The Worst Uni House I Ever Lived In, Part 1: Witches Brew

Piles of bones in the corner, a carpet made of pizza boxes, the kitchen door shut and never to be opened again, petty theft from the off license across the road and a curse from a witch. Home sweet uni home...
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Piles of bones in the corner, a carpet made of pizza boxes, the kitchen door shut and never to be opened again, petty theft from the off license across the road and a curse from a witch. Home sweet uni home...

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Bloody students. Bloody Stew-dents. Just a bunch of flouncing layabouts and dilettantes who want to get out there into the real world and see what hard bloody work is all about. That's called the University of Life, sunshine. Actually, I doubt it's like that for kids these days – I hear that it's quite commonplace to turn up to lectures and things like that, due to the expense, and that young people today are pretty square. They call University 'Uni', the babies. What these kids need is a complacent sense of entitlement and a student grant – what bliss and bounty that was – like the Good Old Days. Maybe all is not lost, in Leeds (my Alma Mater) they are still littering the streets withtrash so maybe they're doing something right. They need to push the boat out though, become proper students. When I was a lad I hung around a hovel, a gloriously baroque midden. It was beautiful, in its fetid way. In fairness, the place never stood a chance. Upon moving in, the inhabitants dutifully threw a party which didn't go that well. Chucking out time was when a Witch, offended by the nasty people cast a solemn curse on the building and crew.

They started to embrace the bad vibes of the hex and roll with the squalor. There were some scousers – even worse, posh scousers – so naturally they just took drugs all day long. Nine bars of weed smoked like fags, Es and wine for breakfast, Acid tabs when there was nothing on telly. It was all good and it was hardly as if it interfered with studies. A week or so in, it was a bona fide tip,  and within a month the kitchen door was shut forever and was never to be spoken of. It had been an uninviting room, a cave with grimy windows and little to no food (there was no point in stocking up, it would all have been stolen within seconds), when the table got covered in shit and broken bottles the ironing board became the table, when that got kicked over, the floor did. The room was a big bin and when it got too full it was shut away.

The bare mattresses in the sitting room (obviously) were never particularly romantic or inspiring but because of the death of the kitchen they became macabre and toxic. Nobody could bring any proper food in so KFC became the staple diet. Sadly, chicken pieces have inedible bones in that have to be thrown away, tossed into the corner with the mattresses. It became quite a wow, this pile of stinking bones grew a good 18 inches high, with flies dancing in celebration and festooned with cigarette butts. The pizza boxes didn't stack as well as the bones so they became the carpet. It was horribly uncomfortable but that was okay, nobody was going to get much rest, not with the noise. One of the inhabitants was a techno DJ with his 1210s (it's the mid-'90s) and the 4/4 pounded constantly. The neighbours initially complained about the bewilderingly loud rave but they got told to fuck off so the beat went on.

No bill was ever paid. There were no regrets and no lessons were learned. There is no moral to this story (perhaps there is – fuck about and do what you like).

One girl lived there, amazingly, but she had that ability to stay clean and stylish and distant which some girls have. She was in the very top room though, a little separate, where her boyfriend had laughably sanded the floor in a gasp at middle-class taste. This fine woman was the only one who ever entered the house though, and rightly so. It did not appeal to other ladies. The housemates were dismayed by this and decided to add a feminine touch to lighten the atmosphere. One day everyone got some tatty catalogues (Grattan? Freemans?) and glued the pictures of the pretty women in their lingerie to the walls. Then these poor models were used as target practice with pellet guns. The walls got holes in them so they got destroyed too, for the fuck of it.

Time was running out for the place. Crime, which was commonplace within the house, became more prevalent outside yet the thefts never had any consequences. To be clear, the house wasn't full of bad people (not all of them) but the ships of sense and perspective had sailed. There was a Threshers across the road from the house which was very convenient. The boys went there ever single day for booze and fags. They were clearly and instantly familiar. When, one day, the inevitable happened and one young man found himself with no drinks and no money he acted boldly. He marched over the road, into the friendly offy and selected four of the finest clarets on display. He then threw a V sign at the assistant and walked out, across the road back to the house, and into the drunken fuzz of his well-chosen vintages. Despite his fear, of course nothing came of it. He was back in the shop within weeks, and the unsightly matter was not discussed.

All parties have to end, and this did after about six months. It was too much of a shithole, too depressing... too stupid to survive. For old-times' sake, and in the spirit of the house they all just abandoned it, ran away, left no forwarding addresses. No bill was ever paid. There were no regrets and no lessons were learned. There is no moral to this story (perhaps there is – fuck about and do what you like). Unsurprisingly, the inhabitants are all now doing okay, with good jobs and happy lives.

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