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On an otherwise forgettable Thursday night during my sophomore year, I almost (accidentally) killed my roommate.
The night began rather innocently. I was dressed in a t-shirt with a picture of Animal from The Muppets screen-printed on the front. My roommate, from now on referred to as Snake Shit, was in a sleeveless and tattered fast-pitch softball jersey.
We spent most of the evening at a neighboring fraternity house drinking ice cold Keystone Light while marveling at the predictably skimpy outfits worn by the campus ladies for the night’s theme of white trash trailer bash. A considerable amount of time was also spent conducting inter-fraternity relations, dancing to hits such as Montel Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” and frying up cigarettes.
Around 1:30 in the morning, my aforementioned roommate and I headed for the exit, with the plan of pouring a nightcap back at the lodge. About halfway between the two fraternity houses, the full effect of the night’s libations set in, and I’m reasonably sure we began hallucinating. Snake Shit spotted what he believed to be a police cruiser, and we proceeded to army crawl the remaining two blocks home to avoid the officer’s sight.
Since we had expended a lot of energy dragging ourselves home on our elbows and knees, Snake Shit opted to forgo the planned nightcap and proceeded to get on his futon. I followed suit and quickly took off my visor, aviator sunglasses, Animal t-shirt and shredded wrangler jeans. Still perched atop my head was a hideous blonde and black mullet that I didn’t have the patience to remove, thanks to a couple of hair pins attaching it to my natural hair.
In order to climb into my bed, a lofted twin situated directly above Snake Shit’s futon, I had to step on the futon’s armrest and grasp one of the chains that supported my bed with my right hand. From there, I would pull myself up onto the mattress by engaging my core and grunting loudly. This night, I chose to forgo my usual method and stepped onto the futon with both feet and essentially jumped onto my mattress.
Once situated under my covers, our room began to spin. I quickly slipped one foot out of the covers and pressed it against the wall, a move that I had successfully used in previous spinning room experiences. It didn’t work that night, so I was forced to jump quickly down from the bed and climb out the window to vomit.
Afterward, I clamored back in the window and, once again, jumped into my bed. A few minutes later, it became clear that I would require one final trip out to the balcony. This time, my return jump into the bed was more reminiscent of a pro-wrestling body slam. All two hundred pounds of my drunk, tired body gave the support chains the greatest test they had faced since being purchased at Home Depot many years before. Luckily, they passed this test with flying colors.
As I was settling back into the warmth of my covers, I heard strange creaking and crackling noises, which I quickly dismissed as unimportant. A louder noise jolted me awake, this one more reminiscent of a gunshot. I would later deduce that this was the sound of one of the hooks snapping in half, leaving the entire weight of the bed (and me) on the remaining chain and hook.
Rather than breaking from the stress like its weak counterpart, this hook ripped out of the ceiling altogether, turning my bed into a ramp. Before I could react, I was rolled into a sheet burrito as I rode down the slope of my bed and onto the hardwood floor. I decided to spend the rest of the evening on the floor, as I was quite cozy and had managed to hold on to my pillow.
The next morning, I woke to the sound of Snake Shit calling to me, asking what the hell had happened since he had turned in. Our room was essentially destroyed, as the falling bed and body had knocked pictures off the wall, items off his desk, and had completely crushed the Rubbermaid storage container that doubled as our coffee table.
The corner of the mattress box had fallen onto the opposite armrest from the one I had been using as my springboard, stopping it from impacting his head, which was directly below it. Opening his eyes, he said he could have stuck his tongue out and touched the bottom of my bed.
When he emerged from the rubble, he was understandably upset — that is, until he saw my mullet still firmly attached to my head after all of the trips in and out of the window, and after the fall.
I found out later that my trips out to the balcony — and my activities once there — were clearly visible to those who were arriving back at the house at that time. I was a one-man welcoming party, if you will, in boxers and a mullet — scream puking over the railing.
Amazingly, Snake Shit agreed to continue to sleep on the futon, which he left directly underneath my loft. As a condition of doing so, he made me promise that I wouldn’t channel my inner summer camper and jump into bed as I would onto a blob. In the wake of similar nights, costumes, and hijinks, I managed to keep up my end of the bargain. Snake Shit lives on..