I Am Bismark

ok, what you have all been waiting for

spring 2006: latenighthunter and i move into university villa apartments. the place is a dump. messing, skankiest apartment i’ve gone into, but it was cheap, and the social life was decent. latenighthunter and i are all about single rooms, but we figured we could put up with each other for at least one term. a week or two into the term, latenighthunter is always sleeping out on the couch. why? he says he just has an impossible time sleeping on his own bed. he lies there and just can’t sleep. so, thats cool. a few days later, i come home from work and there is a mattress sitting in the room on the floor. i ask latenighthunter, and he said it was the one that had been sitting outside of the apartment for a few days (which i remembered seeing), and since it appeared to be abonded after sitting there for so long, he decided to bring it in. there didn’t appear to be any water damage, though i worried about bugs. latenighthunter started sleeping on the floor of the room on this mattress every night, and then leaning it against the wall during the day. i shoved the two beds together and had a queen size. we were both happy.

latenighthunter went home for the summer term, but the extra mattress remained, leaning against the wall. i didn’t think about it much, until our ward announced the final party of the summer. it was pirate themed, and they were going to have a pirate ship race across the pool. the second i heard that a light bulb went off it my head. a mattress is mostly air, so it would float if it were possible to make it water proof. after a few days of thinking, i presented the idea to my remaining roommates. the dollar store carried full rolls of plastic wrap, so the day before the party, brad and i went and picked up a pack of ten, along with some duct tape. with the help of brad’s girlfriend allie, he and i fully wrapped and sealed the mattress in ten rolls of plastic wrap. we added some artistic details (a skull and cross bones made from duct tape, a naked barbie girl on the front of the ship, etc). the ship remained in the apartment for the evening, hidden from our competitors eyes. but we did allow the university villa maintenance guy to come in and take a look. he thought it was awesome.

latenighthunter came back the day of the party, so together we planned our attack. as the architect, i felt that my place was on the shore. brad would captain the ship, while brett and latenighthunter would be the motors. after the party began, we made our grand entrance. i led the procession with a large pirate flag attached to a pole made of the used plastic wrap rolls. my boys were dressed in pirate attire, and everyone in the ward was obviously both amazed and intimidated by our creation. the race was a rout. our ship, both unsinkable but quick moving easily defeated the lesser competition. after the race was over, a full blown “sea battle” ensued, with our ship effectively sinking all of our enemies. we ruled the ocean.

that night we left the boat next to the poll, since had begun to take on a little bit water during the fierce confrontation. packing up to leave and begin a new semester began the next day, so the mattress was pushed to the back of my mind. a day or two later, i saw a couple of guys with it in the hot tub. the thanked me graciously for being part of such a great invention. the next day i moved out and on to bigger and better things.

a week later, i recieved a call while at work. it was jane (i dont remember her name actually), the manager of university villa. she asked me if i was involved with throwing a university mattress in the pool. i said that i had used a mattress as a pirate boat, but that as far as i knew, the mattress was not the property of university villa. she claimed that it was, and that our apartment collectively owed $100 for its replacement. i told her i would speak with my roommates about the subject and get back to her.

of course, this was total crap (i used a harsher word at the time). whether or not this mattress was at one time the property of university villa seemed irrelevant for these reasons:

  1. it was left outside, subject to all weather conditions, for a period of quite a few days.
  2. once it was brought inside our apartment, it was not reported missing nor sought for.
  3. it sat inside our apartment for approximately 3 months, without ever being reported during cleaning checks, where it would have been fully viewable and inspectable by university villa employees.
  4. the night before the party, the maintenance guy observed and approved of our use of this mattress.

after discussing with the my roommates, i decided to call back jane and present my arguments as to why we should not have to pay for the mattress. had it been once property of university villa, it had obviously been abandoned and forgotten. jane would have nothing of it. she demanded we pay the price for what she claimed was a mattress sorely missed by the complex. had we removed the mattress right after the party, it would have never been missed, so it certainly appeared like a money grab. my mother, out visiting for education week, stood by listening. after a time of speaking with jane and getting no where, i became frustrated and raised my voice. had my mother not been there, i would have called jane things much worse than unethical and dishonest. after almost half an hour of back and forth, i gave up and conceded a lower price. i was willing to pay the entire amount, not wanting to burden my roommates with my failure.

i contacted dirty egg (who still lived at the villa), and he, admittedly upset, went down to the office and had a chat with jane in person. for some reason, he was more successful than i (he says it was because he was more calm than i, and he told her the mattress was by the dumpster when found, a fact that i am unsure about to this day). so, supposedely we were not charged, but the $30 check i recieved in the mail seemed a bit suspicious. i highly doubt that we left the aparment dirty enough to be charged $70 cleaning fees. but by that time, i had stopped caring, and decided jane would have to live with her decision.

so, in summary:

  • mattresses wrapped in plasted wrap are amazing pool toys.
  • university villa is a trash heap, POS apartment complex with unethical management. (pass it on. i told jane i would make sure this message got out as far and wide as possible).
  • we had a ton of fun, and i would pay $70 to do it again.
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