I apologize for not having a Friday Funny last week...But, I'm back this week before I head to Lexington for the Battle for the Governor's Cup...So without further ado...
In my post two weeks ago, I talked a lot about college and making friends. I mentioned my old roommate, Clay Johnson, and how we came to live together freshman year. All of that got me to thinking about how different living with roommates is compared to living at home with your family, or living by yourself. I've done all three at different points in my life, so I have plenty of comparisons to make. And one thing is for sure: living with roommates is a unique experience where making memories and lifelong friendships (or enemies) are both unavoidable conclusions.
While I lived in Lexington, I moved a lot. In the 7 years (2003-2010) that I lived there, I had 7 different addresses, including three in the span of 4 months. I had a lot of different roommates: Clay, Matt Dowling, Lance Lucas, Tyler Mays, Steve Quattrocchi, Kenton Lanham, Noah Burton, Stan...Moving to a new place and getting a new roommate or two in the fall was about as predictable as registering for classes before each semester. I don't have anything bad to say about any of those guys...They are all my friends, and were good roommates. Sure, we all had arguments and got under one another's skin at one time or another. But, all things considered, living with those guys was always a good experience. Sometimes you realize, though, that just being friends is better than sharing a bathroom.
That being said, all of the different living situations I had during my years in Lexington offered up a lot of experiences for lifelong memories and some hilarious stories. I probably don't remember half of them, but I would venture to say that if all of those guys and I worked together, we could write a book that would sell millions. But, for now, I just want to share a few of the funny moments with you.
One of the things about living with roommates is that, like it or not, their drama becomes your drama. It's unavoidable. Most of the time, arguments with girlfriends or things like that occur while they are at home, and since you live in the same place, you will likely have to deal with at least some of it. One instance took place my freshman year. It's not really an instance, but more of the culmination of events that occurred over several months.
Our senior year of high school, Clay began a very short and insignificant relationship with a girl named Jenna that was a few years our junior. The couple dated for about two weeks, and Clay ended the relationship. Part of it was because he was moving to Lexington and the long distance would be extremely difficult. Part of it was the fact that Jenna was borderline crazy, and I got to witness that firsthand very shortly after we moved into Blanding I at UK.
The late-night calls began the first week of school, as best I can remember. She would call almost every night, and every night the conversation was essentially the same. Jenna would beg for Clay to take her back, Clay would adamantly say no (and he would be nice about it) and then she'd hang up. She'd undoubtedly call back at 3 or 4 in the morning, and considering I slept just three feet away, I usually heard the phone, or at least heard Clay saying, "Jenna, it is 4:00 in the morning...I have a test in four hours. STOP CALLING ME."
After a couple of months of this, Clay and I were both getting fed up. He had switched gears in how he dealt with it, and would be as mean as a human can possibly be to this girl, and it still didn't do any good. It almost seemed the meaner he got, the more she tried. It was ridiculous. So, I finally reached my boiling point and told Clay that the next time she called at 4 AM I was going to answer the phone and go off. I had had enough.
Well, the time came, and according to Clay, he came over to my bed and tried frantically to wake me up before she hung up. He said I mumbled something, rolled over, and went right back to sleep. To this day, I am so mad at myself for not waking up that night. And, as best I can remember, I never got another opportunity. The calls stopped shortly thereafter.
Sophomore year, Clay, Matt Dowling, Tyler Mays, and I moved out of the dorms and into an off-campus apartment. Most of that year, our apartment was THE place to hang out. We had someone at our apartment that didn't live there literally every night for about 6 months straight. It got old, sure, but for the most part, it was a fun year. Here we are as freshman (from left, Matt, me, Clay, Tyler), donning our Halloween costumes we purchased at Goodwill:
Tyler, admittedly, took a lot of abuse from the rest of us. It was all in good fun, and a lot of it was deserved, but we always sort of ganged up on him. Around Christmas, Matt, Clay, and I decorated a tree and put up Christmas lights. Tyler, on the other hand, made fun us and was just being a total Scrooge. So, after Tyler went to bed that night, we all waited a while. Then, at around 2 in the morning, we got him back.
We had printed off the lyrics to some of the most timeless Christmas carols and stood directly outside of Tyler's door and sang carols as loud as we possibly could. We would get through a song, die laughing for a while, stay silent to make him think we were done, and then bust out in a different song. We did this for about half an hour. For some reason, Tyler never came out to tell us to shut up.
