Sharing a house with Dean

May 3, 2022

While I was out on Saturday, Dean cooked. I don't know what he cooked, but the kitchen absolutely reeked of cloves. It stank like he'd bought cloves in bulk and just boiled 'em all dry. My eyes stung from the stink, so I left the house's front door and side door open, hoping a breeze would carry the cloves away.

While I was out on Sunday, Dean cooked again, and when I got home both doors were open again for air. This time the whole house smelled of smoke. Robert and Dean were both in the kitchen, Dean looking sheepish as Robert told me what had happened:

Dean had put oil in a pan on the stovetop to get it hot, then forgot about it. When the smoke alarm went off, Robert came out from his room and doused the splattering, smoking grease with baking soda, while Dean stayed in his room, listening to music with headphones on, and didn't even hear the alarm.

Thanks, Robert, for maybe saving the house.

Dean's been cooking professionally for 40 years, gets endless compliments at work, or so he never stops telling us, and then he forgets he has oil sizzling on the burner.

Walking into any library, I start by visiting the men's room and peeing, before finding a table, setting up my laptop, plugging it in, and powering it up. Gotta pee in advance, because it would be an expensive gamble leaving the laptop at a table while peeing.

I don't like talking to people, and especially hate telling people when I have to pee, so I avoid the library branches where the restrooms are locked, and you have to ask a staffer to buzz you in. A special thanks, then, from this old man, to the Beacon Hill, Burien, Southwest, Tukwila, and White Center libraries, where access is easy and you don't need the librarian's permission to pee.

Of course, the libraries don't restrict restroom access just for the fun of it. Most libraries have ongoing problems with homeless people, scum and lowlife, and at some libraries the scum and lowlife must be very busy in the johns, else this sign wouldn't be posted inside the men's room:

"For your security, staff will check on
your wellbeing after ten minutes."

One day when I've forgotten to take my morning laxative, we'll see if they're actually watching the clock after buzzing me in.

Speaking of preferring not to speak...

At the house I share with three other men, my bedroom door opens into the kitchen. Thus any time I leave my room — to open the fridge, to take a leak, to go out into the world — it's via the kitchen.

My bedroom door is hollow plastic, so sitting on my recliner in my room I'm very aware when someone's in the kitchen. Every word spoken, every pot stirred, the toaster popping up, it all comes into my bedroom like it's being broadcast over a baby monitor.

When someone's in the kitchen, I ought to bull right through the china shop. Ought to open the door without thinking about who's out there, and simply go about my business. Sometimes I do, but other times I dread the kitchen, and pause before opening my door. Sometimes I pause for a long time. Sometimes I do something else, and completely forget I wanted to run to the store.

As a rule in life, unless it's a naked woman, I would almost always rather not talk, to anyone, not even to say "Good morning," if it can be avoided.

When someone's in the kitchen, I'll listen closely to determine whether it's Dean. If it's anyone else, depending on my mood, maybe I'll wait five minutes until they're done, or maybe I'll step into the kitchen, say hello, boil my vegetables, whatever. If it's Dean, waiting five minutes won't be enough — he'll probably still be in the kitchen in half an hour — so I step right in, but cripes I hate it.

Dean is my nemesis, my opposite, and his bedroom door also opens into the kitchen. Before he started working, when he was home seven days a week, it was like he was always coiled in his room, hoping to hear me in the kitchen so he could burst through his door and start talking.

That fucker loves to talk. He'll talk to anyone, and never let it end. If a bum off the street wandered into our kitchen, Dean would come out of his room to tell the bum about unsalted butter. Me, I am willing and able to converse, but prefer to choose when and with whom I'm conversing. Dean doesn't let me choose.

My whole life I've avoided conversations with people, and regretted most of the conversations that couldn't be avoided. At my age I'm tired of it all. I want to do what I want to do, and talking to someone (anyone!) isn't often what I want to do. That's why I'm going to buy a gun, and shoot Dean.

Just kidding. Probably. But maybe with my hard-boiled impatience toward humanity, I shouldn't be living in a shared house. Maybe I shouldn't be sharing a house with Dean.

And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not… 

♦ ♦ ♦  

1911 heat wave:
The heat wasn't all that remarkable, but with no air conditioning or even electric fans, hundreds died, while others wanted to die as the heat and humidity became unbearable.

♦ ♦ ♦  

The secret police: A private security group regularly sent Minnesota police misinformation about protestors 

♦ ♦ ♦   

Vince McMahon reportedly paid upwards of $12 million in hush money to four former employees 

♦ ♦ ♦   

'Punch to the gut': Native leaders, lawyers say Supreme Court ruling undermines tribal sovereignty 

♦ ♦ ♦    

I'm not sure Brett Kavanaugh has a "right" to a peaceful dinner at a swanky restaurant. 

Your right to say 'fuck you' to people who deserve a hearty 'fuck you' is far more important than whatever Kavanaugh wanted for dessert. 

♦ ♦ ♦   

Respected obstetrician raising funds for floating abortion clinic in Gulf of Mexico to avoid US state bans 

♦ ♦ ♦   

Johnny Carson's band 

♦ ♦ ♦   

11 historically significant toilets 

♦ ♦ ♦   

Smash it up! The musical tomfoolery of Matt Button 

♦ ♦ ♦  

One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...

♦ ♦ ♦

The End
Lenny Von Dohlen
Hunter Reynolds
Zhang Sizhi

♦ ♦ ♦

 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. Grease on the stovetop and unattended? That's really stupid especially for a professional cook. You say he looked sheepish but he sounds like a man too senile to be trusted alone in any kitchen especially the one right out your door.

    1. Yeah, he's even older than me, and he seems to be the kitchen equivalent of senior citizens who insist on driving when they're a clear menace.


🚨🚨 BY THE WAY... 🚨🚨
The site's software sometimes swallows comments. If it eats yours, send an email and I'll get it posted.