Housemates Reject Third-Roommate Debt-Relief Plan

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Vol 40 Issue 45

Political Blogger Mass Suicide To Be Discovered In Several Weeks

BOSTON—By examining web-traffic data for left-leaning DailyKos.com, researchers have predicted that the mass suicide of 14 political bloggers will likely be discovered sometime in mid-December. "After months of doing nothing but sit alone in our rooms at our computers, trying to get our message to the people, we lost the election anyway," read the still-unread suicide pact posted Nov. 3. "We'd rather be dead than live in a country as fucked up as this one." The bodies will most likely be found by property managers, long-estranged parents, or neighbors returning copies of Joe Trippi's The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Procrastinating Catholic 20 Rosaries Behind

BOSTON—Following three trips to the confessional in recent months, Paul McMullen has a backlog of 20 recitations of the rosary, the 32-year-old Catholic reported Monday. "Father O'Riordan gave me three rosaries last time, five the time before, and I still had 12 left over from last month," McMullan said. "I tried doing the 'Hail Marys' and the 'Our Fathers' on my way to work, but I kept losing my place during the Sorrowful Mysteries." McMullan said he plans to stop going to confession for a few months so he can catch up.

Amount Of Halloween Candy Collected Down 15 Percent

WASHINGTON, DC—According to data released Monday by the Federal Confectionery Reserve, the amount of candy collected by U.S. children this Halloween dropped 15 percent from 2003. "As the treating indicator plainly shows, our Snickers, Dum Dums, and Bit-O-Honey numbers were far below projections," FCR chairman Bert Worak said. "As we head into the next quarter, we should brace ourselves for a sharp reduction in levels of childhood wonder." Bennett also cautioned against counting on Santa Claus to boost candy acquisitions during the coming months.

Prehistoric Discoveries

This year, paleontologists made a number of important discoveries about prehistoric times, including the existence of a 40-inch-tall species of human, as well as that of an early, feathered relative of the Tyrannosurus Rex. What are some other recent discoveries?

The Republican Majority

Last week, Bush became the first Republican president to be re-elected with House and Senate majorities since 1924. What do you think?

U.S. To Send 30,000 Mall Security Guards To Iraq

WASHINGTON, DC—Pressed for additional troops to police the Iraqi general elections scheduled for January, the Pentagon announced Monday that it will dispatch 30,000 U.S. shopping-mall security guards to the troubled Sunni Triangle region.
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Housemates Reject Third-Roommate Debt-Relief Plan

LAWRENCE, KS—Chad Doogan, 20, a resident of the economically ravaged back bedroom at 1409 Oakwood Drive, received a huge setback Monday, when a humanitarian proposal calling for the forgiveness of his outstanding debts was vetoed by his two roommates.

Huygens (left) and Epstein (center) review the bills Doogan says he can't pay.

"Look, I know Chad's snowed under a mountain of bills right now, but that's no reason for him to get off scot-free," said Doug Huygens, 22, one of the apartment's two superpowers. "Chad's a good guy and all, but this is getting ridiculous. He's owed us a ton of money for months. Now he wants a free ride? I'm sorry, man, but that's bullshit."

According to Doogan, his large accumulated debt and his extremely low gross annual income have created a cycle of poverty that he can't escape.

"Dude, I got to put at least $300 into my car to get that shitheap running again, or how else am I supposed to deliver pizza?" the embattled Doogan said from his living-room couch, where he has spent the past two weeks. "There's no way I can afford to do that and pay the back rent I owe, plus three months of cable bills and beer money. Plus, I still owe like $100 on the noise-complaint ticket we got from that spring-break party. How am I supposed to pay any of it back if I can't work at Pizza Pete's?"

Doogan and supporters of his debt-relief plan are calling for the immediate cancellation of 85 to 100 percent of his incurred debt.

"If the guys would forget about the money I owe them, or at least the back rent, I could fix my car and pick up a bunch of shifts," Doogan said. "It's in their best interest. Not only could I stop begging them for rent, but I could also start chipping in for groceries and video games and all that."

Huygens and roommate Jake Epstein, 24, said they first provided Doogan with emergency funds last winter, when they granted him an aid package in the form of a no-interest loan obtained through the Apartmental Monetary Fund, founded by Huygens and Epstein in February 2004 at the behest of third-roommate advocacy groups, such as Doogan's buddies Dan "Cosmo" Richards and Douglas "Scooter" Pye.

"Cosmo and Scooter were all like, 'C'mon, Chad's a good guy, have a heart,'" Epstein said. "So finally, me and Doug were like, 'Okay, okay, we'll float him some cash, but only for a few weeks until he gets his shit together.' Well, you can see how great that worked out."

Although the donor roommates supplied additional aid in the months that followed, the AMF placed strict conditions on the loans. These conditions were designed to accomplish three goals: to prevent corruption and misuse of funds, to ensure that the monies were spent wisely, and to reduce third-roommate economic isolationism, integrating the debtor's personal economy more fully into the interdependent apartmental community.

"We only asked for three things, man," Huygens said regarding the structure of the loan. "First, that Chad quit partying so much. Second, that he open a checking account so he can budget his cash. And third, that he bring his kickass stereo system out of his bedroom and into the living room where we can all enjoy it. It was only fair."

While Doogan initially accepted the terms, he later issued complaints that the conditions were unnecessarily restrictive.

"I'm sick of Doug and Jake looking over my shoulder every time I want to rent a DVD or buy a friggin' beer," Doogan said. "Look, I'm sorry that I don't have a big allowance from my rich parents like they do. I wouldn't be asking the guys for money if they couldn't afford it."

Huygens and Epstein said Doogan failed to honor the conditions of the loan.

Doogan makes a request for immediate humanitarian aid.

"Three days after we gave him this big loan, we came back from a weekend ski trip and the whole place was totally trashed," Huygens said. "There were beer cans everywhere, food and chips and shit all over the floor, and the bathroom was a friggin' disaster."

The AMF imposed sanctions against Doogan immediately thereafter, refusing additional loans until the environmental damage stopped. But after loans failed to bring an end to the spiraling third-roommate debt, a more radical concept was introduced by an outspoken Chad advocate, Epstein's girlfriend Liz Borowitz.

"Liz was all over me about how I gotta be there for my buddy when he needs me," Epstein said. "She's, like, this total softie who rescues cats and shit. So she comes up with the bright idea that me and Doug should just forgive all the loans and let Chad start over on an even playing field. I was like, 'I'm sorry, Liz, but there's no way in hell...'"

Added Epstein: "Liz is super nice, but her idealist humanitarian policies are not financially sound. We set a dangerous precedent by bailing Chad out. It hardly motivates future roommates to be fiscally responsible, does it?"

Doogan implored Huygens and Epstein to reconsider their decision.

"How'm I supposed to better myself when all these forces are keeping me down?" Doogan said. "If I don't get out from under this debt, I can't pay tuition next semester and provide myself with an education. I'm under serious risk of reverting to living in my parents' basement, under their totalitarian regime. These dudes are my buddies—can't they see I'm the victim of macroeconomic forces I'm powerless to overcome? Jeez."

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