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May 7, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Idiot’s guide to Flatting

You know, I’m proud of you. I really am. You’re still learning from this column.

You’ve taken the first step. Realising you’re an idiot is a big step. By now, you know that when you ask a question in your lecture, everybody else is laughing at you because – yes, it is a stupid question. Yes, you are the only one who doesn’t get that joke. And yes, everybody else dresses themselves in the morning.

Since you’re at University, there is a good chance that you’re also flatting. Asking your flatmate to dress you is slightly more embarrassing than asking your mum.

So, this column is designed to help you avoid sticky situations within the flatting environment. Here are a few simple rules:

Rule 1. Don’t screw the crew!

Screwing = sexual intercourse, or fun-rubbing. Considering you’re an idiot, you probably spend zero time studying, and most time scoring hot babes at your local watering hole (or telling people you have), so I think it’s a fair assumption that you know what screwing is. The crew refers to your flatmates. It is always easiest to imagine the members of your flat as being the crew of a pirate ship, always. You all have to work together to make sure everything necessary gets done – cleaning, cooking, buccaneering, etc. So it is important that you separate your sex life from your home life. You can still have hand-fun time, just try not to think about anyone else in the flat while doing it. This rule is not gender exclusive – whether it’s a mixed flat (innies and outies), just girls (innies) or just guys (outies). A group of guys have just as much trouble keeping their hands off each other as any mixed flat, when looking for an excuse not to study for that big test.

Rule 2. Clean!

Here’s a quick science lesson for you (you may remember science as the class where you fell asleep at school). If you leave pizza lying around, it grows! It doesn’t just get bigger, but it also grows mould! Mould is like sleeping with your cousin at that one family gathering. You thought it was okay – until slowly, but surely, everyone in the family, city, and world is calling you nasty nicknames describing the sick and twisted morals you must have. It basically becomes one disgusting mess for all involved. Just like mould.

Mould grows on your left-over food. Some will tell you that mould is a fungus, and your mum may have mentioned that mushrooms are also a fungus, and you know from experience that mushrooms get you high. Don’t, DON’T make that connection this time. This is not a happy mushroom – this is organ destroying mould! Eating mould has proven to lower your life expectancy, your libido, and your IQ – and, for you, any lower may kill you. The way to get rid of mould is to remove the sources from which it grows. If you don’t finish your dinner, put it in the bin. Or throw it over the fence to your neighbours lawn – anything to avoid dying. If you have a party, clean up the next day. Wipe down your benches, tidy up your lounge and make sure your floors are vacuumed (or suck-machined).

Often, idiots find it easier to just wrap everything up in glad-wrap. But whatever works for you is fine – just keep clean.

Rule 3. Pay the money.

You’ll discover pretty soon that everyone wants to get money out of you. Your landlord will claim you need to pay bond (James Bond), for the services he provides to your property. He will then charge you rent. Your flatmates will claim you haven’t paid for the power bill, or the phone bill. Why they are calling you Bill will probably be a mystery to you. You like them calling you James Bond, and understand them calling you Kissing Cousin, but Bill? Just trust me – if you don’t put money into your flat account for whatever they say, you will have no light and no talky device. And all that power with a bubblegum nose!

Basically, Idiot, flatting is hard. You probably weren’t ready. But you’re in the deep end now.

So keep in touch (not keep touching – different meaning) with your mum. She will be your guiding star in the years to come. She’s not an idiot, she’s a godsend. And we at Salient love her. Often.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this