January 29, 2013

Life Imitates Art: Douches at the Door

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We’ve all played a situation in our heads over and over, wishing that we had said or done something differently. I can think of one situation in particular.

It was an average, nearing-the-end-of-the-semester Thursday night: one roommate was gone for the weekend, the other was fast asleep, I was finishing up a project in the living room and, of course, the neighbors were having their usual rager, screaming gems like “I got 99 problems and alcohol is all of them” and “SHIT AND PISS!” Little did I know that the latter statement would actually foreshadow my evening.

At around 11:30, as the hallway transformed into a public urinal, a voice approached the door: “This one, bro.” Before I knew it, I heard a fly unzip and a deluge of douche pee started flowing into the apartment. It was like I had front row seats for a low-budget, frat boy simulation of The Secret World of Alex Mack—complete with real pee!

Expectation: I leapt off the couch and swung the door open, whacking off the douche’s Keystone-filled member all while laughing maniacally. Reality: I panicked, woke my up my roommate and pathetically watched her clean up the mess. (In case you were wondering, her tip on cleaning douche pee is to just pretend it’s dog pee.)

Though we spoke to our building manager about the incident and got the area properly sanitized, we never confronted our neighbors about their guest. Life has since returned to normal: the pre-games still rage on, the mystery douche is probably pissing on someone else’s door as you read this and we’re still just putting up with it.

I ask myself, “Should we have done more?” While mobster movies are probably not the best source of advice, The Godfather has taught us that while retaliation has its consequences, it sure can be sweet. Many television shows have clever storylines based on the classic film in order to lightheartedly explore this topic, too. In fact, if you caught Modern Family’s most recent episode, “Fulgencio,” you’ll know what I mean.

The Dunphy kids don’t even think twice about going to their tough-as-nails mother, Claire, to solve all of their problems for them—the woman gets bona fide results. But when Claire is nowhere to be found, the kids’ ebullient father, Phil, recommends that they kill their enemies with kindness.  In fact, he does it for them.

Phil embarks on a “huggacidal rampage” to calmly address all who are wronging the Dunphy clan, including the kid who won’t let Luke forget that he called his teacher “mommy,” the girl who stole Alex’s birthday party idea, the neighbor that Haley is car-sitting for and the new flower shop owner whose balloons are blocking Phil’s billboard. But his rampage only ends up killing his kids’ reputations further and yields no positive results for himself.

Enraged, Phil gets even and has Luke execute the ultimate revenge: leaving a stuffed zebra head in the classmate’s bed, releasing rats at the birthday party, crushing the neighbor’s beloved lemon tree and shooting the balloons with a BB gun. Like magic, everyone’s problems disappear, and the Dunphy’s have gained their upper hand at last.

“Fulgencio” reminds us that sometimes a little action is necessary for change. While I will not be popping a squat by my neighbor’s apartment anytime soon, I wish I did more than cower behind our pee-soaked door. If you’re ever in a situation as absurd as this one, don’t be afraid to take action. You don’t always have to go to extremes just to prove your point; sometimes a simple conversation will do. Just remain calm yet be assertive. And if all else fails, have lots of Lysol ready—you never know when you’re going to need it.

Original Author: Karina Parikh