My landlord truly fascinates me. To some end, all people fascinate me because the insides of our bodies are absolutely insane and icky and I have no idea why all our gross insides all got together to form the garage band of our bodies. I lack most understanding of why our bodies work, but also why people do things. Why do we pay equal price for fruit on the bottom yogurt if we’re just going to mix it anyway? Why do we still offer blessings after someone sneezes, but not for any other nonconsensual body emission? Oh, that’s a burp; that one’s your bad. Not everyone I misunderstand at the same level however. For example, I possess a relatively healthy level of comprehension of my parents and the ways they raised me. By contrast, I likely couldn’t explain anything about any of my exes (although I probably do understand why each one left, or at least more than I’d care to admit). My landlord fits in with the latter category of understanding, the “I give up, let’s go play air hockey or something” category.
The aforementioned bit about the complexities of our body truly terrifies me. With so many interlocking and dependent pieces, it’s only natural that some part is found to be defective or some piece goes awry. After all, it would be foolish notion to run a massive manufacturing plant in China and believe there to be no chance of injury, mental breakdown, or health violation. In my landlord’s case, there appears to be such a vast quantity of minor deviations in him that I cannot even begin to comprehend how the whole functions at all. Imagine a construction site, a building in progress, where all the lumber is bowed, the labor lacks any construction experience, and the location provides a level of comfort somewhere between Superfund site and Chernobyl. Yet against all pleadings and catastrophic predictions, the job was, by some miracle, completed. And what wonder the finished product brought, snatching stability from the icy grasp of gravity and maintaining the remarkable appearance of a playground designed by MC Escher. In this case, I pay that playground my rent every month.
While I could (and probably will later) go into many of these fascinating anomalies, I would like to focus on the matter of taste. Not in the field of pop culture, mind you. This is not a proper medium to complain about another’s love of Family Guy references and Troll 2. Rather, I believe the man has no taste buds. There’s a fine line between having bizarre taste preferences (making tea with hot dog water, for example) and no taste at all, so I’d like to walk through how I’ve come to this conclusion.
I hold weekly movie nights as an effort to inflict my own personal taste on those around me (these are the films mentioned throughout this blog). Being the gracious (ie neurotic) host I am, I often supply popcorn and Stewart’s sodas to guests (Hint hint, show up to my movie nights!). I specifically get Stewart’s since I don’t often drink soda, so when I pick some up, I might as well splurge for the slightly better stuff that doesn’t have the weird pretentious photography all over the sides that Jones has. Cola preferences aside, I think everyone can pick ol’ Stewie’s over Dr. Thunder or Mountain Mist or Walmart Orange Soda. In a recent instance, the landlord grabs a Stewart’s Black Cherry and walks out of the room. Upon asking where he’s going with such a delicious drink, he replies, “Oh, I’m going to pour some Monster into it.” End scene.
Monster is rancid. Its odor is downright, I’m sorry, monstrous. Even the people that drink the stuff like its coffee admit that they just ignore the taste. Combining its alchemical properties with Stewart’s would create some unholy Frankensteinian beverage and would ensue in a similar riot. It’s the equivalent of watering down your top-shelf with Mad Dog 20/20 “just to give it a home-made feel.” This is actively destroying flavor and might just be a crime in many states and commonwealths.
He once held a party at our house and many guests brought various snacks. While there was a table of colorful, store-brand means of intravenously putting sugar into our veins, my landlord introduced me to the “High End” snack table. Now what would you imagine constitutes “High End” snacks? Are these items one would expect to find in the High Rollers room at a casino? Maybe some caviar? A fruit tray? Some hors d’oeuvres? Alas anyone expecting so much as Pigs in a Blanket from “High End” snacks would be gravely disappointed to find a bag of Chips Ahoy (regular) and a package of Fig Newtons. If Fig Newtons are “High End” I’d love to know what Peddridge Farm cookies would be. “Sorry son, you’ll get to have chessmen at your wedding, but only if you marry a rich girl.” “We’re not famous enough to eat Famous Amos’!” “Archway Cookies? Son, we have to siphon gas to get home here, so grab a package of Hydrox and let’s go.”
Now these stories aren’t enough to justify a complete lack of taste buds. However, the hypothesis might become a theory when I throw in pizza with fried calamari, Rice Chex dumped into a Healthy Choice meal, and brownie mix straight out of the box (Brownie mix out of the box while watching a Hoarders marathon – Truly the face of depression). Another housemate explained that several years ago, the landlord used to wander around the house just sticking random objects – car keys, paper clips, chess pieces – into his mouth subconsciously, as an infant would. When asked about it, he wouldn’t even realize he was doing it. Can an adult with taste buds not realize they are sucking on their own car keys? I would imagine not. Can an adult with taste buds use an entire container of cocoa powder for one mug of hot chocolate? Doubtful. Can an adult with taste buds dump orange juice on a salad because “It’s close enough to salad dressing.”? If they do, then I truly understand less about people then I thought.