Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Storm Warning: Bardagul's Apartment!

Ladies and gentlemen I have bad news. There is a very sad and grueling affair erupting in an old, crummy apartment in Quezon City right now.

That's right, I'm talking about the storm that has hit our home, and every other apartment where guys live with college buddies, believe you me. It happens to all of us. It happens to the best of us. My flatmates a.k.a. the Tongays and I, are whole-hearted proponents of the zen-nature-hippie way of life, and not in an entirely good kind of way. Let's think about that for a bit.

Let me give you a little bit of history. My crew and I have been mates and bros for the past 10 years. Since College. Up until now, well after we have all graduated and started working in the rat race. Yes, it's disgusting, I know. However, I must say that my apartment-folk and I are a responsible group of guys who 'clean' our apartment every Saturday (which incidentally falls after 'The Saturday great Gran Matador party night'.. you know, if some puke needs to be wiped and all.) Okay, so maybe that's not so true, but we definitely sweep it at least once a month. Alright, the truth is we haven't technically turned the apartment inside out with cleaning items yet this year, (it smelled decidedly funky when we moved in anyway) and I believe I used to have five roommates but one is now buried somewhere under old copies of FHM, Stuff, Maxim, UNO mags, dare i say CONDOMS?, DVD Porn Covers, and empty plastic bags from 7/11.

Now, the girls that live in the third apartment of the same building have worked out a sucky system for cleaning up: they take turns to clean each week, or have designated zones of responsibility. Who the hell thinks up these things, anyway?! I'm sure our system of NOT cleaning at all is way better because the girls are constantly bitching about who gets to do the leftover chores. That, and PMS. We guys, on the other hand, have never once fought about it. Here's a short example:

(oh yeah, the names have been changed to geeky Warcraft Usernames to protect the non-existent identities of the people involved.)

Pugiun: Zh'alyen, sayo ba yung brief na may peanut butter don sa lababo sa CR? [is this your brief with the peanut butter in the sink in the toilet?]
Zh'alyen: Yep, uhuh. Bakit? [yes, why?]
Pugiun: Okay lang, tutal baby pa naman to' e. [ah, it's okay then, you're still a baby anyways]
Pikoko: Tongs! I won! It WAS his!

Of course it was his, Zh'alyen's the only fat (but totally cute like a teddy bear!) bastard in our tight nerd herd. And indeed, because the brief was as huge as a tent. If the stain on his underwear were a kind of soup, his would be Campbell's: Thick and Chunky. You could just imagine the soup. Okay, please stop imagining it now, you sicko.

A bunch of guys living in an apartment together is really just a stand-off to see who can clean up the least without dying of an infectious disease. It's all a frickin' mind game. We're all darkly muttering to ourselves: Who's gonna give up first? Instead of cleaning, we find ways to live in peaceful coexistence with nature, hence the Zen-vibe. If my feet start to stick to the wooden staircase steps, I wear slippers. If they start to stick too, I wear sandals, then shoes, then army boots. The list goes on. If huge rats decided to move in the cupboard, we make friends with them and sometimes they help pay the rent.

But of course, we all have our valid reasons not to clean, if you should know:
Oragorn: I'm allergic to dust, I've asthma you see.
Gimu: Sige lang Tongs. My girlfriend will do that for me.
Pornholio: I'm barely here enough to make a mess. (he works a block away)
Pikoko: I don't have time, I'm trying to do my thesis. (And he's been out of school for years.)
Zh'alyen: I'm too young to do any manual labor. (He's hitting 29.)
Pooker: I don't make a mess naman e. (He stinks up the CR real bad.)
Me: I'm so bushed from work, barely had any sleep. (While I'm typing this.)

But basically, the reason why we're all trying not to crack and clean something up is because if that happens, that person permanently becomes the guy who cleans. From then on he'll be expected to clean. Even if Gimu spills Lambanog all over the PCs and pukes all over the floor, he'll think, "Forget about it, Pugiun will clean that up. He always does. This will also be the other guy's thinking even if Pugiun is the nastiest man alive, hasn't bathed for three years, and never had a girlfriend in his college life. Just because he took out the garbage that first time, he'll now be known as the guy with long hair who cleans.

In our apartment we have an XXL-size Rustan's supermarket trash bag that only allows us to empty the trash once a week. This does not change the fact that we empty the trash once a month. The trash tends to pile up until it begins consuming visitors to our apartment. Usually after there have been many olfactory injuries, I come back to find that the trash is gone. The trash isn't gone because one of us took it out; it'll be because the trash becomes repulsed by the living conditions and goes to reside somewhere cleaner, such as under a bridge. (Okay, so Pugiun finally took it.)

Furthermore, the floor in our living room has not been cleaned in the traditional sense since April Boy Regino had a career. For us, cleaning the floor means kicking the larger chunks of bread under the seven PC tables where we put up our gaming network. The good thing about it is that if we get trapped in our apartment during some freak nuclear accident, we'll have at least a two-month supply of food lying on the floor. Our technique for cleaning dishes, on the other hand, is to leave them at various locations around the place and hope that eventually they'll get together and take a group bath. Or until Pugiun freaks out.

Now on to the bathroom. To put it simply our bathroom could easily be used as a torture chamber. If visitors were locked in our bathroom, we would hear constant screams of, "This horrid stench is burning my nostrils!!," or, "WTF?!, it's a tooty-fruity flavor!" or, "Gawd! There's a half-life in that thing!" and, "I just stepped on something squishy yet crunchy, and hairy!" Come to think of it, I was the one who said that.

I also recently realized that our bathroom downstairs is growing hair. I don't know why or how, but our bathroom could be the spokesperson for Mane and Tail™. We just stopped putting a mat because the mossy tile floor has grown its own. Besides, the formerly soft and brown rag has turned into a crispy, flaky brown slab anyway.

I could go on, but something tells me my boss is already behind me and is about to breath fire on my ass and put me two inches closer to being fired. If this were the same as when I was caught sleeping for the fourth time, then I'm definitely screwed.