Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My crazy roommate

Another semester of school is beginning (but not for me!), and it's caused me to look back on my time spent in College Station with my crazy roommate, RHLCV.

I met Lee on my first race weekend at A&M.  I was driving a group of guys that would later become my closest friends during my time at school to a mountain-bike race way out in the middle of nowhere, TX.  Lee was sitting behind me, telling the other Chad on the team--in graphic detail--the procedure for artificial insemination of horses.

4 years of living with Lee later, that topic wouldn't even rate a 3-out-of-10 on my scale of I-can't-believe-we're-seriously-talking-about-this.

During the summer after my freshman year, a room at Lee's townhouse opened up and I wanted out of the dorms.  At that point, I had no idea what I was getting into.

It worked out, though.  I apparently have a high tolerance for odd personalities (don't worry, he knows he's an odd-ball).

Every day was an adventure with Lee, especially when we had free time (or desperately needed to be doing something productive).

There was the time we spent an afternoon fitting an office chair to our cruiser bike.

We killed tons of time drilling holes in the caps of 2-liter bottles, fitting them with valve stems from flat tubes, and pumping them to high pressure to create rockets....

Lee would occasionally remember that he, in fact, owned multiple bicycles and decide to ride them.  One time, it was just the two of us on an easy ride, and he challenged me to a two-up rolling start sprint.  We picked starting and finish points.  I would crush him, but he needed proof.  I chose a good gear that I could accelerate in.  Lee slammed it in the 53x11.

We started, I quickly pulled away, and as I approached the finish I heard a terrible grinding noise.  Keep in mind that only Lee could pull this off:  As he finally got up to speed, his right foot unclipped on the downstroke, and swung over the top of the rear wheel--jamming against the rear brake while the spinning tire burned through his sock and into his foot.  If such a thing as a third-degree tire burn exists, he had one.  The chaos with his right foot threw him off balance, and his left foot came unclipped too.  Speedplay cleats at speed are terrific tarmac skis, and he left a 50-foot drag mark to his final resting place in the dirt.  His chain had come off and was tangled in everything.  And finally, as we were inspecting the damage to his spokes, our heads down near the bike, the rear tire exploded in our ears.

Like I said, every day's an adventure.

There was the period of a few weeks in which we battled racoons taking over our attic, eventually giving birth in the wall next to our fireplace.  We screwed with the babies by blasting sounds of a momma raccoon through the stereo system.

Did you know that they make a rodent deterrent for such situations?  Its ingredients include such rarities as wolf urine and racoon blood.  It is rancid.  We filled a syringe with the stuff, punched a tiny hole in the wall next to the babies, and pumped it through.  They were gone the next day.  The downside is that we had filled the syringe while sitting on the couch, and learned a couple days later that we had spilled some.  Oops.

Lee only eats a few different meals.  Homemade pizza, homemade mac-n-cheese, mustard and cheese sandwiches, and tacos.  My junior year, he discovered (yes, I said discovered) yogurt.  We had tacos every week.  Lee has a very thorough procedure for readying his corn tortillas so that they won't break.  5 tortillas, each gets a small mound of taco meat, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.  He gets the chair, I get the couch, we eat in front of the tv because our dining room is filled with bikes.

Hold that thought.

In my family, we love to steal food from each other.  Walk-by swipings during the split-second that someone looks away.  Disappearing silverware and dishes.  You've got to be good to get away with it, because we're always on high alert.  Shane and I once each swiped a cookie dough ball from the sheet while our mom was making them.  Each walked by in opposite directions, timing our mom turning from cookie sheet to the dough and back again while working.  We're good.

Back to the tacos.  This particular day, Lee had left his glass of water in the kitchen.  He put down his taco plate and went to retrieve his glass.  By the time he returned seconds later, I had choked down one of his tacos and rearranged the others to appear as if he'd only made 4 this time.  He was on the second taco before he discovered the absence.

Productivity hit a new low when little Haga moved in.  2 bedrooms, 3 guys, 14 bikes.  Let the good times roll.

My final semester, Lee moved in well ahead of us because vet school starts earlier.  He told us that there was room, by his calculation, for 8 more bikes in the dining room.  He returned that afternoon to find we had brought 11.

When Shane and I would get restless on long study nights, we resorted to what would become a past-time in the RHLCV-Hagasaki-Hagasita household: scaring Lee.  Childish?  Absolutely.  But Lee screams loudly, and very much like a girl.  We couldn't help it.  Whether it was hiding in the dark at the bottom of the stairs or pretending we had gone to bed while he was in the shower (but actually hiding in his closet), we were creative about it.

Lee could hold his own, though.  He had tons of suture material from his labs and summer internship, and needed practice.  We returned from school one day to find our pillows sutured to the sheets.

There was the time Lee and I got Shane to break a raw egg on his face. We told Shane that Lee was too afraid to break a hard-boiled egg with his forehead, that he thought it would hurt.  I would do it, but I had just eaten an egg.  Always looking to prove that Lee's a sissy, Shane jumped on it.  It was awesome.

While I don't miss school in the least, I certainly miss the shenanigans.  It's okay, though, as my partner in crime carries on my legacy with the oddest Aggie in the land.