. You want something

totally untraceable and brilliant. For my next trick, you’ll need a

stockpile of clocks. It’s expensive, but don’t worry, you can

return them once you’re done. Every day, just before roomie wakes

up, switch the current clock with a fresh one. If it’s a black

clock, replace it with a dark grey one. Then the next day with a

lighter grey. Eventually, doing this, you can even replace a normal

black clock with something that can’t wake you up, such as a

toaster. Burned fingers are a small price to pay for continued


And of course there’s the problem of “overnight guests.” Sure,

it’s your room, but you don’t mind, because your roommate is some

day going to return the favor, right? Wrong! The night you want the

room to yourself, your roommate will have selfishly scheduled a

test. And this act of spite must be preemptively punished.

The best way to do this is with three simple words, “Party. My

room.” These words spread faster than a lot of diseases, and are

even harder to get rid of. There is no better mood killer than a

bunch of random drunkards invading, raiding the fridge and crashing

on the couch. Just make sure to shrink-wrap all your stuff before

they arrive.

According to the Hall Assignment Offices, you are statistically

likely to stay with your roommate for both semesters of your stay

in the dorms. But please, don’t let open dialogue and clear

communication with your roommate turn you into a statistic. Follow

this great advice and you’ll soon have a room all to yourself and a

comfy white jacket to keep you warm at night.

Mr. Kastner is a sophomore studying English. His column runs

biweekly on Wednesdays.




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