My brother Jeff and I lived together on and off for years. Off more so now that I’m married and living 6000 miles away. But after our mom died, we kind of drifted in the same direction. Or as he puts it, I ripped him from the life he was leading in favor of mine.
We were living in a very, very small in-law apartment in San Francisco with only a sheet turned curtain separating our personal living space. We had fought about something and I had tried to slam the sheet. I think he called me a bitch. I just remember being really pissed off. So to feel better, the following night, I put cat laxative in his pasta. Then told him after he ate it. Now, cat laxatives won’t kill you. It won’t even hurt you. And as he’s always constipated, it might have even helped him. He obviously didn’t taste a thing. I guess it’s the thought that counts.
He was rather upset by the news. I had been doing some cooking since we were both too poor to eat out. I guess it threw a whole new slant on my cooking, which I believe was part of the point.
A few days went by and I figured he and I were all happy again. Jeff was working a late shift that day and wouldn’t be home until after I went to bed. I came home from work with take out looking forward to some personal time.
Now, to understand the deviousness of Jeff’s response, you need to know something. I have a weird Pavlovian reaction to arriving home. Once I can see my front door, I have to pee. Immediately. Its always been that way from the time I walked home from school as a five year old and didn’t quite make it to now where I can barely make it. This German habit of taking shoes off before entering the living space has totally thrown off my internal timer, btw. I don’t know why this is, it just is.
So with this pee instinct, I tore open my front door and leaped into the bathroom, skirt up, panties down and fell straight into toilet water. The toilet seat was not left in the up position, as is par for the living with Jeff course, but rather removed altogether. The seat was off the toilet and nowhere in site.
I looked around and found only a note duct taped to the mirror. It said something along the lines of “Remember the Pasta? Let’s play a game called find the toilet seat.” Jeff with duct tape is a very, very bad thing. It’s like Bush with an agenda; a lot of power and no self control.
Jeff took the toilet seat. Now that should have been enough, right? I had a wet ass and would have had to sit on the cold porcelain until he deigned to give it back. I figured I’d have to beg and pled and beg until he had to take an Italian toilet break himself where the seat will magically appear, but no. Jeff had to take it to the next level.
He went crazy with duct tape. He taped everything. He taped my remote control after he removed the batteries and taped those to the front. He taped my phone. He taped my favorite ice cream spoon. He taped the cans of cat food. He taped my nail files and tweezers. He taped my make-up and hair dryer. He taped anything and everything that I might use on a daily basis. He taped items of a more personal nature if you understand my meaning and last but not least, he taped a stuffed cat I had and put a note on it with the name of my favorite cat.
Three hours later, after removing all the duct tape I could find, I was watching TV on my bed and eating the now cold chinese. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted it; the toilet seat. Duct taped to the ceiling above the sofa.
Out of all the roommates I’ve had over the years, I always thought Jeff was the easiest to live with. Even with the bitching, messiness and duct tape. Markus once asked Jeff how he lived with me. Jeff said he had a lot of patience, a high pain threshold and a lot of chocolate ice cream.
Huh. Guess I set my bar too low.