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My first house: A den of filth, crime, and a carnivorous frog

During my first year in college my best friend Jesse and I rented a three-bedroom house that quickly turned into a hopeless den of depravity. After doing some math we realized our rent would go down by a third if we got another room-mate, so we invited our skater punk friend, Cade, to move in with us. By the time our lease was up we had six room-mates and around seven couch surfers there at any given time, plus whoever was there for the party that night.

It started out as a popular party place but eventually got so nasty that girls quit coming over. When our parents would come over they’d just pull up and honk because they wouldn’t come inside. There was so much spilled beer and filth on the floor you couldn’t walk through the living room wearing a clean pair of socks or they’d be ruined.

At one point we had a “guy on the couch.” That is, a person none of us knew who showed up at a party and slept on our couch for two weeks until one day he vanished as mysteriously as he had appeared. We never did find out his name.

Cade had this awesome car alarm that had a female voice screaming “Help Me!” instead of your typical honking and beeping. Everyone thought that was hilarious so they’d get drunk and spend all night kicking his bumper to trigger the alarm. The cops were called on us on a regular basis.

Shortly after we moved in we discovered you could scald someone taking a shower by flushing the toilet. There was only one bathroom and the lock didn’t work; so every time someone took a shower you’d have a line of assholes waiting to run in and flush the toilet. It got to the point where we’d all go to our parent’s house to shower.

My crazy older brother Stephen moved in and brought a stray cat he found by the dumpster behind a Mexican restaurant. The cat’s name was “The Juggalo.” It was filthy, mean, and never shut up. Then Jesse bought an African Pixie frog named Maynard. Maynard weighed about five pounds, walked like...

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