Weekly Whack: The Roommate Contract
The Roommate Contract
February 2, 1997

This was definitely an eventful weekend in the life of Feff. I went from slicing salami on Friday to sitting here in my dorm room writing this Whack on Sunday. After an unbearably long six week winter break, Feff is finally back on campus. However, in-between my last day of work, Friday, and my return to college, Sunday, was an action-packed Saturday that included saying goodbye to friends and family, restocking on toothpaste and White Out, and unpacking all my clothes from first semester, washing them, and then packing them again. So the whole transformation from mild-mannered deli worker to super college boy (or is it super deli worker to mild mannered college boy?) can be quite exhausting. But I was quickly energized when I learned that my friend Scott Ikeda, the Hawaiian kid I mentioned in a couple other Whacks, was giving up his considerably larger room to move in with me, and fill the gap left when my old roommate, Brian "Duckie" Smallwood (yes, that is his real name), left at the end of last semester. In fact, I was so energized that I drafted up a contract, which laid out a few of my rules and regulations, that Scott had to sign before he became my official roommate. I figured I would share it with you, so here it is:

Rule #1: No Hawaiian music can be played under any circumstances while I am present in the room. If you are playing Hawaiian music and I am not in the room, you must place a sock on the doorknob so in case I return to the room I know that Hawaiian is being played before I enter. (Anybody who ever suffered through listening to Hawaiian music legend Keali'i Reichel, can definitely sympathize with me.)

Rule #2: There will be no early morning air raids drills. I understand that Pearl Harbor was a very traumatic experience for Hawaiians, but that was over fifty years ago, and the chances of our dorm room to be a target of a surprise attack by the Japanese are quite slim. Also, I kind of get claustrophobic sitting under my desk for too long.

Rule #3: We will not be watching CNN twenty-four hours a day. I understand you are a political science major, but there are many other channels out there besides CNN that must be explored. It's not like I have anything against CNN, it's just that I refuse to watch The Capital Gang when I can be watching The Simpsons.

Rule #4: The heat will not be turned on when the temperature outside is above fifty degrees Fahrenheit. I understand that you come from a place that has a much warmer climate, but you are just going to have to grow an extra layer of skin like the rest of us, and learn how to handle cold temperatures. I will not sweat just because your tolerance to cold weather is inferior to mine.

Rule #5: You will not hide under my covers when it begins to snow. I know you haven't seen snow before, but it is a natural meteorological occurrence. Contrary to popular belief among Hawaiians, snow is not composed of pure sulfuric acid, and it is not a punishment from Mali, the god of the clouds. Snow is simply frozen water, so you will not need that gas mask you brought back with you.

Rule #6: If you need to leave me a message on the marker board, it is to be written in English only. I'm sorry, but I just do not understand all your little Japanese hieroglyphics. I prefer to read things from left to right, not up and down. We will all avoid a lot of confusion if we just try and stick with one alphabet.

Rule #7: There will be no meetings of the Hawaiian Revolutionary Council held in my room. No matter how much you try and sway me with your propaganda, I will just never agree with your cause, and I won't allow you and your rebel friends to hold meetings in my room. I mean get over it, Hawaii is no longer an independent state, and you will never be able to get your queen back in power.

Rule #8: All of the clocks in the room will be set to Eastern Standard Time. I do not care what the time is all the way over in the Pacific. I like my time zone. I have never left time zone in the nineteen plus years I have been mobile. Therefore I want expect clocks in my room to be set to my time zone. Don't try to turn our dorm room into one of those vintage newsrooms with all the clocks on the wall set to different time zones.

Rule #9: You will not be roasting any pigs in my room. First of all, the room is not really that big, so I don't think you'll be able to fit a spigot in there. And second of all, it is just way too messy. I do not want all that mess in my room, and I'm certainly will not be cleaning it up. You will just have to find some other place to hold your cult- esque rituals.

Rule #10: We will not be lava-proofing the entire exterior of our dorm room. I have heard that the lava-proofing procedure is tiresome, and quite an ordeal to go through, and I really do not want to have to deal with it. In all seriousness, I couldn't tell you where the nearest volcano is, so I don't think we ever have to worry about lava-flow reaching Madison, New Jersey. The only lava you'll have to deal with here is in the lava soap you'll use if you ever get grease on your hands from changing the tire on one of those mechanical donkey carts that we mainlanders like to drive around in occasionally.

Well for some reason I think that ten is a good number to stop with when you're making lists of rules, so that is where this Whack will end. So to conclude for this week, Duckie will be surely missed; Hawaiian music is almost as bad as country music; and New Jersey may get a bad rap, but at least we don't have to worry about volcanoes.

Now for this week's very special feature, the top ten advantages of my new roommate:

10. I get to learn about life in another country
9. I will no longer be referred to as Duckie's roommate
8. All the rice I can eat
7. Posters of girls in grass skirts
6. One more person for the tabloids to hound when I become famous
5. I will no longer be the only one to take out the trash
4. Now I won't be the one with the worst music taste on the hall
3. He never shies away from a good debate
2. Endless pages of Whack material
1. Four words: chocolate covered Macadamia nuts