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Tales of the World’s Worst Roommates

David Ivers (left) as Oscar Madison and Brian Vaughn as Felix Ungar in The Odd Couple

By Brooke Vlasich

David Ivers (left) as Oscar Madison and Brian Vaughn as Felix Ungar in The Odd Couple

Any adult or hopefully-soon-to-be adult knows that balancing a full-time job, paying bills, and running errands are just the beginning of managing adulthood. Financial responsibilities soon pile up and can become quite vexing. So what’s the best solution to temporarily relieving these financial woes? Deciding to move in with a best friend and split the bills and household chores may seem like the answer; but, as Neil Simon’s play The Odd Couple proves, this could be the worst idea ever.

Living with roommates can be incredibly complicated, as Oscar Madison and Felix Unger discover when they decide to move in together and quickly realize it’s not as easy as it seems. And, as it turns out, Oscar and Felix aren’t the only ones who have struggled with roommates. Utah Shakespeare Festival employees recently shared with me a few of their unique roommate stories that show just how difficult things can get when living with other people.

One employee recalls a roommate who used to hit the snooze button over and over on the alarm—from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every morning.

Another shared stories of a roommate who used to cook items in the microwave and left the lingering smells of burned popcorn, cabbage, and ice cream.

Having had a number of roommates over several years, one employee had numerous stories to share. Memories include the roommate who baked cookies and pizzas and left them out uneaten for weeks, the roommate who insisted others use a flashlight when coming back to the dorm at night instead of using room lights, and the fanatic who lectured roommates about the brand of tuna in the fridge.

Then, there is this story from a Festival employee, that he insists is true. His roommate returned from a weekend trip home with a gift from her parents: a large chicken, ready to bake. He shoved it in the oven with the temperature as high as it would go. Took it out some time later and peeled the outer layer off to eat, then put the remainder in the fridge to do it again the next night. He cooked and ate one layer at a time for several days.

Now that Utah Shakespeare Festival employees have shared their roommate tales, we’re turning the question over to you: As you anticipate seeing The Odd Couple this fall, what are some of your stories of roommates? I hope you’ll share your comments below. 

The festival’s production of The Odd Couple runs from September 14 to October 22. For more information visit http://bard.org or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.

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