If you’re just joining us on this trip down memory lane with hilarious and murderous characters, make sure you check out Part I first. The rest of you, welcome back. Let’s pick up right where we left off.
I’d moved in some days after signing the contract. Very soon I’d understood that Bent was very particular about the concept of ownership. He had a very clear BYOTP policy – “Bring Your Own Toilet Paper” that is. Yup, he had his roll of toilet paper locked up safely inside his room, and expected me to do the same with mine. This, of course, was a tragic and inevitable legacy of the infamous “Copenhagen Paper Crisis” of the 1970s, when toilet paper was a rare and precious commodity and people had sold their cars, houses, wives and internal organs to get their hands on it. Thankfully, everyone was saved when aliens had landed in Denmark in 1978 and introduced all those advanced toilet paper factories to the population.
It didn’t end with toilet paper rolls, however. I had been assigned my own cupboards, my own side of the kitchen and my own shoe space. I’m sure Bent would have also split the entry room space equally between us, but the logistics of that exercise had been too much for him to grasp. Indeed, most tasks must be difficult when every waking moment of your life is spent yelling at the voice of Lucifer in your head to shut up.
Surprisingly, I had managed to live under those conditions for almost two weeks without any incidents. I had my own room with a lock on it. Bent had his. I had been away most of the time at university or my part-time job. Meanwhile, Bent had probably spent his days out in the park muttering incoherent gibberish to passers by, or collecting twigs and branches for his “Things That Look Like Human Bones” collection. It wasn’t until the third week of our co-existence that events had truly begun to unravel. One evening I came home to find this note on “my” side of the kitchen counter:
The note provided conclusive evidence that it’s possible to sound polite and eerily ominous at the same time. My transgression? I had washed my dishes and left the washing liquid by the sink. You know, the way us non-insane folks do. Bent of course wanted my washing liquid to be on my side of the kitchen. The sink, which lay right between our two halves of the kitchen, was effectively “no man’s land”. Those of you who know history will also know that you just don’t mess with no man’s land. Once the washing liquid had broken those boundaries, it was only a matter of time before a full-fledged conflict was ensured. And here’s how the escalation happened…
It was a weekday, it was shortly after 22:00 (that’s 10PM, my American fans) and I was in the bathroom using an electric shaver. Suddenly, I’d heard a knock at the door and Bent’s voice (crazy sporadic word emphasis below is fully his):
“I am not so pleased about you using my facilities after ten o’clock in the evening!”
Whoa, what the fucking what now?! Firstly, toilet and kitchen were shared facilities that had been included as part of the rental agreement. Secondly, in the “normal people world” private kitchens and toilets did not have closing hours. It’s the only way our modern society found to resolve all those “midnight starvation” and “morning bladder explosion” incidents that had plagued our less fortunate ancestors for centuries. Thirdly, if Bent’s House of Forgotten Sanity was a place where above standards didn’t apply, that should have been the primary topic of discussion prior to contract signing, not freaking energy-saving light bulbs!
You see how my above reaction was naïvely based on rational people’s logic? Do you know what happens when you try to apply that logic in your dialogues with crackpots? No? Well let me tell you. (CONTINUE TO PAGE 2)