Tyler also had the uncanny ability to leave his stuff in every place except where it needed to be. He'd leave his backpack in the living room floor, his shoes and hat in Clay's room, dirty plates on the coffee table...If he could get it out, it wouldn't be where it needed to be. I can't say much, because I know I've done the same, but in my own defense, I'm not nearly as bad as Tyler was. One evening, the rest of us got fed up with it and decided to throw all of Tyler's stuff into a box, then, we threw open his bedroom door, dumped the box out all over the floor, then slammed the door shut. Tyler could be heard saying, "Thanks, guys." I think he got the point.
Our junior year, Clay, Matt, Lance Lucas, and I all lived in an old house on Woodland Avenue. I mean, the place was a total dump. There were countless code violations, and any inspection by the city of Lexington surely would have left the place condemned. But, it had a great back deck, off-street parking, and was within walking distance of all the classroom buildings and Commonwealth Stadium. Plus, it was a great place to have parties because you literally couldn't screw it up more than it already was.
One random weeknight, the four of us were up late sitting on the front porch. It was about 2:00 in the morning, so traffic was light. But, at one point, a car drove up the street from Euclid Avenue towards Columbia and the library, and then circled back around. Their windows were down, and we could easily tell at least four of the five guys in the car were heavily intoxicated. A minute or so later, we saw the same car come back up the street with one of the idiots hanging out with a baseball bat hitting the sideview mirrors off of every car parked on the opposite side of the street. We all sat stunned.
We watched as the car stopped at the end of the street, and one of the guys got out and began jumping from car to car, running down the street on the tops of them. Then, right in front of our house, he jumped up and with both feet, kicked the windshield out of a parked car. We immediately knew we had to call the police.
The car then left and came back a couple of minutes later, parked ON THE SAME STREET THEY HAD VANDALIZED, and they all got out and walked up towards the south campus dorms. A few minutes later, the police arrived.
We explained the situation and one of the officers shook his head and simply said, "(Screw) it. Let's tow it." The cops thanked us, and left. The next morning, the car was gone.
Our senior and fifth years, Clay and I lived in a townhouse off Tates Creek Road. The first year, Kenton Lanham was our roommate, and when he left to go to law school the following year, Noah Burton moved in to replace him. I'd like to introduce you to Noah.
Noah is an interesting guy. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and really has that typical midwestern persona about him. Great friend, great roommate...But, Noah definitely had his quirks.
Noah was always in the kitchen making something, and typically it was something strange. And, most of the time, Noah wasn't 100% sure what he was doing. He didn't have a whole lot of common sense, and while he was a good guy, socially he was a bit awkward. (Note: I do not mean any of that in a mean way, I'm just trying to describe him. I like Noah.)
I just want to give you a few examples. One time, Noah decided he would try his hand at making meat loaf. Now, I'm not totally sure what he did...I've never made meat loaf. But, I have never in my 26 years seen so much grease outside of a deep fryer in my life. There was a huge slab of beef floating in the pan with a small lake of grease. I could hardly look at it, and Noah somehow ate it. And said it was good. I don't know. Once he was grilling chicken, and asked me what chicken looked like when it was done. He did the same with hamburgers.
One time, Noah decided to do dishes, which was awfully nice of him. He did dishes a lot, so I can't complain. But, on this particular night, we were out of dish detergent that one would put in the dishwasher, so Noah decided to use liquid dish soap as a substitute. You can imagine the result. I was not at home when it happened, and only got to see the last bit of it being mopped up, but according to Clay...There were soap suds about a foot thick all over the kitchen.
One of the most hilarious things that ever happened (at least to Clay and I) you will probably think is dumb, but I'm going to tell it anyway. It was a random winter evening, and Clay and I were watching a Georgetown/Syracuse basketball game on ESPN. Noah got home and walked into the living room and sat down and watched with us. Neither Clay nor I had any rooting interest at all in the game, we just liked watching basketball. At the end of the first half, Georgetown hit a jumper at the buzzer and you would have thought we were watching Kentucky sew up a national championship. Noah's reaction (with accompanying fist pump):
Clay looked up with half a boneless chicken wing hanging out of his mouth, and I stared at Noah like he was the elephant in the room.
"You a big Georgetown fan?" I asked Noah. Clay and I both busted out laughing.
"No, I just hate Syracuse."
"Well...It's only halftime."
Probably not funny to you...But, Clay and I still talk about that one from time to time.
These few instances don't even begin to scratch the surface. There are literally countless stories I could tell about my experiences with the roommates I had in college. Not all of them are funny, and some of them are even bad because of fights or arguments we had. But, in the end, we all grew up as people and we are all friends to this day.
Living four hours away from my parents, those guys became my family. And, you could see that in our interactions. Despite our differences and petty arguments that would arise, at the end of the day, we had each other's backs. I guess that's the beauty of having roommates, isn't it?