February 17, 2008
Julia was in a bit of a pickle. She’d gotten herself and her children in far over their heads. Her job was paying just above minimum wage, her savings was nearly depleted, she was $100,000 in credit card debt, and what’s worse, her interest-only ARM payments had just ballooned the previous month and she would certainly lose her home soon.
Julia needed a roommate to help her with her payments.
She screened at least thirty people over the next few weeks. Some responded to her Craiglist ad, others were referrals from her co-workers.
Most of the applicants were too inexperienced. There was the handsome guy who knew a lot about money and was on his way to be an investor on Wall Street…but he was just out of college, and had never actually lived with anybody before. Julia needed somebody with more experience.
Finally, she narrowed the field down to three candidates.
First was Matt, the wealthy old guy who always dressed right and said old-fashioned things like “yes, ma’am” and “have a pleasant evening.” He admitted to a peculiar fetish for spying on young women when they slept, but he’d never actually harm anybody.
Second was Robert, the middle-aged divorcee who was also determined to turn his life around. And what’s more, he promised to pay her twice what she’d advertised, and all he asked in return was for exclusive use of the kitchen every evening between 4-10PM.
Third was Herbet. He’d been living with people for twenty years. He started off in petty theft, stealing pens and clothes hangers from his roommates. Later, he moved on to stealing underwear and taking hidden photos and posting them online. More recently, he’d been convicted four times of kidnapping each of his past four roommates. Julia couldn’t argue with his experience, and he promised that, within a year’s time, he’d be paying all of Julia’s bills for her–her mortgage payments, credit card payments, car payments, health insurance, everything. You see, he was good at playing the state lottery, and knew just when, statistically, he could expect a big payout.
Of course Julia chose the one with the most experience, Herbert.
She and her five children haven’t been heard from since. Likely, they’re out partying hard in the Bahamas thanks to her fine choice in roommates.