While browsing around Amazon, I came across this horrible ad for Courtyard by Marriott:

Courtyard by Marriot Ad

I realize he’s supposed to be jumping on the bed, but to me it looks like he hung himself. His bed was so uncomfortable, the people in the next room were so loud and unbearable, the air conditioner wouldn’t cool below 85 degrees, and to top it all off, the remote is attached to the nightstand. The wife looks up at him, thinking, “that man is always over-reacting.”

* * *

Over 6 years ago, when I was living with the roommate from hell, he woke me up by barging into my room and telling me that the next door neighbor was threatening suicide. Now, we didn’t really know the next door neighbors at all. They only things that I knew about them were as follows: 1) the father, John, was very quiet and reserved, 2) the wife was from a foreign country, 3) the children were scared to death of us, and 4) none of them ever left the apartment for any reason whatsoever.


I left my bedroom and stepped into the hallway, seeing the wife from next door standing in our foyer talking to my roommate.


“Please come,” she was saying with a heavy eastern-European accent. “Hees tried to keel heemself before. Hees locked in de bedroom and von’t open thee door. Please come.” She begins motioning with her hands and walked out our door onto our shared landing.


My roommate and I both walked into the neighbor’s apartment, fully expecting to be shot at. There was nothing on the walls except a huge poster of Jesus. One of the kids was sitting on the floor, happily watching cartoons, oblivious to everything that was happening in the apartment. I noticed they had a ceiling fan. Jealous, I made a mental note to ask the landlord about installing one for us.


“Hees in de bedroom. I vant you to see dat de door is locked.” She tried to turn the knob. There was a loud bang from behind the door. I stepped further away from the bedroom, back down the hall. My roommate started the negotiation.


“Hey, buddy! Why don’t you just open the door?” he blurted out.


Another thump from inside the room. I took another step away. John always hated my roommate.


“John?” I yelled, tentatively. “It’s me from next door. Look, I don’t really know what’s going on here, but your wife woke me up after two hours of sleep to come over here because she’s worried. So, could you just unlock the door and talk to her for me?”


No sound for what seemed like a minute. The door unlocked, and a second later, it swung open to reveal John standing there with no expression on his face. The room was torn to pieces. He looked at his wife, then turned his eyes towards my roommate, who could only offer a weak smile and a corny wave. John then looked at me. A chill shot down my spine.


“I was just trying to get some peace and quiet,” John said slowly. “She’s been ranting and raving all morning.” He looked over his shoulder, and closed the door a few inches. “So, thank you boys. But you can leave now.” His eyes narrowed.


That’s all it took for me. Roommate and I quickly shuffled back to our apartment next door. I latched the deadbolt on the front door, and then we both walked silently down the hallway to the back bedroom; the furthest we could get away from the wall we shared with the neighbors. We shut the bedroom door and barricaded ourselves in the bathroom, nervously smoking cigarettes and blowing the smoke out the window.


When the other two roommates got back from class a few hours later, they found us playing cards in the master bathroom, which by then reeked of cigarettes. We related that morning’s adventure to them, still freaked out.


The four of us spent the rest of the afternoon locked in the master bathroom playing poker for Q-tips.