Episode 3 of 3

Written by Chris King
Produced by Court Sullivan

<< Continued from Episode 2

The Homeless People

Some people have constant problems with raccoons ripping through all of their trash and leaving a huge mess to clean up. We had homeless people. All the bums from the area would go into our alley and rip through our trash looking for beer cans, presumably for their recycling value. I kid you not, I'd wake up mornings to go to class and see bums outside my door fighting over a couple of empty cans of Miller Lite while trading sips from a bottle of Boone's Farm.

When It Rains It Pours

Whenever there was a storm outside, there was also a storm inside. It actually rained in the house. The room I used to stay in had cracks throughout the ceiling where water would pour out when it rained. I used to wake up in the middle of the night to what sounded like a waterfall. I'd take a few garbage cans and coolers and put them under the drips and then go back to bed. It was kind of like one of those “Sounds of the Rainforest” CD's without all the exotic animals. But it wasn't just my room, the whole house leaked constantly. As you were putting a bucket on one side of the hall, another leak would spring up on the other side of the hall. Eventually we just bought the “Singin' in the Rain” CD and embraced our natural habitat.

“The couch lighting was temporarily suspended until a fire safety procedure could be drafted to accompany it.”

The Mysterious Blanket

About six months into our stay at 846, we woke up one morning and found a mysterious blanket draped over the side wall of our staircase. We never really thought much of it because weird things always just appeared in the house. Months went by as we just walked casually by the blanket on our way up and down the stairs. Then one day one of my roommates got this crazy idea to “clean” the house. I had often discouraged this kind of behavior, but he insisted. When the blanket was removed, we found that someone had punched a huge hole in the side wall of our staircase and then went and found a blanket somewhere and draped it over the hole. Who does something like that? Oh wait, college kids.

The Couches

Over the years 846 became a graveyard for unwanted, thrift store couches. Every time we threw out a couch because a family of rats or fleas moved into it, another two couches would magically appear in the living room. The “846 Couch Disposal Procedure” was a complex one: when a couch was deemed unsuitable for the house, it was taken outside, doused in lighter fluid and torched.

When Marquette lost in the Final Four to Kansas, one of my roommates and some friends set a Lazy-Boy on fire in the back of our house. Within minutes, ten Milwaukee police cars had completely surrounded our house. The couch lighting was temporarily suspended until a fire safety procedure could be drafted to accompany it.

Roman Candle Wars

Last summer we got heavily involved in one of the most unintelligent sports ever invented: “Roman Candle Wars.” This is where two people light Roman Candles, take ten paces away from each other and then begin firing a round of ten fireballs of varying colors and intensities at each other. After getting in trouble numerous times by the police on the same night for “Candle Warrin”, me and my buddy decided to go to the bar. We came back slightly inebriated, and the second we opened the door we decided that Roman Candle Wars should be resumed…at 2AM.

Just as we lit the wicks on the candles a Milwaukee Police car drove down the alley. In a panic, my buddy and I ran into 846 with two lit Roman Candles. Within seconds, fireballs of all different colors began shooting all over the house.

After shooting a couple fireballs around the kitchen, I took my Roman Candle and started digging it into the kitchen tiles in an attempt to snuff it out. The candle continued firing into the tiles and eventually burned a hole in the floor. My buddy ran to the front door but before he could open it a fireball shot at the door, bounced back at him and burned a hole in his sweater, and then continued firing around the house. By the time the Roman Candles had stopped firing, the entire house was covered in a thick blanket of smoke. All we could do was laugh…and cough.

To most people, we were absolutely crazy for living at 846 N. 18th Street. Maybe we were, but the memories and stories from this house will stay with me forever and not one day do I regret having lived there. If I am ever able to get my act together and move to one of those Downtown Chicago Lincoln Park Yuppie Lairs and someone spills a beer or drops a piece of pizza on the brand new white carpet, it's going to be a big deal and it's not going to be funny. Not quite like the old days of watching my roommate eat 60 fruit punch Jello shots and promptly throw them up on the carpet, only to choke up myself because I was laughing so hysterically I couldn't breathe.