By Marc Phillips
Steve Gelwitz, a freshman who lives on the third floor of Tallcott Hall, hails from a ritzy northern New Jersey suburb. Always a dominant force, Gelwitz finds himself the leader of his friends.
“One time at sleep-away camp years ago, I led our bunk to victory during the week eight color war. No big deal,” Gelwitz said, asserting his dominance.
When it comes to his more skittish roommate, Andrew Smith, Gelwitz finds himself enraged.
“He’s all like, ‘Ahh! You scared me,’ or ‘Please don’t hurt me,’” Gelwitz said. “It’s just unacceptable. Andrew is from some hick-ass town in Upstate New York, so clearly I’m better than he is. Also, he smells.”
The enraged roommate went on to describe how Smith always invites his weird Humans vs. Zombies friends over, never changes his smelly bed sheets and will leave old D.P. Dough calzone crusts on the shelf above his bed. The worst thing Gelwitz ever found was a pile of Smith’s crusty socks that had arguably crossed over onto Gelwitz’s side of the room. Though this was Smith’s only real offense he had committed, it was already the last straw for Gelwitz.
On Friday afternoon, Gelwitz took a roll of masking tape and drew a line down the center of their dorm room.
“I’m just dividing up our assets!” said Gelwitz, a business administration major.
“I came back to the room around 4 p.m., and thought, ‘What the Hell?!’” said Smith, a student in the exploratory program.
Gelwitz arrived back to the room around 5 p.m. and explained to Smith how he drew a line and had his family’s lawyer draft an Order For Protection against Smith.
“Oh, and I annexed the doorway, so you’re pretty much stuck here,” Gelwitz added.
Smith’s pleas for reason were not met with mercy by Gelwitz, who reportedly assured Smith that crossing the line would result in a “massive-ass lawsuit from [his] rich lawyer uncle.”
Two hours later, Smith was found lying in the fetal position on his twin extra-long bed. Smith’s flip phone and black-rimmed glasses lay next to him. Gelwitz sat at his desk, happily typing away on his laptop.
That night, Gelwitz left his dorm around 11 p.m. to join his friends at a party in the Circles. Smith sat upright on his bed, finally realizing he was confined to the space equivalent to a handicapped bathroom stall.
Tuesday morning, Smith checked his e-mails—all angry messages from his professors.
“I can’t go to class, and I’m running out of Vitamin Water bottles to pee into,” Smith said in a response e-mail to one of his annoyed professors.
By Wednesday, Smith was lethargic and almost done eating his supply of Cheez-Its and Cup O’ Noodles, which he had to eat raw due to his lack of microwave access.
Friday night, a week later, Smith was found lying across his bed and delirious. Gelwitz showed some concern, but still did not lift the masking tape border.
“I mean, he may smell and never leave the room, but now he actually can’t leave the room. This will also ruin my chance for having an empty room this weekend so I can bang a bunch of hot chicks, and I tend to do that a lot, obvi,” he said, seeking a high five.
Smith withered away on his bed, staring listlessly at Gelwitz.
“Ugh, fine,” Gelwitz said as he bent down to pull up the masking tape. A few minutes later he called his family’s lawyer and had returned things to the status quo.
“I would thank my roommate if I could move,” whispered Smith.
Marc Phillips is a sophomore IMC major who finds that “do not cross” tape is more effective than masking tape. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.