by RICK MORTON
I had a flatmate who insisted on serving dinner on airplane crockery, with airplane cutlery on those little airplane trays.
He was, let’s be frank, a plane buff.
We ate it in authentic ‘off-the-back-of-the-truck’ Qantas business class seats with fully functioning electronics. We had a normal television but this would not suit our in-flight experience (of course!) so we had to watch our programs on individual tiny screens that folded out from within the arm rests in our seats.
It was just like travelling business class except we were in our apartment building which didn’t go anywhere and the uncomfortable, sporadic clink of cutlery on cutlery permeated the curtain of silent discomfort in which the rest of us had learned to live.
We had evolved to bear it in the same way an armadillo learns to roll into a protective ball when its peaceful existence is threatened.
The flatmate eventually spent tens of thousands of dollars converting our spare room into a full-sized flight simulator with actual Qantas cockpit chairs, two main 42-inch plasma screens and seven smaller computers running flight instruments. His cockpit had the proper steering columns (or whatever you call the darned things) and unfortunately enough room for one of us to sit by his side on a seven-hour flight to Singapore.
The only whiff of something being slightly amiss were the sheepskin covers on the pilot and co-pilot’s chairs, something I’d only ever associated with being behind the wheel of a Torana.
He would summon me for take-off and I’d move hesitantly into the room hoping for a quick flight to Coffs Harbour and frequently being disappointed by his chirpy response: “Nope! Europe! Via Bandar Seri Begawan“. Sometime between take-off and landing, hours later, I’d make up an excuse to leave (I have to study / clean the cat / re-classify several species of insect for fun) and he’d look at me, horrified, like I’d actually suggested opening the locked doors on a real plane mid-flight.
My flatmate had an illness that made his enthusiasm peak at stratospheric heights while ours languished behind.
He’d stumble down the stairs sometime the next day having landed in Frankfurt, nattering on about a speedy tail-wind and I’d be sitting in the living room snoring on the tray table, trapped by a passion I didn’t share.
You have to laugh. I was prompted to tell this story of a flatmate so bad he’s good because of this little gem I read on the Huffington Post about flatmate Alex who stole some of Mark’s milk … and then wrote an hilarious apology letter. Here it is:
Alex is kind of loveable, right?
Time to share your own hilarious housemate and flatmate stories. Even if they’re husbands or kids, most of us have lived with an interesting character…