With the UHG saga sadly ending (not sadly for BumbleLoki, of course, but sadly for those of us who were enjoying all the updates), I figured I'd chime in with my own, less exciting but currently ongoing, tale of ugh. We have an unwanted house guest living in the funeral home, and no, I'm not talking about our array of occasionally-annoying-but-generally-harmless ghosts (that I don't believe in).
First, I need to say something about my father, as it shines some light onto how we reached our current situation. He's the current owner of the funeral home, after inheriting it from his own father, and if ever there were a person worthy of sainthood it's him. Because he knows the importance of being able to have a proper goodbye with a lost family member he's provided funeral assistance to low income families out of his own pocket for decades, even though it's meant the business is often run on the thinnest of financial margins. He's been my biggest supporter all the times I've gone off on ridiculous paths and projects chasing my motorsports dreams, and most of what I've been able to do has been thanks to him. He devotes most of his free time to being a scoutmaster for an inner city Boy Scout troop, something he's done for nearly 40 straight years, and does it simply because "when I was a kid my scoutmaster did this for me." As a scoutmaster he made it troop policy to accept openly gay scouts years before the Boy Scouts of America decided to allow them (this never ended up being an issue, but the policy was at least there). One evening when we were hanging out and the Powerball was up around $300 million or something we got into the inevitable discussion of "what would you do if you won." His answers were things like fix and expand the funeral home, buy new gear for the scouts and the scout troop, pay for scout camping trips, fix the church that provides the troop with a free meeting room, establish a proper fund for low income families in need of funeral assistance. There was nothing on his list about vacations (even though he regularly works 100+ hour weeks with no vacations), toys, gadgets, new houses, new cars, etc. Nothing he mentioned was for him. That's my dad.
So, when our 80-year-old cousin (a man my late grandfather never liked, I'd never met, and my dad had only been around for a total of about 5 hours over the course of 62 years) from the eastern half of the state called saying his roommate had broken a hip and due to circumstances surrounding that our cousin couldn't handle the apartment on his own and needed a place to stay for two-to-three weeks, my dad said we'd be happy to put him up. That was in late May.
The first couple days it didn't seem like things would be too bad. Our cousin mostly stayed in his room watching TV and listening to talk radio, a questionable taste in entertainment perhaps, but not an issue. Then, one evening, while I was in the second floor living room, which is across the hall from his bedroom, I discovered he was a smoker. We spent the next ten days regularly reminding him that smoking is strictly forbidden in the house, and he spent those ten days demonstrating that he didn't care. Ultimately we blinked first. We didn't have the time or the energy to keep telling him he couldn't smoke in his room when he clearly was going to ignore us. Smoking, as it turns out, has been the first of many frustrations.
- Early on I was in the kitchen with the cousin and he said something about how nice the house was. He talked about how he was looking forward to seeing the rest of the building and particularly the basement. I told him the basement was off limits (for obvious reasons, not to mention actual laws). He responded with an indignant "I know!" We haven't caught him in the basement, but he's left alone in the building fairly often (when we're out at a funeral, for example). I'm convinced he's been there down at least once. There are also signs he's been up on the third floor, which is off limits as well.
- Late one evening around the end of June dad brought home a half dozen donuts, which he set on the "snacks" counter. By 8 am the next day they were gone. The cousin had apparently eaten five of the six donuts overnight (my brother did manage to get one of them before leaving for work). Around this point, due to this, other incidents of claiming inordinate quantities of food, and having not yet offered a penny toward the expense of his food or lodging, despite expecting us to provide him regular meals, we decided to nickname him Mooch. "That asshole" was also suggested, but we decided to be civil. We've also stopped cooking fancier meals and returned to the less exciting basic stuff because every time we did exciting food he'd eat it all before anyone else got a chance.
- Three weeks in we discovered it is possible for someone to have a bowel movement that is more pungent than actual death. The entire second floor was virtually unusable for two days.
- In July I realized all the bottles of soda stream syrup were gone. I asked dad what happened to them, and he explained that Mooch had used them all. Turns out he was pouring large quantities of it in his mug and adding regular water. He managed to use up 15 bottles of syrup (about $110) in less than two months.
- July is also the month he demonstrated just how out of touch with the world he is. He came into the living room and asked me if all the high schools in the city had been integrated yet. We live in a fairly big city in Massachusetts.
- In August he used up the last of the sugar (something the rest of us very rarely use, but he uses constantly in his coffee). He asked my dad if dad was planning on going out. Dad says he is. Mooch points his finger in dad's face and commands "Get sugar," then walks out of the room. Excuse you?
- In early September he tried to open up a checking account, supposedly part of the process of moving out (why the hell are you only doing this now, Mooch?!). I took him to the bank, where he was shocked to discover he needed a state-issued I.D. (which he doesn't have), and a photocopy of his passport with the 30-year-old photo of him isn't an acceptable substitute. To my knowledge he hasn't yet gone to the DMV to get a valid I.D. But hey, on the bright side he finally offered to sign over one of his social security checks to my dad to help pay for food and such.
- September is also the month I discovered he broke the lock on the door that connects his bedroom to the second floor bathroom. Now it's impossible to lock said door when one is using said bathroom. Naturally he never bothered to tell anyone.
And now we're almost through October. It's been over 140 days and he seems thoroughly entrenched, still spending pretty much all his time in his room, smoking, watching TV, and listening to talk radio. We can't really kick him out because there's no place he can go at the moment, so basically we need to wait for him to make the arrangements on his own and move on. We're hoping the cold New England winter and the building's ancient and terrible heating system lights a fire under his but to get out. In the mean time my brother and I have taken up the habit of walking out of a room when he enters it, rudeness be damned, just because we're that tired of him. Dad is, fortunately, too busy to have to deal with Mooch most of the time, but does drop hints that it's time to go and occasionally asks how Mooch's plans are going in regards to finding new accommodations. Mooch usually tries to change the subject.
C'mon, super cold winter!