As I would in any public space, I often notice strange items strewn about the common areas of my building. Our maintenance and custodial staff is diligent about picking up students’ messes, but they can’t clean the entire building instantaneously, so messes often last long enough to me to find them.
Restaurant delivery menus appear beside the elevators many mornings, lost socks are dropped in the hallway from time to time, and I’ve even seen a couple pieces of furniture left conspicuously in front of someone’s apartment for a couple days before anyone realized their owners had no intention of removing them on their own.
Commonly, I’ll find a beer can in the elevator on Saturday morning on my way to get coffee. This completely baffles me. I am not surprised that college students drink beer on Friday nights, nor that they dispose of beer cans improperly, but rather over how much beer a person can really consume in the time it takes a modern elevator to climb 20 stories.
It reminds me of a Jerry Seinfeld joke from his special I’m Telling You for the Last Time, where he describes airplane bathrooms:
[They have a] tiny slot for used razor blades. That’s always there. Who is shaving on the plane? And shaving so much, they’re using up razor blades? What have you got? The Wolfman flying here?
To date, however, I was most taken aback by discovering a pancake in the middle of the hallway on my way to work one morning — uncooked. Someone had clearly ladled pancake batter onto the hallway carpet and then continued the rest of their evening as planned.
I know you’re thinking I could be naïvely failing to consider other explanations for that particular mess. Believe me, “pancake batter” wasn’t my first thought either as I walked (necessarily) toward the mystery hallway mess, but pancake batter it was, without a doubt.
I should implement a new rule here. You can get as drunk as you want in my hallway, but with the understanding that I will automatically send pictures of everything you do to your boss, mother, girlfriend, dean, and . If you believe there’s any possibility they might end up getting pictures of you ladling a pancake onto the hallway carpet, you should impose some limits on your alcohol consumption.