Thing of the Week: The Quint House. – by Ryan Donahue

quint

Each week Ryan will pick a thing and that thing will be the thing of the week. It can be a person, a place, an occurrence, or an idea. The sky is the limit.

This is the Quint House, where I lived in 2011. If you look at the picture, the highest window on the left side of the house was mine. One time we threw a refrigerator out of it. We filmed the whole thing—all 20 seconds of it—but we later lost that footage in a house fire. The wall that burned down is the one that’s directly behind the topless man floating in the recliner that is suspended from the tree in the front yard. Those god damn firemen knocked that wall down like it swore in front of their wives.

          My room was on the top floor, right next to what came to be called Trash Mountain. I paid $375 a month because I shared the room with my cousin. We used pizza boxes as rat traps, because a pizza box is a better rat trap than any rat trap is. It happened on accident at first—someone left a pizza box on the floor, and when I came home it was moving on its own around the house. So I stomped it out. From then on it was our preferred method of dealing with those horrible bastards. They were big–not fat, but long–and they had bad skin. Not like in the movies. Real rats have eczema, and they’re promiscuous. I’d walk into the bathroom to take a shower and there’d be three of ‘em banging on the radiator. Just cloppin’ away; a ménage à trois of sex-crazed rat sounds with no regard for human life. They didn’t even stop when they saw me. I had to leave the room.

Corey killed one with a roller skate one time. Everybody cheered. I think his dog ate about a hundred over the course of the year, but she was gross about it. She’s doing better now.

The guy sitting at the bottom of the steps is Jih-Shwah. He used to cut his pubic hair with a switchblade. He wasn’t big on buzzers. I only remember him using a buzzer once, when he shaved the front of his body so the only hair he had was a batman symbol on his chest. The rest of the hair he left in a beer box on the floor before he went on vacation. That box stayed there for months. Nobody picked it up because it’s nobody’s job to pick up anybody else’s hair. That’s why there was body hair everywhere. It just became normal. We cleaned the house by opening the windows.

Our neighbor, Crazy Mike, he came over all the time and drank on our porch. He was really into film. One time he lit a couch on fire in the parking lot next to our house, and he filmed it from his house. He was really excited about the footage because firetrucks came and put it out and then left. And in the mornings an old Chinese guy would bring his shopping cart right up to the bottom of those steps and take our bottles. Every day at 9 a.m., like clockwork. No I’m just kidding. He wasn’t punctual. But eventually we just let him go in the house to get the rest of the bottles too. He seemed like a nice enough guy. He used hand signals to tell us he was nonviolent, because none of us spoke Chinese.

A kill-or-be-killed, pizza-box-rat-trap world. We had bats in the attic, a community of raccoons in the yard, but most of all we had each other. We learned about love and our immune systems. For a short while our living room table was an enormous mirror we found after a day of drinking whiskey at our local Burger King. We had plans to glue plates and forks to the ceiling so the table looked set when you looked down at it, but we ultimately broke that table while we were drunk.

You can find more stuff from Ryan Donahue at @ryanjaydonahue 


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  • TJ Clancy

    my fraternity moved into that house after you guys. i chopped a rats head off with a shovel and the body was still “alive” for like 30 seconds