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I’m a 26-year-old male who lives with another 26-year-old male. I’m not under any illusions that our apartment is always clean, or even not sometimes disgusting. However, for the first time in the three years I’ve lived with my roommate, my house officially became uninhabitable last weekend. I know, no one’s surprised. “I’ve lived with roommates and had bender weekends where the apartment gets gross,” you’re saying. No. Not gross. Uninhabitable. Let me explain.
To fully understand how revolting my apartment was, I have to start at the beginning. It was a warm fall Saturday in 2017. I was at Barcocina, a popular brunch spot, with some friends and my roommate. We were taking full advantage of the drink package when the topic of drinking challenges came up. We talked about doing case races in college. The famed All American Challenge (a 30 rack of beers, an eighth of weed, and an XL pizza) was talked about. And then my roommate said something that would change my life forever.
“My cousin told me about a challenge and it’s the most heinous thing I’ve ever heard.”
The table went silent. Heinous? I’d never heard him use a word like that to describe anything. Despite the many sangrias and mimosas in our systems, everyone was at full attention. We didn’t want to know what this challenge was. We needed to know. It took some explaining for our drunk minds to comprehend it, but here was the gist of the rules.
To complete the challenge, you must do four things in 24 hours. The quantity of those four things must be either 6, 12, 18, or 24, and they can’t repeat. And those four things are drink beers, eat donuts, run miles, and jerk off.
Let me break it down. Basically, you have to jerk off, drink beer, eat donuts, and run miles. All in 24 hours. Your only choice is which numbers to assign to which activity. For example, if you think running over six miles is impossible, like me, you’d only want to do six. However, the minimum number you now have left is twelve, which is a lot of times to jerk off. Can you eat 24 donuts? If not, you better hope you can drink 24 beers.
Immediately following the rules, the table erupted in discussion. We all varied in our opinion on how to best complete the challenge, but it was agreed upon that miles and jerkoffs would have to occupy the six and twelve spots, and donuts and beers would occupy the 18 and 24 spots. Some people argued that jerking off twelve times in 24 hours was impossible. Some argued that they simply couldn’t run twelve miles. No one seemed to have any issues with ingesting 18-24 beers or donuts. One person claimed they would run 24 miles, jerkoff 18 times, eat 12 donuts, and drink six beers, and was immediately roasted by the table for being a liar and a try hard.
Now, this challenge, as amusing as it was, was purely hypothetical. No one wanted to attempt it. Why ruin three great things by forcing yourself to consume them in excess? No thanks. But it stuck in our minds. Over the following six months, my roommate and I revisited the topic frequently. We discussed strategies. We asked questions, such as “what qualifies as jerking off?” (to completion), “Can you walk the miles?” (you must run at least 80% of the miles for it to count), and “What happens if you throw up?” (elimination — this ain’t a child’s game). It was fun to talk about, but never did I think it would become a reality. Until this past weekend.
My roommate had a friend from home that was staying with us from Wednesday through Sunday. “Isn’t that a long time for someone to be crashing on your couch,” You ask? Yes. Yes, it is. However, all my roommate’s friends are awesome, respectful guests, and although our apartment usually turns into ground zero for a bender when they visit, I’m the last person who can judge people on that. Or so I thought.
I stayed the night at my girlfriend’s house on Thursday and awoke Friday morning looking forward to cranking out six hours of work from home and enjoying a relaxing weekend. Then, on the walk to my house, I got a text that rendered my plan impossible.
It was a picture of a notepad, with the accompanied message stating “finally completing the challenge!” And it made my heart drop. The notepad showed the current tally of scores, and for 8 a.m., it was disgusting. My roommate was over 15 beers in. His friend had eaten half a box of donuts. They had run four miles the night before, and had eight more to do that day. And the most horrifying of all- they were both tied at two jerkoffs a piece.
Immediately, my mind raced with questions. “Why didn’t I get a heads up about this?” “How am I possible going to work from home with these two hammered idiots?” “Where is this kid jerking off?” “WHERE IS THIS KID JERKING OFF?” I wish I could tell you that I went home, had a reasonable discussion with them, and they agreed it was a little too much to be doing such a gross challenge in our apartment. But alas, that’s not what happened.
Over the next 24 hours, I alternated between a state of thinking the challenge was hilarious, actively cheering for them, and contemplating throwing them both out. I slept at my girlfriend’s place three nights in a row (a record), and drunkenly yelled at my roommate on a couple occasions. When I walked in on Saturday morning, the place was Un. Livable. Empty beer cans littered every surface, including the couch and our sink. There was donut glaze (god, I hope it was donut glaze) stuck to the walls, the carpet, and the door handles. Roughly 85 cigarette butts were strewn throughout our back porch, and someone had thrown up in the backyard. My roommate was right. It was heinous. Heinous, in my apartment.
There is no moral to this story. I told my roommate that from now, only people who pay rent get to jerkoff in our apartment, which is not a rule I had thought I would need to enforce when signing the lease. I also vetoed all future challenges without giving me a week’s notice, and by the time Sunday evening rolled around, he had cleaned our apartment spotless, so all is well.
And for anyone wondering, both him and his friend chose to jerk off six times, run twelve miles, eat eighteen donuts, and drink twenty-four beers. My roommate completed the challenge with hours to spare and his friend was disqualified for throwing up a mere two beers and a donut away from making it. Their names will forever be enshrined in the history books as two nasty motherfuckers, and if my landlord plans on re-leasing our place after we move out, he’s going to have to burn it. .