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What is 2+2? 


June 7th, 2010

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So, Jeff’s in Vienna. That usually means I can do whatever I want! This week I want to provide advice that would probably result in being incarcerated if followed to the letter. (So follow it in spirit.) Also, I want to put it up later than usual. Done!

Winners of best advice that can result in jail-time,
Jeff and Elliott

Dear Jeff and Elliott,

I’m having a hard time living with my housemate. He’s super messy and doesn’t know how to clean up after himself.It really bugs me when he leaves dirty knives and cutting boards in the kitchen covered in meat juice for three days, or when he leaves hair from his shaving all over the bathroom–including my toothbrush!

I’ve tried negotiating (for a year now), but he just doesn’t keep up with his commitments. And the worst part is his insecurities and lack of maturity make him lash out when you ask him to pick up his dirty undies in the living room, even when we (as a house) have decided that you can’t get mad at someone who is asking you to do what you’re supposed to do anyways.

I’ve thought about moving, but I’m attached to this pretty sweet house, as I have a garden, and my 3 other housemates are my good friends. On the other hand, if I stay, I have to put up with this bs for another year of my life. What can I do?

Balking in Berkley


Dear Balking,

Poison, (moderately) poison your roommate
When he does something wrong
You tried treating him like an adult – and it failed
Now take a cue from Pavlov’s dogs

Pavlov taught his dogs with conditioning
Dogs would salivate when the bell would ring
Now drooling is not your choice end situation
But conditioning could still be your salvation

Whenever your roommate doesn’t pass the test
Syrup of Ipecac will take care of it best
Or change it up if you’ve got a savvy roomie
And keep the control with a laxative smoothie

See the goal here is for him to make the connection
Between his filthiness and his digestive ejection
Eventually the thought of something being dirty
Will make him nauseous and he’ll clean it up in a hurry

Still, if conditioning isn’t your idea of fun
Never underestimate 4 against one

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