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Published July 01, 2008

my roomate and i go outside for cigarettes about every two hours. i have a deck so we don't have to leave the apartment (technically) we just go out the back door. this process is not as easy as you would think because my roomate suffers from moderate agoraphobia.

when we get to the door he crouches behind me, so that if anyone can see our exit on to the deck, he'll be hidden behind my massive 140 pound frame. when we get outside he duck-walks to the back, right corner of the patio and sits. pressed tight up against the outside wall of the apartment so you have to be positioned over the deck to see him. and he always hold his cigarette (and exhales) in such a way that the smoke never wafts over the side of the deck, but rolls up and over the house...this is so no one standing below will know someone is up there smoking.


oh, also, if i speak too loud or cough i get an exasperated "SHHH!" from him.


so yesterday we go out...go through the ritual, and are out on the porch smoking. my roomie points out two black kids on the roof across the way. it looks like they are trying to squeeze into a very small, open window on the building next to the one with the roof they are on. i see the boys, but pay them no mind. people do a lot of weird things and my guess is that these kids aren't doing anything malicious (though possibly illeagal). so i turn my back on them to show m disinterest in the activities they are pursuing.

there is a loud THWAK! in the yard behind me (yard is a stretch, as it is really just a concrete space with a basketball hoop, but in nyc that qualifies as a yard). my roomate says, "they just threw a rock at us" i turn and stare at the teenagers on the roof. "Really", i call over to them, "i'm less than 100 feet away and that's all the closer you could get". the kid on the roof winds up to throw another rock. THWAK! on the concrete. same result. i laugh (mostly for effect, so i overdo it a little...okay, i really overdo it, but c'mon, the kid is throwing rocks at me like i'm some wild animal he's trying to scare off, he deserves to be laughed at), then i find my own projectile. "you call that a throw?" i call across the rooftops, "THIS is a throw!" and i launch me rock towards the boys. it zings right in between them at a good 40mph causing them to duck for cover. i laugh again and reload, "you threw two, so i get two...and that first one was just a warning". one of the boys ducks out of view again and i fire away at the remaining kid.

the rock strikes him flush in the chest. his eyes get as big as dinner plates and he drops to his knees clutching his sternum. the other kid stands up. "nics throw" he yells over to me. "is he all right?", i ask. the boy looks down at his friend and shrugs. a few seconds later the wounded kid stands up, no worse for wear."we all gotta live here together, so don't be a douchebag." he waves at me sheepishly and leaves me field of vision. i head back inside. alone, because me agoraphobic roomate has slithered back to the couch for another bong rip. and now it's my turn.

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