Jill was insane. Jill was insane in so many ways. And we were stuck with her for one whole year.
A few examples, from a fat volume of disaster
, skipping the whining tales about body size, and parents, and hellspawn siblings
One house. Six people. Six bedrooms. Two bathrooms.
One bathroom for the five of us. and one for Princess
Jill. It was her private domain
. Locked, always, inside her foofy ensuite
territory, and guarded ferociously.
Knock, knock, knock.
Palm slap, hammer-thump on the door.
"Jill, please, pretty please, James is taking a three hour dump and I really need to pee."
"Oh, you can't come in. The bath is dirty. Go away."
Rattle, rattle at the door handle. Handle stops moving. Scritch-scratch key turn.
Run downstairs, knock, knock, knock on the other bathroom door.
"James? Stop eating three eggs for breakfast every damn day!"
When Jill finally deigned to let me into the bathroom one day, I understood her reluctance: the tub was covered with bright orange bath oil grease gunk
, and enough body hair to make a hearth rug
, and and the room was filled with the rotten stench of bulimia
One house. Six people. One sitting room. One TV. One VCR, belonging to Jill.
One sleek, matte-black VCR, provider of video distraction and joy. We watched Die Hard
and The Lost Boys
a lot that year. It was a good antidote to Classics
One day, the VCR vanishes. Burgle
d? oh no!
"You've ruined my VCR!" she howled. "It's ruined! You owe me three hundred pounds!"
"It's broken?" we chorused.
"You've stained it! You've stained it with your filthy cigarette smoke!
"Um, Jill. Your VCR is black. It's not going to show even the flithiest ickiest nicotine stains
"I've put it in my room. To recover. You may not use it. Ever again."
"I'm so broke
! I'm so broke. I have no money
. What do I do? Where do I start?"
She waves her bank statement
in the air, and pleads for advice.
We look. We gasp. We realise that her monthly allowance
is more than each us gets in the year. Her overdraft
, though, is even larger and scarier than mine.
We smile politely, and mutter, through gritted teeth and dagger stares, "Perhaps four pairs of shoes in one week is a little excessive? Perhaps you can stop buying clothes from Chanel
, for starters. You can skip the trips to flashy London restaurant
Revenge of the Cat
Poor Cat, so often shoved off sofas, and threatened with kicks.
Simple soltution: Every week or so, one dead bird, left outside Jill's doorway at dawn. Jill stumbles out, without her glasses, steps on the bird and screeches and curses.
Cat sits on the stairs, watching.
Later, Cat throws up on Jill's pristine
. Oddly, the door is still locked.
Revenge of the Housemates
"Hey, kitlings, I think I've found the spare key..."
And so we gained access to The Fortress of Solitude
. And began the slow process of rearranging her furniture, in tiny, almost unnoticeable stages, around and around the room. Whilst watching videos.