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Fighting the filth: uncontained trash situation overtakes area apartments

There is an extremely pressing situation affecting our lives right now. Hundreds have died senselessly or have been seriously injured, and children run in fear when confronted with the atrocities of which I am about to speak.

That's right, I'm referring to the overall nastiness that has enveloped my apartment like a cup of New England clam chowder slowly drowning a struggling fly.

My roommates and I, like flies, have tried endlessly to fight off the deluge of grime and clam chowder that has soaked our wings and entangled our spiny legs until we've choked on chunky bits of clam. (I lost sight of this analogy long ago, so let's move on and never again speak of what just transpired.)

But I must say that my apartmentmates and I are a responsible group of guys that clean our apartment every Sunday. Maybe that's not true, but we definitely clean it at least once a month.

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    All right, the truth is we haven't technically "cleaned" the apartment yet this year. I believe I used to have five roommates, but one is now buried somewhere under old copies of Sports Illustrated and empty boxes of Gumby's Pizza.

    The women who live below us have a system for cleaning. They divide areas of the apartment to clean each week.

    But I think our system of not cleaning at all is better because the women get in constant arguments over chores, while we guys have never fought about cleaning.

    In fact, a typical conversation among us guys about cleaning is as follows:

    Dave: "Hey Matt, are those your nasty plates stacked on the couch?"

    Matt: "Yep."

    Dave: "Okay, fair enough."

    A bunch of guys living in an apartment together is really just a battle to see who can clean up the least without dying of an infectious disease.

    We're each wondering, "Who's gonna cave in first?" Instead of cleaning up, we will find ways to live in peaceful coexistence with the nastiness.

    If my feet start to stick to the kitchen floor, I'll wear shoes. If sewer rats set up camp in the pantry, we make friends with them. Sometimes the rats will even help pay for groceries.

    If a guy actually cracks and cleans, he will permanently become the "guy that cleans." From then on, he'll be expected to clean. Even if one guy spills motor oil all over the kitchen table, that person will think, "Forget about it - Tony will clean that up. He always does."

    This will be the other guys' thinking, even if Tony is the nastiest man alive and hasn't bathed for three years. Just because Tony took out the garbage that first time, he's the "cleaning guy."

    There are essentially four main problem areas in the apartment that need desperate attention.

    1) The Bathroom

    2) The Trash Can-Kitchen Area

    3) The Bathroom

    4) My Roommate

    In my apartment, we have an industrial size trash can that allows us to empty the trash only 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 our guests. Usually, after there have been many fatalities, I come back to find the trash is gone.

    But the trash isn't gone because one of us took it out. It's gone because the trash became repulsed by the living conditions, and it left to reside somewhere cleaner, like a public dumpster.

    The carpet in our common room has not been vacuumed in the traditional sense since Milli Vanilli was blazing up the charts. For us, "cleaning the carpet" entails kicking large chunks of food under the couch. If we're ever trapped in our apartment during some freak accident, we'll have at least a two-month supply of food ground into the carpet.

    Our technique for cleaning dishes on the other hand is to leave them at various locations around the room and hope that eventually they'll get together and take a group bath.

    Now on to the bathroom. To put it simply, our bathroom easily could be used as torture to get foreign spies to reveal their secrets.

    If spies were locked in our bathroom, we would hear constant screams of, "The horrid stench is burning my nostrils" and "I just stepped on something squishy yet crusty!" Come to think of it, I find myself yelling that every morning.

    I've also recently realized that our bathroom is growing hair. I don't know why or how, but our bathroom could be the spokesperson for Rogaine.

    We've basically stopped putting a bathmat down because the tile floor has grown its own bathmat. And besides, the formerly white bathmat has hardened into a solid brown slate anyway.

    Well, I could go on longer, but something under my desk is biting at my ankle.

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