My house had gotten raided by the Stanislaus County Drug Enforcement Unit (SCDEU, pronounced Skiddoo) on Valentine’s Day, 1987. While they didn’t find what they thought they were going to find, they weren’t giving up. I’d see their cars driving past and they parked a fucking RV down the road a piece so they could monitor my traffic – like I wouldn’t notice an RV parked on the side of the road when my nearest neighbor was a good 500 yards away.
I can take a hint. It was time to move on.
My buddy David was renting a 2 bedroom house in Riverbank, City of Action, and we always got along real good, so he told me I could have the spare room and guest bathroom and the driveway and he’d keep the garage, master bedroom and bath, we’d split the rent, gas and electric bills, and I’d pay 25% of the phone bill because the only people I ever talked to anyways were weed customers and I always did that from a pay phone. I didn’t pay anything on the cable bill because I didn’t watch TV.
The landlord was cool with it. He didn’t much care what went on as long as the house was taken care of and the rent was paid on time, which by the way was 500 bucks at the time, up to half of it paid in weed if we were light on cash money. As far as taking care of the house, if we caused the damage, it was on us. If it was anything else under a month’s rent, we’d pay for it and just deduct it off the rent. Anything else, he covered. It was a pretty good arrangement for everybody concerned.
Before I moved in, David sat me down and laid out the rules of the house.
1) No gunfire inside the house. Period. Not even to pick off any pesky magpies in the backyard from the living room.
2) No shooting anything larger than a pellet gun in the backyard. We were living in town, after all.
3) No shooting owls out of the backyard tree, even with a pellet gun.
4) No cleaning fish or game in the kitchen sink. Apparently guts are hell to get out of a garbage disposal.
5) No digging holes in the backyard to get rid of said guts.
6) No throwing of entrails or scrap meat on the roof for the vultures.
7) No practicing my coyote calling in the backyard. Or the house, for that matter.
8) No rattlesnakes in the house, not even in a terrarium.
9) No pissing in the backyard.
10) No boiling of animal skulls in the kitchen to get the meat off.
This town living was going to take some getting used to. I was seriously wondering if it was going to be worth it with all those silly fucking rules.
The guest bathroom’s toilet started leaking a couple days before I was supposed to move in, so Dave gave me my key and I called in sick so I could replace the flange gasket while he went to work, telling me he’d come by at lunchtime to grab something to eat and smoke a joint.
So I went over about 8 or 9 in the morning and got right to work. I got the commode off and rassled it into the tub, then cleaned the flange off. I had broken a couple of the rusty bolts off, so I hustled on down to the hardware store to buy those and as long as I was close I stopped off at a taco truck and got me a half dozen delicious goat tacos and a bowl full of fire roasted jalapenos for lunch. Love me some Mexican food.
After I got back to Dave’s, I sat down and rolled up a couple fatties, one for Dave who should be there in about 45 minutes and one for myself to enjoy before I got back to work on that toilet.
When I say fatties, I mean fatties. I’m using a 1.5 Zig-Zag and I’m barely getting one wrap on that rolling paper. These joints are bigger around than my thumb and this is some serious KGB – Killer Green Bud.
Just as I got finished rolling those up, my guts started rumbling, my butthole clenched on me, and beads of sweat popped out on my forehead. Uh-oh. My shitter’s still in the tub.
No biggie, I’ll use David’s. I grabbed a joint and scooted that way with my butt cheeks pressed together tighter than pages in a new book, hoping he had a recent issue of Guns & Ammo in there to pass the time.
I plopped down and spread my cheeks wide and relaxed while I started reading up on the 220 Ackley Improved and tried to fire up that doobie. This shit was real resiny so it took some effort to light, kinda like a cigar, which it basically was. I was huffin’ and puffin’ like a donkey engine before I got it lit up.
I hadn’t started shitting yet but I was having monstrous farts, basically just once continuous blast, wavering here and there but no ka-ka. Well, I learned at an early age to never trust a fart so I just leaned forward and strained while taking a big ol’ healthy toke at the same time.
Right about then I blew a turd. It got caught up for a moment, then more gas built up behind it, then that fucker popped out with such force that it splashed toilet water up on the ol’ brown-eye which startled me so badly I coughed right into the joint that I was just taking a toke off of. I’m not sure what startled me more, the cold water or the fact that the turd was solid – the way my guts were talking to me I figured for sure it was gonna be thinner than chocolate milk. But when I coughed, it blew the cherry off of that joint, propelling it into the trash can, unbeknownst to me.
I relit the joint, resumed my article, and was finally enjoying feeling my guts pour out into the toilet when I noticed flames coming out of the trash can. Small flames, but flames nonetheless. David probably had a fucking rule against fires in the house as well as all his other unreasonable bullshit, so I finished shitting real quick, wiped, and then waddled over to the trash can with my pants still down around my ankles.
I reached down and picked up that trash can, the one made out of metal which was fully engulfed in flames at the point, to throw it out the window, but I burnt my fingers, causing me to drop it on a towel that Dave had kicked into the corner.
Naturally, the fucking towel started smoldering and burning. Uh-oh. Okay, with all those flames, I definitely need to have Wee Willie protected so I took a quick moment to jerk up my pants which gave the flames more time on that towel. I threw open the bathroom window, checked for dogs, then grabbed the plunger and used the handle end of it to pick up the flaming towel to fling it out the window, then I stomped out the burning trash on the floor. When I turned around, what do I see but the fucking curtains are on fire too! I must’ve lit that off when I was trying to get the towel out.
I jumped up and grabbed that flimsy ass curtain rod and tossed the flaming curtains out the window too.
After all the burning refuse was out the window, I’m standing there surveying the carnage. I mean, the fucking room is filled with smoke, there’s smoldering trash all over the linoleum, my hands are blistering up, and there’s fucking smoke marks all over the wall next to the window, not to mention a small fire still burning outside. Things are not looking real good at this point as far as me moving in.
Then I turned around and guess who’s standing behind me with an unlit joint in his hand and a shocked look on his face. Yup, my soon to be housemate. He was a tad bit upset.
“SONOFABITCH, YOU HAVEN’T EVEN MOVED IN YET!!! WHAT THE FUCK???!!!”
His mood got worse a couple minutes later when the firetrucks rolled up, sirens blaring and everything. Apparently one of the neighbors was standing in his backyard when he saw all kinds of flaming debris flying out the window, so he called 911 and reported a major house fire.
Dave was still pissed when he got home from work a few hours later.
Oh yeah. I did move in and managed to live there for 4 years without burning the place down after David added a few more rules, although I was never allowed to use his bathroom again.